As you look back on your life, do you have any decisions that you truly regret? There aren’t too many people who would say “no” to that question.
People say to leave the past behind, but there is definitely something to be said for reflection. It’s important because it helps you keep perspective – where you came from, how far you’ve come, and what the path you took looked like. It gives you a reference to find a place of gratitude.
The trouble comes when you go from reflecting to reliving, then replaying, and then… you’re stuck. Everyone has things that they wish they had done differently in life. It’s what you do with those past decisions that dictate what you can become in your future.
If you let your regrets consume you, your future may be just as full of bad decisions and time wasted as your past. However, what time you have left in life can be much more productive if you come to terms with your past, identify the areas you would change, then actually make those changes.
How do you do that? Well, the truth is, it’s easier said than done. But few things worth doing in life come without a challenge. Changing a life of regret into a life of purpose is certainly one thing worth doing.
Where Do Regrets Come From?
So what causes you to make those decisions you will later deem regrets? Poor decisions usually come from apathy, desire, or deprivation.
When you have reached a point of hopelessness or just not caring, you are usually at the point of making decisions that you wouldn’t make if your mindset were in a place of concern. When you reach this level, you tend to throw caution to the wind believing that whatever repercussions come from your actions are justifiable. “F- it!” is generally the mantra that accompanies this place of apathy.
Humans are creatures of comfort, wanting instant gratification. This desire driven lifestyle feeds the market for pleasure fulfillment. However sometimes that longing for fulfillment goes deeper than simple material desires. When someone is denied basic human requirements like affection or purpose, the deep-seeded desire to obtain these things can influence decisions that carry heavy consequences.
Along the lines of desire, deprivation generally applies to a more physical form of lacking. A common example can be seen in the familiar yo-yo diet scenario. You generally go strong for a period of time, resisting and neglecting your body of something it wants. When the cravings become too much to bear, you cave, then retreat into the regrets of your lacking willpower.
These situations are the most likely to have you making choices that will result in regrets. But actually making poor decisions is not the number one cause of remorseful hindsight. Findings show that it could be more in the failure to act.
Redefining Your Future
A study by Cornell University found that most people’s regrets had more to do with what they didn’t do than decisions regarding what they had done. It seems as though failure to reach an ideal, self-imposed standard or personal optimization is the number one life disappointment.
Having the courage to live a life true to yourself can be one of the hardest things to do. Life carries such big expectations of what people should be and do, but it rarely lines up with your aspirations. Finding and embracing your personal definition of success is a huge start.One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. - Shannon L Alder Click To Tweet
Sit down and think about what you want your life to look like. Really consider the non-negotiables and start to paint the picture of a life without regret from this point forward. What things would need to change?
Now, with this image in your head, start visualizing all of the things that would look different for you from now on if you were to implement these changes. You might start to realize that your version of ideal may look very different from how other people live.
Leave Behind Regret By Changing Your Mindset
Regret, by nature, tends to carry with it shame and self doubt. It’s easy to fall into a self-perpetuating cycle of blame and degradation when you revisit your less proud moments.
It’s one thing to reflect, but when you start reliving your regrets on repeat, your subconscious will get you into trouble. If you make feelings of regret and guilt the norm for your mind, it will inevitably become the norm for your reality.
So how do you change it? Change your thinking!
It has to do with the concept of the lower self. Your mind feels that your body and well-being is safe when it’s in it’s comfort zone. Start straying too far outside of the designated area -enter change- and fear kicks in.
Fear is a natural defense mechanism designed to keep you safe, but your mind can’t tell the difference between physical harm or just emotional distress. Your lower self does everything in its power to return you to your original state of comfort. It doesn’t like change.
In order to counteract this internal war on progress, you first have to make your mind believe that the desired reality is the new norm. Self-affirmations, meditation, and visualization exercises can help strengthen your mindset, empowering it to ward off the attacks of the lower self.
Once you have strengthened your mind to be able to withstand falling back into the self-loathing that regrets can cause, you have a real shot at actually moving your life in a more positive direction and implementing the changes that you’d like to see become your future.
Motivation is great, but it is not an endless resource. It will eventually run out. Mindset, when done consistently, will be a reliable foundation to lean on whenever you need strength against your lower self.
Redefining Regrets Into Fuel For Your Future
Narrowing the gap between the traits that you actually possess and the traits you feel you ought to possess is one way to cut down on future regrets you may have. There’s less of a chance that in your final days you will fall into the cliche of, “I wish I would have been…(insert desired quality here)”.
This has a lot to do with whether or not you are living up to your full potential. Are you letting the regrets of your past stop you from being able to change your future? Do you find yourself making all encompassing statements your mantras of daily belief?
Take for example that time you didn’t push yourself to act on that amazing opportunity that you were a little intimidated by. Every day since you have told yourself, “There’s something wrong with me. I don’t have the courage to take a chance. I will always be too scared to act on any big opportunity.”
Now imagine if you had changed what you had told yourself to, “I didn’t act on that opportunity. I am working on my action taking skills and next time I get an opportunity I will be prepared to move forward without hesitation.” Can you see what kind of a difference that would make?
Repeat this sentence out loud – “My Past Does Not Equal My Future!”
Do yourself a favor and tell yourself that at least once a day. While that lower self would have you stop your progress and wallow in pity, shame, and embarrassment, you have the choice to change your future.
Action – The Way To Avoid Repeating Regrets
How exactly do you go about changing it? Identify the error, make a corrective plan, and take action!
