It's Your Independence Day


This week on my coaching calls the main theme that seemed to surface was the thought of having regret. Regret of the past. Often regret comes from being wiser today, through lived experience and missteps to see where we are today versus where we were. Choices around action or inaction from many years ago are often swept under the rug in an attempt to forget about them. But just like our thoughts, if we truly believe what the mind tells us, trying to move away from it doesn’t work. We may convince ourselves that we have moved on from thinking the way we do about someone, a life event, a choice we once made, about ourselves, but regret always comes around – we still carry that emotional energy connected to that thought, into our future.

Have a regret or two? How is that serving you today?

If you are in a state of feeling perpetually tired, sure go to the doctor. Have blood work drawn, take a vitamin, go to bed a little earlier tonight, or check in on the feelings you have been carrying for way too long – perhaps a feeling of regret.  There’s your fatigue.


I offer you a few how-tos:

1. Forgive Yourself. When was the last time you said “I’m sorry” to yourself? Rick Hanson talks about moral failings vs. simple unskillfulness. If you are ready to let go of your regret it starts with exploring the mistake or wrongdoing.  For example, in some cultures and religions, divorce is a moral failing. But ask yourself, if you are holding on to a regret around a divorce, did you participate in a moral failing or were you emotionally unskilled at the time to be able to handle challenges that came before you? Was this a wrongdoing based on not having the skills to handle the circumstances at that time? “If I knew then what I know now…….” And can you choose to forgive yourself today?

2. Accountability.  I use Jack Canfield’s, Victory Log tool often with my coaching clients. Part of that tool is looking to the circumstances of the day. Where would you like to do better the next time? Can you take accountability for action in the past, one you have regretted around, and ask yourself, when faced with a do-over today, how would you respond differently? How would you think differently to lead you to a different, better result?  Those that coach with me (or are psychotherapy clients of mine), will recognize this as the "debrief" I often suggest as part of their nightly routine.

3. Practice Acceptance. For the women I coach, this is the most challenging because sometimes they equate the thought of acceptance as though they are giving in to being less than perfect. Ask yourself if you can accept, for today, being imperfectly perfect, accepting who you are today. Loving and liking and accepting all your imperfections (as others do with you and as you do with those you love). Free yourself today of regret. Make this your Independence Day (literally!)

Easier said than done (I know!). Need an objective ear that can help you see where your blind spots are in being able to work through the 3 steps outlined above?

Sometimes working together with someone who has zero connection to you emotionally and is a stranger to your friend and family circle can be freeing in and of itself!

I have 20 minutes with your name on it. My gift to you.