Imagine Health

Moving Past Regrets

Moving Past Regrets

Regrets, we all have them! Some regrets small, some silly others serious and sometimes life-changing. Regrets tend to be a fact of life. Some common examples being: the one that got away, the job you didn’t take, the investment you didn’t make, the fight you wish you didn’t have and the list goes on. Many people tend to think that there is a right and wrong choice to be made in every situation. If their decision leads to the result they desire, then they made the right decision. If it doesn’t then they made the wrong decision. It is inevitable that there will be something along the way you will wish you did differently. Often regrets can have a powerful hold on us. While regrets may come in all shapes and sizes it’s our ability to deal with and move on from them that shapes our lives going forward.

Regret on its own is often not a bad thing as it can motivate us to act and improve in some way. However, too many regrets can be debilitating and materialize into an overall feeling of being unworthy, wrong or bad. As humans, we tend to get so offended and angry when other people hurt us, and yet repeatedly choose to torture ourselves, through ruminating on past mistakes and regrets. You can torment yourself by mulling over your wrongdoings in the past, but no amount of wallowing will change the past. If your regret has become draining for you and is not spurring you to improve you must move past the regret.

The following steps may be useful to move past regrets:

  1. Look for the lessons. Take some time to do more journaling about what you learned from whatever it is that you are regretting. Rewinding time is not possible but if you learn from your mistake it will lead to the possibility that you will do it better the second time around.
  2. Take action. Regret often keeps us stuck in the past, so plan what you can do right now to support yourself to move forward.
  3. Strengthen your ability to focus on things you can control. This is an invaluable skill because it empowers us to take positive action.
  4. Forgive yourself. Remember that you are only human, so stop putting the expectation on yourself that you are supposed to get everything right all the time.
  5. Make everyday count. So often people, when they are looking back on their life, tend to regret how they spent their time. Therefore, it is important to be motivated and make the most of every day before it is too late.


Written by Rebekka Johnston