How to Let Go of Old Regrets
Everyone has them – old regrets.
I should’ve gone to a different college. I should’ve traveled more.
I should’ve tried harder to save my relationship. I should’ve spent more time with my grandma.
I should’ve said NO more often. I should’ve said YES more often! Ugh, why am I like this?!
Then right before you know it, you’ve pushed yourself down a slippery slope full of criticism and self-hate.
Sounds familiar, huh?
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t have to hate the life you have now because of what you’ve done in the past. It took me a while to learn how to let go of old regrets – and yes, it’s very much possible to
make peace with your past choices.
Let me show you how.
Read on to learn why it’s important to let go of past regrets and what are the steps I used to unload my emotional baggage.
Why it’s important to let go of past regrets?
Here’s the thing with regrets:
Most of the time, they’re about past decisions and choices.
You can overthink them as much as you’d like but ultimately – yup, you’ve guessed it – you can’t change it.
Once that realization dawns upon you, I won’t lie, it feels scary. It’s almost paralyzing – will you ever be able to make the right decision ever again?
That thought alone adds up to your already-overloaded emotional baggage.
But there comes a point in life when you realize you have to let go of the coulda, woulda, shoulda.
It’s time to move on – and unstuck yourself from the past.
Let me help you unpack!
How to let go of old regrets
Here’s how you can cut yourself some slack and consciously choose to move on.
1. Forgive yourself for not knowing better
There are two types of mistakes in life.
The ones people do because their morale is failing them – that’s all the bad stuff we see on TV. And then there are the ones people do simply because they were lacking the skills to do better.
Most people I’ve met are regretting not having the skills to make the right decision.
So find the strength to forgive yourself. You’re not a bad person. You simply didn’t know better.
Think about it this way: If you had the knowledge you have right now, you wouldn’t make that choice.
But you didn’t. And it’s not your fault – you did with what you had at the time.
2. Master the art of being wrong
I’ll be the first one to admit – it’s tempting to look for justifications.
Your ego wants you to blame others – how else it’s going to keep you stuck in a rumination circle any other way, right?
However, if you’re determined to leave the past behind, you have to master the art of being wrong. Learn to admit you were wrong – but in a very kind, non-judgmental way.
Think of it as learning a lesson. Gaining some skills you were previously lacking.
You’re simply saying to yourself: Hey girl, we’ve been wrong! Oops! Let’s see how we can make this right!
3. Accept your own human imperfection
I hate to say this but… chances are, no matter how hard you try, there will be a point in your life when you make another decision you’ll later on regret.
Again, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Nor it means you don’t know a thing about life.
It just means you’re merely human. And humans aren’t perfect.
No one, no matter how skillful, is capable of always making the right decisions.
Instead of beating yourself down, accept imperfection as just another part of life. Focus on the things you can do – and the things you can change.
Adopt the growth mindset. Expand your emotional intelligence. Sharpen up your intuition. Work to grow mentally stronger – and stop worrying about not being good enough.
Trust me, you are.
4. Make room for some uncertainty
Here’s one thing I’m certain about: life is full of uncertainty.
And you know what?
Even if you had made a different decision back then, you may still have ended up with the same result.
You can never know for sure. You will never know for sure. No one can guarantee you that things would’ve been different now. Because no one can tell. There’s no way how.
So there’s another perspective. Maybe this is the path you were meant to take all along – how else were you going to be the person you are today?
5. Be grateful for the life you have now
Are you too busy with what didn’t happen that you can’t actually see what did happen?
You’d be surprised how often you can’t see the forest for the trees.
Give yourself a break. Step back – look at the bigger picture. Count your blessings – I’m sure you have plenty of them, as long as you have a roof over your head and the
Internet connection to read this.
Gratitude is an excellent tool to see the glass as half-full, not as half-empty.
Besides, everything happens for a reason. Maybe that bad choice back then gave you the good life you have right now.
Now, that’s something that makes you think, right?
Do you have any past regrets? How do you deal with your past regrets? What do you do to let go?
Leave me a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear your experience.