Why You Should Never Fear Regret
Regret is a curious part of the human condition.
On some levels, it is necessary for morality and compassion to flourish. It can be the driving force behind personal development and a key part of the changes someone makes to get their life back on track.
But that only works if you have a good relationship with your ethical process. If you are capable of utilising regret.
Other times, regret can be crippling. It can crush people. It can stop them ever wanting to show their faces again to the people who have seen them fail. It can be what makes people give up on their dreams.
The fear of it alone can sometimes be enough to convince people to throw away their futures.
But regret is never something to be afraid of. It’s a normal part of the way human life progresses and, if you can understand where it fits into your own story, it can even be beneficial to it as it unfolds.
REGRETS ONLY MEAN YOU’VE MADE MISTAKES
No mistake is the end of the world. Some of them can have pretty catastrophic consequences – and those ones are definitely worth keeping on top of – but it’s not all that difficult to remember not to go committing serious crimes. In reality, most of the mistakes you make are going to be pretty harmless. Treat regret not as acceptance of irredeemable failure, but as acknowledgement that you are capable of better.
WITHOUT MISTAKES THERE IS NO CAPABILITY FOR GROWTH
Knowing that you can do better is the first step towards being better. Not being perfect first time round is not a crime. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s something that you can use to become the kind of person you want to be. Growing, developing and learning – treating life as something that you might never really get ‘right’, but that you can always try to make the best of – is admirable.
TO ERR IS HUMAN
Thinking that your mistakes might define you can be a terrifying thought for a lot of people. But it really shouldn’t be. The very fact that you can makes you human. It’s what connects you to every other living person. An inability to accept that you are fallible is only going to hold you back.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO FAIL THAN TO NOT EVERY TRY
All that regrets show is that you made an attempt to go after something you wanted. It is far more likely that people with no regrets are the people who never tried than that they did everything right the first time round. If you’re so afraid of having regrets that you never even try to go after the things you want out of life, you’ve basically wasted the short time you have on Earth. So go after whatever it is you’re dreaming about. Make mistakes on the way. Get it wrong a few times. Learn from them. Feel so much better when you finally get there – or, find something you never even imagined instead.
IT WILL PROBABLY TURN OUT ALRIGHT IN THE END
Just because you regret something right now, doesn’t mean you always will. If you feel like this feeling is never going away, it’s because you’re overthinking it. The truth is that without that horrible sense of dread, you don’t get the motivation you need to learn and grow. It’s an important part of becoming the person you are meant to be. One day, that person – that version of you, that learned and grew – will look back on the mistakes you made and the regrets you have now and will be so, so glad that you did.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.