Life is full of choices. And choices mean there can be some regrets. A very common concept in economics is the idea of an opportunity cost. And it applies in our daily lives too. We cannot be in two places at the same time. And we can’t do everything at the same time. Choices need to be made.
Sometimes, we may make the wrong decision even after careful consideration. And that’s how regret can creep in. As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20”.
So, a better approach to dealing with regret can be simply embracing it fully. There are usually four types of regret. Author Daniel Pink has done tons of research into this.
Boldness regrets: This one is pretty self-explanatory. These are regrets for the choices you did not make. Your opportunity costs. Maybe you took a different job over another. You chose to stick with the safe option.
Moral: Sometimes we might do things that we think nothing of at the moment. And we come to deeply regret it later in life. One such thing could be cheating on a partner, or being rude to our parents when we were young.
Foundational: Not putting in the hours or working hard to craft the life we truly could have had comes under foundational regret. Maybe we regret that we are not pushing ourselves to our fullest potential.
Connection: These are regrets about our relationships. Maybe we stopped talking to someone. And we regret losing them from our lives.
The first thing you should understand is that some regrets in life are just part of it. It is quite impossible to craft a life where you have zero regrets. That is just not humanly possible. Boldness regret is one of the most common ones.
But a better way to deal with regret is to not forget about it. It is better to embrace it with open arms and take action.
You cannot change the past. And you do not know the future. But you have control over your present actions.
Do not over-criticize: If we have some regrets in our lives, we tend to very harshly criticize ourselves. If you are not going to give yourself a break once in a while, then no one else will.
So, start by embracing the fact that you may have some regrets. Accept how you are feeling. Power of Regrets is a book that fantastically outlines the strengths of regret.
Take your time: Do not expect to get over a regret instantly. That is just not how it works. And you will create unreasonable pressure on yourself. These things take a bit of time. And you need to take that time to deal with regrets in a more healthy and productive way.
Understand the negative effects of regret: Constantly dwelling on our regrets can be detrimental to our mental and physical health. And it is not worth it to constantly give yourself a hard time about it. It is better to learn the right lessons from your regrets. That is how people grow.
Move on: Regret can cause us to become hesitant in taking the steps forward. But if you think about it, you will only be cheating yourself. So, learn the lessons and try to look forward to life. Believe in yourself and allow yourself to grow and move forward.
A good way to deal with regrets is to surround yourself with the right people and be in the right company. You can join our forum to join a healthy community of like-minded people. Register now for a better and stronger you.