Overcoming Regrets

Life was not built on a manual, but on experience and with that experience we build our own personal manual. This is how I have always viewed my life. My manual is forever being edited.

Even with this manual and learning experiences, many of us live in regret. Let me break it down: Shit happens. You react, you make a choice, you take an action. Then time passes. And you think about what happened. You analyze it, obsess over it and talk at nauseam about it with your friends. You continue to gather more information and knowledge. Then you take all this awareness and information that you have now, and beat yourself up because you did not know it then. It is totally unfair and unreasonable to take what you know now and use it to beat yourself up for what you didn’t know then. Trust me, I have run this cycle. I hate it, but it is how we learn.

I have lived in regret, but I have learned to appreciate my experiences as they can only lead me to a better version of me, which I always strive for. I have learned to look at regret in two ways: Productive regret in which one learns to change their behavior for the future and unproductive regret, where one completely blames themselves, which can create chronic stress which leads to a very unhealthy you. We have all replayed scenarios over and over in our heads, thinking of all the things we could have done or said. We allow ourselves to get trapped in a shoulda/coulda/woulda perspective, and it’s a miserable place to be, isn’t it?

I lived the Unproductive regret for too long. I felt deflated, hopeless and frankly like I wasn’t worth more than I had allowed in my life at the time. I lived daily wishing I made a different decision, wishing I would have thought things through and wanted nothing more than to change the current situation I was in. I beat myself up over trying to figure out why, trying to understand instead of spending time healing and moving forward and viewing this as a life lesson which would only build me to be productive.

Frankly, at times I am just fucking tired. My entire childhood consisted of me trying to numb myself, trying to not feel my dads abuse, and no matter how much I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I had to be in survival mode every single day. I can’t say none of this has NOT been carried to adulthood as this was all I knew. However, I have always tried to be aware of my emotions, healthy or not healthy, and I will certainly do anything to learn and heal.

I can’t change my past, but I can always change how this affects my today and my future moving forward. I am not the only person that lives with regretful decisions, but I know I am one that will work my ass off to not repeat or relive them. I will also not live being in a numb state any longer. I have worked too hard and life is too short to not live for enjoyment, memories and yes, love.

I am at the age where most become more adept at letting go of regrets. We may not have as much opportunity to undo the past — return to school for a degree, say, or undo a marriage or even understand why the hell it happened— but life experience has wised me up. The bottom line is, I have learned to accept things I can’t change and to move forward with lessons from those moments. I am worth so much more than I ever allowed myself to have. Experiences should have no regrets. Experiences allows us to add to that life manual so we are our best self moving forward.

I will never be mistake free, as no human is, but I can control how I allow someone to talk to me, treat me and I can control who I allow in my life. I am so worthy with an open heart, but I am so much stronger and smarter with each passing day.

Today, I move forward! There is NO LOOKING back, and I will not allow anyone to take me backwards ever again!

Never live in regret, just live with the experience and allow yourself to embrace and learn.

Becky Shaffer-Life Coach-Educator-Author


Published by beckyshafferliveinconfidence

I did the crazy and left my career teaching job after 19 years to work on and build my coaching business. I took a year off to follow my dream of being a life coach and using my skills, life lessons and training to help others find meaning in their life. While I do this, I am always growing, learning and finding more purpose and meaning in my life as well. Currently, I am life coaching and fitness coaching part-time , I continue to blog, meet with clients and I am back to teaching full time in Columbus City Schools, working with gifted students, teaching. U.S. History.

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