How to Avoid Experiencing Regret

How to avoid experiencing regret

How to avoid experiencing regret

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the key to avoiding regret.

First a quick update:

“Why do you really want to make money?”
Are you trying to prove something to someone? Your motivation to make money affects the amount you make and whether or not you will enjoy it or sabotage it. Watch part 3 of my video interview series.

“You bloody Tasmanians”
From the archives – a controversial 22-minute radio interview I conducted with the Australian Prime Minister at age 24.

Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert

Now, let’s talk about how to avoid experiencing regret.

Regret is the feeling of sadness, loss, disappointment or even repentance over something that has occurred or failed to occur.

We have all experienced regret over something we did or didn’t do.

Consider the common expression “The one that got away.”

This refers to a lost opportunity – something or even someone that we feel we should not have let go. In other words, as we look back, we awake now to realize that what is now gone was of much more value and significance than we realized at the time.

Unfortunately, for most of us we often learn via loss; we appreciate something much more when it is gone. In some cases, we also think we are never going to lose what we have and thus we fail to truly prize and appreciate it; we fail to cherish and treasure it or him/her!

“Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It’s just this song
And it ain’t easy to get back
Takes so long”
 From the song “Don’t know you got (till it’s gone)” by Cinderella

Of course, some people argue that we should never regret anything. However, that is an extreme response. Should we not regret having done something wrong and having hurt someone, even if we learned from that mistake?

So how do we avoid experiencing regret? What can we do to prevent the painful feeling?

Imagine the following scenario.

You are sitting on a porch looking across the wide plains. You are rocking back and forth gently on your chair as you notice that the sun is setting. You feel the warm glow of the sun and yet you know it is also cooling down. Nighttime is approaching. You realize that in the same way that the sun is setting, your life, too, is now setting. It’s almost your time. You look deep into the fading colors of the sky and into the horizon. And now, you ponder on your life. You drop your head as you think not about what you did but about what you didn’t do in your life – all those lost opportunities…

What do you believe will be “all those lost opportunities” for you?

Will it be the opportunity to have been more successful, to have amassed more wealth, to have spent more time at work, to have traveled more, to have experienced more adventures?

Yes, at the end of your life, you will regret the things you didn’t do – the lost opportunities.

However, which do you think will be your greatest regret: a lack of travel, a lack of financial success or, a lack of love?

Ultimately, our greatest regret will be not having lived to our full potential – and as such that implies not having loved more than we did or could have done.

Our greatest regret will be not having expressed more love, not having loved fully – from our heart and soul.

So the path to avoiding regret is the path of action.

Take action now to live your full potential.

Reevaluate your priorities.

Consider placing a greater emphasis on expressing love.

What are the words that need to be spoken?

To whom do you need to say “I love you?”

Whom do you need to hug and show more affection, more often?

With whom do you really want to spend precious time?

With whom do you need to find closure and resolution?

What are the words which you really want to say to that person?

The only thing holding you back from taking action is fear.

Fear can paralyze us or, it can move us.

It can make us stop or it can make us run.

Fear creates the “What if” scenario.


But you can also use that fear of “What if” to imagine “What if I never do anything? What if I miss out on this opportunity? What if I let fear control me? Who will I become? What if I never get another chance? What if I live to regret not doing anything?”

Don’t let the fear stop you from being true to yourself. Don’t let the fear place you on that porch at the end of your life full of deep and painful regrets.

Instead, embrace the adventure.

Be bold.

Take action.

Speak your truth.

Live from your heart and live with passion!

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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