[success]People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh[/success]
Today someone is living a life they’re proud of. Is it you?
If not, remember this, if you never let go of what doesn’t work for you, you never grow. The greatest satisfaction at the end of the day as you rise to the level of your true greatness, is to be able to say I’m leaving the game of life with no regrets. You CAN do it.
Life isn’t always an easy mission. There’s some danger and excitement, joy and sorrow and crazy things sometimes happen.
And all the while you’re expected to fulfill the most challenging tasks or projects; those daily activities that use up every ounce of energy. Life doesn’t even arrive with guarantees.
People get wounded and hurt; lose loved ones and have things broken beyond repair, and yet, every day brings a fresh start filled with new possibilities.
Don’t expect life to be a totally smooth, unbroken path; not only will you be disappointed, but you’ll be incredibly bored too. At the same time don’t let your worries or your past be your guide.
Sometimes the hardest part about changing and growing is being able to let go of the old and embrace the new. If you’re ready to see a change…make one.
1. Choose the extraordinary
Each day you’re offered an opportunity to live a more extraordinary life. It doesn’t matter your starting point, it matters that you start.
Give up wasting your time and energy regretting something you’ve done or wishing that things could be different.
Stop listening to the voice inside your head that says you’re not good enough. Allow yourself to be fully human, authentic, and vulnerable and engage deeply in this thing we call life. “Dream your life, then live your dream.”
Most ordinary people only see what’s possible. The extraordinary, dream not of what’s possible or likely, but what’s impossible. And as they visualize it, they begin to see it clearly as a real possibility. Remember there’s nothing ordinary about you.
2. Don’t hold yourself back
Asking is one of the most unused principle of success.
Some of the most successful, happy people got that way by knowing how to ask. But most people are too afraid to ask for time, money, support and guidance for fear of being rejected, or fear of hearing the dreaded word ‘no’. If you’re one of them, remind yourself you’re simply saying no to yourself.
Don’t reject yourself before you give others a chance to accept you and say yes. Give them the opportunity to help you. Allowing others to help can be one of the greatest gifts you give to another.
You don’t have to go it alone. Be smart enough to know you need help, brave enough to ask and strong enough to accept.
3. Be for, not against
Affirmations are powerful forces in your life. Whether you know it or not you are constantly affirming to yourself.
What are you saying to yourself on a regular basis? Is it something positive or negative?
Are you projecting a confident, positive attitude on the outside, but inside your inner conversations are that you don’t think you’re as good as everyone else? Or do you constantly remind yourself of every problem you have instead of counting every blessing?
Practice keeping your inner conversations on all that’s positive in this beautiful world of ours and pretty soon you’ll have far less negative experiences to even think about.
4. Be willing to let go
Sometimes you just have to find the strength to let go, and it can be the hardest thing you ever do. Don’t believe those who say it it takes more strength to hold on, or that letting go is weakness. It takes a lot of strength and courage to be willing to let go and then to actually do it.
Letting go isn’t giving up. It’s being willing to recognize enough is enough and have faith that the new path you’re about to take will lead to something wonderful.
5. Challenge catastrophic thinking
Its easy to exaggerate experiences, especially when you feel afraid. It’s easy to imagine dreadful things happening, letting worry carry you away.
Always remember every problem does have a solution and things generally never turn out as badly as you thought they might. They might even be a whole lot better.
You might discover hidden blessings that you never even thought of.
A thought is just a thought. You might need to get a new perspective on the situation.
Read something inspirational, go to a movie. Take physical action, run, walk, head for the gym. Don’t buy into the noise of distorted thinking, however loud and persistent it might be.
Don’t miss out on the sunshine of today by giving attention to the clouds you think are on the horizon of tomorrow.
6. Make time count
You’re a history maker. With every moment you’re creating your destiny…your legacy. Make sure you don’t let it slip by without paying attention.
Life is beautiful and can work in strange ways. Remember you won’t start a fire without a spark. Choose something you want and wait and work towards it. It might feel as though it’s taking forever to arrive. And then it happens and it’s done.
Don’t simply move on to the next thing. Take the time and appreciate. Appreciate the memories you made along the way. Ultimately the journey is happiness. Be aware. Don’t miss it.
In the comments below I’d love to know…
What do you need to do so you won’t end up living with regrets?
As always, thank you for reading, and contributing. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say on this topic. You always have such wisdom to share.
Encourage one another.
19 thoughts on “6 Things You Can Do To Avoid Living A Life Of Regret”
Challenging catastrophic thinking is so important to living your life fully. I have stopped doing too many things in the past because of catastrophic thinking. It is so easy to fear the worse and then become paralyzed and do nothing. Being willing to let go does require a lot of strength to do. I have found that it is easy to hold onto things and be unhappy about them and replay them in our heads. Letting go takes a lot of work often and requires reframing our thoughts and relationship to specific events. The biggest thing I need to do to not live with regrets is to persevere in what I want to do. I am guilty in my past of giving up when things get tough. I have to have patience. I guess that is why I have the word tatooed on my wrist : D.
