Do you regret life decisions? Do you blame yourself for certain events from your past? Do you often cringe and loathe every time you remember a specific memory? Regret can be a strong emotion which can affect how you live your life, this is why we should never regret early life mistakes.
A life filled with mistakes is a life worth living
Life is short and uncertain. So we take chances and risks at times which we think are great life decisions, only to realize later that it was a mistake that could have been avoided. And these mistakes lead to regrets in future as we grow, learn and mature.
All of us make mistakes. It’s basic human nature. Regretting our mistakes is also natural as we reminisce about our past and analyze our actions. The problem begins when we dwell in our regrets of the past and waste both our time and energy.
When you regret early life mistakes, you are insulting your past self and your present self. Mistakes help us learn, it helps us realize what will work and what won’t and it changes the way we think, behave and act. Mistakes transform who we are – our identity, personality and attitude.
All the bad decisions we made in the past have brought us here right to this very moment. Early life mistakes play a crucial role in our lives and only by looking at it positively can we grow into a better person.
Why you should never regret your decisions
Most of us regret early life mistakes. But this only makes us human. But we should not hold on to it and let it change who we are as an individual.
This negative emotion is based on our realization that “a personal action could have made the past better.” Regret originates from self-blame and often leads to lower life satisfaction and difficulty managing negative life events.
Regarded as the “second most frequently mentioned emotion”, regret is prevalent in our everyday life. However, that does not mean we will allow regret to influence our lives.
Here are a few important reasons not to regret the past –
1. It builds your character
Poor decisions and mistakes lead to failure which often teaches us some valuable life lessons. Failure can be painful and difficult to accept, which can give birth to regret. But this is a natural process and emotion.
However, the harder we fall, the more resilient and determined it makes us. Failure is often considered as a great character-builder. So don’t regret early life mistakes.
Studies have found that “learning from failures is key to the effective functioning and long-term sustainable development.” In fact, learning from failures is closely associated with intrinsic motivation, which leads to self-development.
By thinking about our drawbacks, shortcomings, and weaknesses, we gain self-awareness and clarity about ourselves. It makes us wiser and more empathetic. Going through failure requires strength, and this strength leads you to success in the future. So why would you regret a decision that made you stronger than before?
Related reading: Why You Should Start Seeing Your Mistakes As Mirrors
2. It brings clarity
Failures and mistakes of the past can help us better understand what we actually want from ourselves and our lives in the future. Instead of seeking and pursuing things instinctually or by being influenced by others, failure and regret can empower us to ponder what we truly want.
Failure forces us to live our life intentionally and decide on our goals by providing us with better clarity about life. Instead of functioning on autopilot mode, we can live mindfully and purposefully. All thanks to past mistakes. This enhanced clarity will never come to us if we regret early life mistakes.
Mistakes and failure help us gain a new and deeper perspective that enhances our understanding and awareness. When you regret early life mistakes you rob yourself of this opportunity and push yourself towards stress and inaction.
3. It improves your emotion regulation
Making a serious mistake that can have severe consequences or alter your life can take a toll on your emotions. Accepting failure is never easy for anyone, especially if you have put in a lot of effort to accomplish your goals. It can push us towards a wide range of uncomfortable and difficult emotions like –