Just as in the example above, the first step is to identify the behavior or decision that caused you to feel regret. Acknowledge the event from a matter of fact position – this is what happened…
Don’t internalize it or dwell on it, just define it. Identifying the behavior or decision that caused the regret is important, but this is with the intention of taking steps to improve, so don’t get attached to the moment.
Next, you want to determine what actions need to be taken in order to correct that particular behavior or event from recurring. Is it more practice at a particular skill, avoidance of certain situations, or just mindset training to provide better decision-making power?
Whatever you’ve determined to be the best corrective measures, go do it! Implement! Take action!
Action and fear cannot occupy the same space. While fear would have you stop in your tracks, overcoming this response causes your brain to redirect attention to the action. You are no longer forced to focus on your fear, but rather the thing you are accomplishing.
If you use your regrets to fuel your actions and implement, they can be an incredibly powerful source of motivation. The idea of owning your mistake, correcting it and moving forward is remarkably freeing.
This process may take some time. You should implement as soon as possible, but you may not see results overnight. And that’s okay!
Remember that part about working toward your own version of success? That comes in BIG here. You have to keep in mind goals that you are working toward. Comparison can be a quick walk down a short road right back into shame and regret.
Now, comparison can be a good thing in moderation. You want to have milestones to guide you. In business, you never want to find yourself unaware of changes or pivots happening with your competition or industry. There has to be some level of comparison to set a standard so that your success is measurable.
The danger comes in when you compare the speed of your progress or the way your life looks to everyone else around you. Remember this is your personal journey. If you are trying to make your life look exactly like somebody else’s, you’re never going to get there. Why? Because you are not them.
Remember to revisit that place you had once been, but only for long enough to gain perspective on how far you have come. Be grateful for your progress and your realization to even make it a reality. After all, some people continue living ‘stuck in replay’ of their regrets only to die wishing they would have used the time to make a change.
As you formulate, implement, and start picking up speed, you’re going to gain confidence in what you are accomplishing. The realization and belief that your regrets and your past do not define you will become vividly real. You will see your goal and a clear path to it.
Change is empowering, especially when it’s in a direction away from past mistakes and regrets. But is change in and of itself really the answer? Sure, it’s a great start and a way to take action… but to where?
The whole idea is to get results, right?
So what stops most people from pressing ahead and getting results? Uncertainty.
How do you know you are making the right decisions? How do you know that you are not going to go down a path that you will later end up regretting? Well, in all reality, you don’t. All you can do is put forth the effort to ensure you are making the best decision you possibly can at the time.
After all, moving forward and having to readjust is better than not moving at all, right? If your mindset is in the right place, you will view this as ‘failing forward’ instead of the potential to make more regrets. Think of how many inventions the world would lack if people allowed the fear or failure to prevent forward motion.If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. - John C Maxwell Click To Tweet
From Regrets To Results – Unlocking Your True Potential
So what results are you going to produce that you regret not being able to achieve previously? Maybe it’s reaching your definition of success. Maybe you want to prove your personal or business significance. Or maybe you want to achieve a position of security concerning your wealth.
Whatever your specific goal, making sure that you are living up to your full potential is a great way to get there. “And how do you do that?” you might ask.
Consider what you do for a living. Do you enjoy it? Is it affording you the lifestyle that you want to be living? Are you getting paid for your value or your position? If you are simply filling a seat at a desk, are you really at your highest potential?
So why do you do it? Security, right? With all the uncertainties and insecurities in this world, you have to find some way to provide for you and your family. But what if there was another way?
What if you could leverage your natural skills in order to get paid for your worth? Imagine if you could spend the same amount of time on either a call or a computer and get paid more for it.
Would financial confidence help to easy the insecurities and uncertainty? Imagine knowing how to gain the type of confidence that comes with knowing you never have to worry about being able to make money.
How To Reach Your Full Potential Through Financial Confidence
Dan Lok published his rags to riches story in his book Unlock It. Throughout the book, he uncovers some of his biggest regrets in both his business and personal life. Dan tells about how he transformed some of his errors into fuel for change.
Unlock It shows you how a broke teenager went from no money to a self made millionaire by 27 despite all the mistakes he made. Instead of wallowing in his regrets, he decided to invest in a skill that could ensure he was never doomed to repeat his mistakes.
Dan’s book depicts how he created financial confidence for himself through High Income Skills. These are a category of money making abilities that enable you to be paid based on the value that you bring to a client. The more revenue you generate for them, the more money they are happy to pay you.
Since these are skills, they can never be taken, replaced, or laid off. Regardless of what changes occur in the economy, you will have the confidence of knowing you have a skill that can always earn income.
Would that type of potential could this confidence bring for you? Imagine if you never had to worry about relying on investments or economic trends for financial security. Picture being able to schedule your business around your lifestyle.
Do you picture concerning yourself with future regrets when you have complete control over your earning potential?
Dan Lok will show you how to discover your full capabilities. He’ll guide you through how to build a wealth of confidence with less time and effort than traditional job models. How to start or grow income opportunities that are sound even in the most uncertain times.
Are you ready to leave regrets behind you? Can you see yourself finally living up to your fullest possibilities? Do you want to make sure that you have a skill and a confidence to see you through whatever challenges life may bring?
If you are ready to stop letting regret hold you back, click now to find out how to unlock your highest potential with your FREE copy of Unlock It.