Have you ever second-guessed your career or business decisions? Do you dwell on what you would have, could have, or should have done? If so, you’re allowing yourself to be held captive by the “woulda, coulda, shouldas”.
In my last post, I discussed how many people feel stuck in place because they’re paralyzed by fear. Another huge stumbling block to success is regret. Whereas anxiety and fear arise when someone is worried about the future, regret arises when someone can’t release the past. Regret is usually followed by its partner in crime, shame.
How Regret Creeps In
In some cases, regret comes in the form of missed opportunities; the job offer you turned down, the job or business lead you didn’t follow up on, the chance you didn’t take, the job or business you lost.
Unfortunately, many people in the US have not only been laid off once but they’ve experienced a layoff multiple times. This erodes your confidence, creates gaps on your resume, and results in increased stress levels and panic about the future. A similar effect takes place when women take time off to raise the kids, as I have discovered.
Everyone experiences regret at some point in their lives. The problem is when you can’t shake it off and it becomes all-consuming.
The trick to living a life without regret is very simple: Get off the train. The train of regret cannot propel itself forward. It only goes in reverse.
- You can’t change the past but you can change your future.
- Do what you need to do to move forward. Take classes, get extra training or certifications, or hire a coach (I did all 3.).
- Write down all the things you do really well (work-related or not). Pat yourself on the back.
- Write down opportunities you were able to take advantage of during the gaps. I was able to travel abroad, do volunteer work, and I started 2 part-time businesses from home.
- Learn to appreciate what you have and count your blessings. Things could always be worse.
- Encourage others. When you lift others up, you get lifted in the process.
- Be open to new opportunities. This means you have to network, pay attention to people or themes that keep “entering your space”, and learn to embrace change instead of fearing it.
- Forgive. Forgive others who may have wronged you. Forgive yourself. It’s time.
Are you feeling stuck? Would you like to talk? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary consult via phone, Skype, or Google chat.
Dori Staehle is the owner and Chief Encouragement Officer at Rock the Next Stage. She offers a holistic form of business and success coaching. Dori also offers therapeutic drumming for health and healing and because sometimes you just need to whack on a drum!