Regretting the Past and Moving on

emotions past personal growth regret Dec 16, 2021

We all regret something we did or didn't do at some point in our lives. Regret is a feeling that can be paralyzing and prevent us from moving forward with life. However, it is essential to understand that regret will not change the past, but it can help us learn more about ourselves and what we want for the future. In this blog post, we'll explore how to overcome regret and move on with your life.

A past regret is like a heavy anchor on your life.

Regret is a negative state of mind that makes us feel down and disappointed over a mistake or something we didn't choose to do when the opportunity was there. It is such a powerful emotion. It's like having an anchor that's tying you down, preventing you from moving forward in life. Everybody experiences regret at some point in their life. However, we differ in how long we keep bottling up regret before deciding to move on. It's also possible that some people choose to keep holding onto regret that they don't make any progress in life. It becomes a problem when you decide to stay stuck in the past.

Our past regrets can lead to other negative emotions like loneliness and anger. It can also lead to negative thoughts like frustration, depression, or excessive worries. We usually feel regret more significantly over things that we didn't do. We think that something better could have happened in the future or present if we chose to do something in the past. The vision of something ideal causes us to contemplate what we did or didn't do. You tell yourself statements like, "If only I did it back then," "I shouldn't have done that," or "If only I knew what would happen later."

Nobody knows what will happen if you choose to do something or not. We can only try and see the outcome. If something unfavorable happens, it's normal to feel some frustration and regret. The same thing happens if you choose not to do something, only to find out later that a good outcome will happen if only you had acted. You can feel guilty and do some self-loathing over what you did or didn't, but eventually, you have to move on. Being stuck in the same situation won't get you anywhere in life. Grieve for a while, assess the situation, accept that things happened, and plan out your next move. You can do several things to help yourself move over regret better.

1. Treat your past mistakes as a learning experience

Our past actions are already done, and we can't do anything to change them anymore. The results have happened, whether good or bad. If the outcome is unfavorable, it's not over yet. You can still do something and try again. Learn what worked and didn't work on your previous actions. Try doing something new. This way, the same mistakes will not happen again once you do something for a second time. And there's no room for regret once you become successful in your subsequent attempts.

2. Stop agonizing too much

As a human being, it's normal to feel sad and regret something terrible that happens to you. However, you will waste precious time if you spend your entire life wallowing in self-pity. Of course, getting over negative emotions is easier said than done, but you need to do it. Time won't stop and wait for you to recover. So, if you're feeling regret for so much time, like several months or even years, take a look at yourself, and maybe it's time to let go and move forward.

3. Do something to fix yourself

Getting lost in negative thoughts is what you will feel when you let regret keep on pulling you down. Nothing will happen unless you start taking action. Even if it's just a small action, as long as you start doing something, it can help build the momentum to create an action plan that will help you out of your predicament. Procrastinating won't do you any favors. Take note of what worked or should have been done in the past. Try to get some help from people and start moving past your regrets.

4. Try something new

Doing something over and over again only to keep failing can be discouraging. The same thing happens if you keep hesitating to do something because of fear or other factors. Instead of feeling stuck in the past, why not try doing something new in the present moment? Maybe you are doing something wrong, or your goals aren't meant for you. Try doing something different. You might be surprised to find something that will work for you and maybe ignite a new idea or passion.

5. Reframe your ideal scenario

We mentioned earlier that nobody knows what will result from our actions or inactions, regardless of much planning or none of it at all. So, how sure are you that your ideal scenario will then become a reality by doing or not doing something? For all we know, various factors can play a part in affecting the perfect outcome we want. Even if you chose to do something in the past, you can't be sure if it will be a success or not. The only thing we can do is keep trying until we succeed. If it fails, give it a shot again or do something different. One failure doesn't mean it's game over.

6. Take a break and amuse yourself

Regret things for too long, and your mental health can suffer. While not the ultimate solution to your problem, taking a break and doing something to amuse yourself can help break the ice. Stop thinking for a while and do something that makes you happy. Who would have thought distractions could have a positive effect on you? You might also pick a new idea while enjoying your hobbies and distracting yourself.

7. Don't be so hard on yourself

Here's some good news: everybody commits mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and everybody will make wrong choices at some point in their lives. Why is this good news for you? So you can stop being too hard and learn how to forgive yourself. Life is not all about mistakes. You're worthy of feeling happy in life.

8. Talk to other people

Trying to go over regret by yourself can be difficult, especially if you are not strong-willed. Why not try talking with someone else, like a good friend or a family member, and tell them how you feel? It feels comforting when you can let out your thoughts and emotions, and you have someone that will listen to you. Even better, if you talk to a different person who is undergoing the same thing as you or overcame their regret, you can have someone to relate to and give you advice on what you can do.

Past regrets should not hold you back.

It's normal to feel regret when you think something good could have happened if only you acted before or didn't do something. However, if you have been struggling with regrets for some time already, you have to realize that you need to do something. The world will not wait for you to move. Learn to face the truth and focus on what you can do to improve your life. The future is not scripted. So let go, move forward, and break free from the shackles of regret.

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