Regret is available in two flavors; “Have Done” and “Not Done.”
When you regret something you have done, you must own it, or it will own you.
When you regret something you have not done, rectify it quickly, either by doing it or making peace with yourself and your inaction.
Choosing to do something that results in feelings of loss, embarrassment, or sorrow is not, unfortunately, uncommon. However, when you deny, minimize, or ignore, the regret of your decision, it can grow and consume you. It is a strange sensation — the feeling of emptiness. A piece of yourself seemingly drained out of your very being. That is what comes with the regrets you refuse to acknowledge.
How can you minimize the regrets in your life? Practice better decision making. Hopefully, either consciously or subconsciously, you have a set of criteria in mind when you weigh the pros and cons of a decision. As an exercise, over the next week, deliberately ask yourself,
“Will I regret doing this, or will I regret not doing this more?”
Typically, though not always, your answer will be obvious. If it’s not, sit with the question for a moment longer than usual, your inner guidance will provide direction.
There is seldom a perfect answer — that is the thrill of life. However, begin to make decisions with greater intention and less whim, and you’ll have less regret and more satisfaction.