Regret is like a cancer, it can eat you up inside. Nobody goes through life without making mistakes; it is part of the human experience. We all do things we wish we hadn’t and we say words we wish we could take back. But you cannot dwell in the past if you want to succeed in the future.
It is normal to do things you regret, but you cannot hold onto those negative feelings forever. Letting go of regret opens your hands to receive the joy and opportunity the next chapter of life will bring. There are three ways to let go of regret so you can move on in life.
- Learning to accept the person you are is essential to overcoming regret. In a self-help world, we find ourselves constantly striving toward individual improvement. Although personal development is important, you must accept the person you are. Rather than trying to change the way you are, sometimes the best thing to do is accept it and love yourself in spite of whatever shortcomings you may have.
- Remember to harness your mistakes for the lessons they can teach you. Leverage these experiences for greatness and use them to learn and improve. Don’t keep making the same mistakes repeatedly, but let the regret you feel teach you important lessons for life, and then move past it. By learning and growing, you can save yourself from feeling the same regret twice.
- Another way to overcome regret is to make the situation right. If you spoke to someone in anger and caused them pain, apologize for your harsh words. You can never take back something you said, but accepting the responsibility for your actions shows accountability. You cannot change what happened, but you can change how you choose to act in the future.
If you find that you are still holding onto anger, bitterness, and regret, talking with a mental health counselor can help. They will help you sort through things and see the situation from a fresh perspective. Don Miguel Ruiz said “Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.” By letting go of the past, you open yourself up to the opportunities of the future. Don’t let regret stand in the way of the greatness you are destined for.