I hear you about feeling paralyzed by catastrophic thinking Sebastian. Experienced that myself! Love your tattoo idea. 🙂 So happy you practicing perseverance, I think it’s one of the major causes that contributes to your success. I’ll imagine it on your behalf. 🙂
What a wonderful aspiration, Elle: To be able to say, “I’m leaving the game of life with no regrets.” It’s funny because I do feel some small regrets about recent interactions, but I’m finding ways to forgive, correct, and accept so I don’t keep holding onto those regrets. I think one of the best ways to leave life with no regrets is to acknowledge when you have regrets now in any moment and take appropriate action.
#2 especially resonated for me as I’m shy about asking!
How wonderful that you are aware and wise enough to forgive, correct and accept interactions Sandra. I’m finding it easier to stop ascribing meaning to situations, since the meaning just comes from a compilation of past and old experiences. It’s taking a LOT of practice! As for #2 you could begin to practice on me. Feel free to ask me for something and if I can give/or do it you know I will. 🙂
It has not been easy getting past that inner critic. However, I give myself a pat on the back, for daring to try – in spite of the voice. I would rather follow my heart than be still and not do a thing for fear of being rejected. I sure wouldn’t want live a life of regret!
I’m so glad you acknowledge how well you’ve done Evelyn because it certainly isn’t easy to move past that inner critic, even briefly. Remember that book way back when, feel the fear and do it anyway? I think about that when I feel uncomfortable about something. As you say, living a life of regret is no fun at all. 🙂
I like this line – “Don’t expect life to be a totally smooth, unbroken path; not only will you be disappointed, but you’ll be incredibly bored too.” I think that explains my life. While I’ve had disappointments, like everyone, I think I would have been bored if everything had been smooth sailing. I’ve learned so much from those things that didn’t go well.
I believe in going for what you want, so that in the end you are not disappointed that you left a stone unturned. You have great suggestions here, so thanks for another inspiring post!
As you know Cathy, I’m full of admiration for your indomitable spirit and the love and encouragement you share with the world. What you say is so true for all of us, we learn so much and grow enormously from the things that don’t turn out quite as well as we’d hoped. 🙂
Hi Elle; some great advice here. I recently forgave someone in a blog post. It was my cousin who i used to blame for pushing me out of the carnival business. I have long since realized that he did me a favor giving me a push towards something I would be better at and happier doing. He’s not the kind of person I could apologize to in person, so I shared it online. Whether or not he ever sees it isn’t important to me because I did this for me not him. And I’m continuing to share more in the new blog. recently, someone asked for blind people who wanted to go to california and learn how to sail. I was one of the first to put my name in. Haven’t heard back, but even if I’m not picked; I took a step and opened myself up to another possibility. And harleena asked me to test out her new community on her blog. I have created a profile, posted to the wall, and shared my introduction as well as my latest blog post on her forum. All the computer stuff worked fine. If I can help anyone to take that first step, just let me know. Thanks for continuing to share such empowering content. Take care my friend, Max
Hi Max, nice to see you again. You are having runaway success my friend and I’m truly happy for you. You are an inspiration to us all. 🙂
Hi Elle; I just try to follow the teachings of good people like yourself. There are a lot of sources of inspiration, you just have to be willing to listen and take action. By the way congrats on being featured on Mr. Leftkoe’s blog. I’m still waiting my turn to be interviewed for the low vision bureau’s podcast. I look forward to your posts as reminders. take care, max
I like that part about “challenging catastrophic thinking”.
Its true, we do get swayed by our fears towards the far side!
But there are a few tricks we can place up our sleeves for meeting these wibber-gibbers.
What we’d do good is to remember this:
1.There are no perfect circumstances.But there surely are spectacular attitudes.
2.It’s good to be calm,really calm,under all circumstances.Happiness automatically follows calmness.And calmness is born of strength.
3.Keep your mind on things that you want and what you like.Keep it off those things you dont want and dont like.
4.What the mind can conceive and believe it can surely achieve.
5.Happiness comes closer to you the more you tilt your thoughts into it.
6.Never build a case against yourself.
As always Mona you make great points. Liking the tricks you have up your sleeve, especially never build a case against yourself. Brilliant. 🙂
Great article, Elle. Positive thinking and mindset are extremely underrated and the actual impacts on one’s life are not yet fully understood. Forcing yourself to think positively and eliminate catastrophic thinking eventually forces your brain to subconsciously work towards the life you want to live. Eventually, that mindset becomes second nature. I hope additional scientific research into this field is conducted in the near future. It is very intriguing!
Welcome DP nice to have you on board. Love the way you put that, having a mindset focused on what you want becoming second nature is crucial to living the best and most productive life we can. Hope to hear more of your wise words again. 🙂
The only thing I would add to this is that sometimes our ideas of what makes a ‘fulfilled life’ with no regrets can change as we get older. Keeping an eye on our goals and being willing to change them as necessary stops you continuing on a path that is no longer right for you. You have to be flexible enough to avoid doing (or not doing) something you’ll later regret.
Hello Jay, it’s great to have your perspective and as someone who most definitely has changed her views, more than once, about what is fulfilling I heartily agree with your point. Sounds as though it’s been your experience too. Wonderful addition. Thanks Jay. 🙂
It’s all to easy to look back and fret over missed opportunities, but if you take those as a lesson and learn from it then those past regrets are never wasted. It can be hard to let go of things in life as most of us don’t like change, but if you see change as a positive it can help you grow.
Hello Kathy, I like your take on this, a lot. I’m a big believer in always expecting something wonderful to come out of everything, even the times I messed up! 🙂