I’ve been thinking about regret lately. Last month was Rosh Hashana, the New Year for Jews. For 10 days following we think of wrongdoings and regrets from the year prior, make amends for them in order to move into a New Year – fresh, renewed and free. In theory!.
Yes, I had plenty to make amends for this year but I realized what also found it’s way on my list was choices I made (or didn’t) from many years ago. Things that apparently I swept up under my rug, hoping to forget about. 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.
TIME TO LET IT GO, my friend!
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 and/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 circumstance 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 an action in the past, one you have regret 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?
3. Practice Acceptance. For the women I coach, this is actually 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).
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 that has zero connection to you emotionally and is a stranger to your friend and family circle can be freeing in and of itself!
I’ve got 30-minutes just for you, no cost, this is my gift to you. Wouldn’t realizing that you can start to let go of regret and the other thoughts keeping you up at night, be priceless?
On the call we will:
- Help you get started on tackling a challenge you are dealing with;
- Discuss the benefits of working together, and
- You will walk away with at least 1 coaching tool and strategy that you can immediately put into action!
Photo by Mathew Henry on Unsplash