Re words rock! But, one that we can all live without is regret.
Someone asked the question over the holiday, “Do you have any regrets in your career?” I immediately felt for the person who was left to answer this question. Certainly it is a common query and one that, no doubt, can plague the mind if it’s allowed to.
But, the word regret is so yesterday. It conjures up feelings of disappointment, sadness, guilt, self-judgment and missed opportunity. Who needs that? Seriously, there’s nothing good about regret.
Certainly, we all have things in our lives we’d like to have another crack at, opportunities we’d have tapped if given another chance, lapses in judgment we’d like to take back, etc. A recent article in Scientific American Mind by Josie Glausiusz says that focusing on regret can lead to constant ruminating, rehashing and over analyzing what went wrong or what could have been done differently. She suggests a person can train themselves to reappraise their situation at the moment when they start to ruminate, focusing instead on the present moment, concentrating on actions rather than thoughts.
On the last day of the year as we glance backwards just before gazing forward, it got me thinking about some ways to change our thinking around the sad notion of regret. Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of what could have been, what about a few ways to reframe regret?
- Refresh - start by hitting the refresh button as a way of bringing in a blank piece of paper on which to retell your story
- Reappraise - put on your rose colored glasses and only look at what good has come from your circumstance. What good has come along as a direct result?
- Reclaim your story - from here on out, no looking back. Establish your act one, scene one. The rest of your story starts with how you and you alone perceive and receive it to live it.
- Reframe - examine the language you use around your previous and current circumstances. You only did what you had the capacity to do at the time. So catch yourself as rabbit hole verbiage starts to escape your lips. Give yourself a do over by reframing how you say it. Empower yourself to redefine an old pattern or an old definition. For example: A problem is an opportunity. A mistake is a lesson learned. An oppression is an opportunity for understanding. A lapse in judgment invites a leap in character.
- Relish - remember and embrace all of the juicy experiences that brought you to the here. They are what allow us to rev our engines with such verve and anticipation for what's coming!
So, as we give a final fond farewell to the old before bringing in the new, here's to the Re...
Next we'll talk about the New!
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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com