Where does regret stem from? It actually stems from your past. And remember what I’ve been talking about when we think about our past, your past only lives in your thoughts about it. Is there an upside to regret? Not really. But if you use regret to make positive changes about something you wished you had done and then got started doing it, then it can be a useful emotion. On the other hand, we tend to blame ourselves for something that happened in the past. Master Coach, Brooke Castillo says, “When you are focused on your past, when you are constantly thinking about your past and arguing with it, that is regret.” What she is basically saying is that using your past as your excuse not to move forward, is a complete waste of time, right?
Brooke always says: “What's meant to happen does. What was meant to happen did, it was always meant to happen that way.” Your past got you to where you are right now. Thinking about your past and using it to block your progress has no upside at all. There is nothing you can do about how your past played out. You have no control now over your past. You do however, have control over how you think about your past. Sure, you can think about how terrible it was and how you hated it and how it messed up everything for you. Or you can think that your past taught you how to be strong and resilient. Your past can be a tool to shape your future in a positive way, as in, “I want my future to be nothing like my past.”
So, think about yourself 10 years from now and list everything that you wished you had done, but didn’t. List things that you regret. 10 years from now hasn’t happened so you have the chance to change those thoughts and actions to thoughts that you will be able to fulfill your dreams. Do not let your regrets take the place of your dreams.
Wasting time feeling bad about your past, re-purposing those thoughts over and over in your mind has no value other than holding you back from reaching your goals. Think about what you can do NOW so you won’t regret it later.