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Have you ever done or said something you wish you haven’t? Well, welcome to the club. As humans, we tend to make many mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes end up changing our lives for better or for worse. It’s hard to swallow gilt or shame, but it’s not the end of the world. 

As hard as it is to focus on the good, we cannot allow our mistakes and other regrets to haunt our lives. There is always another way to handle a situation rather than allowing anxiety or fear to handle it for us. Living in the past is bad for you, so don’t let it get you down too much. While it’s very important to learn from your mistakes, and grow from your bad decisions, you can’t focus too much valuable energy on them.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; when something happens, both bad and good things come out of the situation, you just need to figure out what the pros and cons are. Sometimes this can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to get rid of my regrets:

Don’t Waste Your Energy

When you’re feeling down about something that happened in the past, it can take a lot of energy to replay your actions over and over. You can always debate with yourself over what happened. It’s pretty easy. “I should have done this,” or, “I should not have done that.” But playing these mind games isn’t going to get your anywhere.

You cannot go back and change history (unless of course, we build a travel machine and figure out how to go back in time). The only logical thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and move on. Life goes on, and you should too. When I get upset, I use my energy to write. What could you do with your energy?

It Could Be Worse

No-Regrets-in-Life

Look at you, you’re reading this on the Internet, you have a computer! That’s incredible. Seriously though, no matter how bad your situation is, it could always be worse. If you did something major, don’t focus on what did happen, think about what could have happened. If you think it was the worst possible outcome, you know that’s not true.

Let’s say that you took a day off from work and you weren’t really sick, your boss found out and put you on probation. Okay, that’s pretty bad, but you could have been fired. Always remember that someone has it way worse than you do, and that things could have ended up even less favorably.

Every Action Has A Reaction

Like I was saying, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This rule doesn’t apply only in science, it applies to real life as well. No matter what you may have done, there is some type of benefit hidden deep down. If you drop your ice cream on the floor, okay you have a mess to clean up.

Good news? You’re not eating ice cream and might end up grabbing a healthy snack instead. Maybe not the best example in the world, but spend a little time searching for the good in every bad situation. This might be hard at first, but keep in mind that nothing happens by coincidence. You make your own luck. You are in control of your own happiness and your fate.

Learn From It

When I was four years old, I was helping my mother cook and didn’t know that the burners on the oven were turned to high and just hadn’t turn red yet. I went to reach for something on the stove, and put my hand right in the center of the hot burner. I had second degree burns and had to go to the hospital. I learned that when someone is cooking, you should probably stay away from the oven and let them do their thing.

This regret that is eating at you, what did you learn from it? Can the lesson be applied to your life overall? Don’t sweat it, realize you’ve done something wrong and keep on truckin’!

Conclusion

Many people will try to tell you not to think about regrets, but it can be important to at least analyze what you did wrong, and how you can either make up for it or learn from it. It’s really important that you don’t allow the little things in life to tear you apart, or you’ll be miserable forever.

When you do something wrong, take a deep breath before you react. If it’s still bothering you months or years down the road, you might need to take some time, clear it up with the people you hurt, the higher power of your choice, or come to terms with the fact that you can’t change what has happened.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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