Dealing with Regret


As you take an assessment of your life, is there anything you regret? Mistakes from the past, misguided financial decisions, career choices, risks taken or not taken; there are a many experiences in life that can leave us with a feeling of profound regret. However, problems develop when we let regrets from the past hinder our present or future.

What are the feelings associated with regret? Guilt, shame, embarrassment, grief, anger, hurt?  These predominant emotions can be disabling as we continue on life’s journey.

Everyone has regrets. The primary difference is there are those who let regrets hold them back and those who keep regret in proper perspective. Regrets are inevitable, but they are also forgivable. Looking back at the past is not a productive way to face the future. That’s why windshields are much bigger than rear-view mirrors.

The Apostle Paul once said, “I forget what is behind, and I run towards what is ahead so that I may win the prize.” That’s great advice!

He uses the word “forget,” not as a form of denial of the past, rather, an embracing of the past. Only when we embrace it can we let it go. Our pasts mistakes and decisions have worked to mold us into who we are today. Learning from our past is a sure way to a better future.

We also need to evaluate the present. What is our current trajectory? Do we need to look at where we are right now and make some hard choices? Every minute is a new opportunity to better ourselves. The late Joan Rivers once said, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a blessing from God–that is why it is called ‘the present'”. 

Finally, we need to press onward. One of the reasons we roll out of bed in the morning is a purpose for the day, and excitement about what lay ahead.

Do you have a vision for the future? What is holding you back from that desired future? Maybe it’s the regret of the past, or a lack of direction. Both can be overcome by an inspirational vision.

That vision can begin to develop today. With goal setting and proper planning, you will look back at this day with delight.

%d bloggers like this: