Often, you come across situations in life where you tend to regret your past mistakes. You analyse where you went wrong and find ways to set things right. Feeling remorseful and learning from mistakes is important, but burdening yourself with Oh, I should have done that is not the right thing to do. Instead, stop dwelling on negativity and learn from the past. Find those lessons that can help you improve and mould yourself to become a better human being, every day.
As Albert Einstein said, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” So, don’t let negativity slow you down. Rather than complaining about the past, live in the present, and work towards a happier future.
At times, certain incidents may lead you to feel regret and leave you overwhelmed with negativity. In such cases, remind yourself that no one is perfect or immune from making mistakes. After all, mistakes are part of life, and clinging to the aftermath only makes things worse. Focus on today to not make the same mistakes tomorrow. Yes, it is not easy to escape regrets. But there are measures you can take to live a life without burdening yourself with the past and move on. Here are a few:
Focus on positive energy
Your thoughts and emotions can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Often, guilt over your past decisions can weigh heavily on the mind, thus filling your thoughts with negativity. This in turn can adversely affect your productivity, mood, and overall happiness quotient.
In such situations, ask yourself, Can I change the past? No one can. Instead of self-sabotaging over something you cannot change, have a healthy, positive conversation with yourself. Reflect on your past, learn from your regrets, and try to focus on the positive by treating your past mistake as a lesson.
Relax and move with the flow
You cannot change the past and you can never tell the future. Live in the present with responsibilities that fetch you a livelihood. Involve yourself with activities that will help you explore opportunities to grow as an individual. Use your curiosity to learn what the past taught you. Being curious will help you find meaning in what you do in the present and take actions to not repeat the mistakes in the future.
Accept there are certain things you can’t change
Learn to accept that there are certain things you can’t change. Then forgive yourself for making regretful decisions in the past. Know that to err is human after all. With this positive outlook, look past your regrets and work for a better tomorrow.
Don’t depend on opinions and judgements
Do not get demotivated or make yourself feel small in the face of judgements. You may feel that you are constantly being judged by others for your past mistakes. But when you turn those failures into stepping stones, you choose to be mature without letting others’ opinions limit your possibilities. Rebuild your confidence. When you start believing more in yourself, opinions and judgments of others will not affect you.
Act in the present
Time is the most valuable asset that man has. And for many, one of the biggest regrets come from wasting precious time. One positive way to improve your life and live without regrets is to make the best use of your time. To do this, you first need to change your habit of procrastination—delaying tasks for later or tomorrow. Act in the present. Manage your time well and not keep unfinished work for later. Prioritise your tasks and monitor your time to stick to your schedule.
To rise above your regrets, let go of the could-haves and the might-haves, and take actions for a better tomorrow. As Swami Vivekananda said, “We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”