Journal logo

Regrets Can Stop You From Moving Forward in Life

Learn to let go so you can create a better future for yourself

By Rejoice DenherePublished about a year ago 5 min read
Regrets Can Stop You From Moving Forward in Life
Photo by CALIN STAN on Unsplash

Letting go of regrets can be hard but it’s the only way to change your destiny from a negative one into a positive one.

The first step to letting go is to make a new start. You already know what you have done in the past, and so do other people. But that was then, and this is now. The sooner you act like it’s a new day—and treat it like one—the sooner people will stop remembering your past mistakes.

Focus on the present

You can’t change your past, but if you learn from it, then the past has served its purpose well. Remember what you have learned, and let that be your guide for the future. Do not let yourself fall back into old patterns of behaviour or make the same mistakes again just because it’s easier than trying something new.

Learn to forgive yourself for any wrongdoings from which you have suffered consequences. You are only human, and no one expects perfection from you—not even yourself! It is natural to feel regret over things that went wrong or people whom you may have hurt along the way; but dwelling on those feelings prevents you from moving forward and leading a happy life today

Stop digging into your mistakes

Regrets have a way of haunting us and keeping us from achieving our full potential. We can't predict the future and we can't change the past, but we do have the power to control our thoughts and focus our attention on what is most important.

If you’re still struggling with regrets, try this simple exercise in letting go:

Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. On one side, write down all of your regrets for that day. Maybe you let your boss or partner get under your skin, lost your temper with loved ones or overindulged at a holiday party. On the other side of the paper, write why these things occurred. This could be something within or outside of your control (for example “stress” or “tiredness”). After that, draw three more lines to divide the page into fourths so it resembles an upside-down tic-tac-toe board (you should now have six columns). Going down each column in order, write down how you can prevent these things from happening in the future (if possible).

Time and your perception of it are malleable

To keep from staying stuck in regret, you have to change the way you think about time. Remember that it’s not linear and rigid; it’s elastic, malleable, flexible, changeable, fluid, open, free and limitless.

The past doesn’t exist as a series of events that happened before now: it’s a series of thoughts and feelings that were triggered by those events. The only thing keeping them alive is your focus on them.

If you want to move forward into having a happier present and future, don’t keep looking back at an unhappy past. Stop focusing on what you can’t change or have lost; start putting your energy behind what you can do now to create a new life filled with happiness and love.

Reflect on what you'll do differently next time

The best way to let go of mistakes is to learn from them. Don't let yourself fall into the same trap again. When you regret something, it means that you're not happy with the result of your actions and want to change them.

The best way to do this is to think about what happened, figure out why you did what you did, then think about what you should've done instead. For example: You said something that hurt someone's feelings. You regret it because after thinking about it for a while, you realise that wasn't the right thing to do and believe you shouldn't have said anything at all in those circumstances.

The next time something like this happens - which will probably happen - be more aware of the situation and think before speaking so that when faced with an identical situation again, your actions reflect what's truly inside of yourself instead of outside factors such as adrenaline or peer pressure or whatever else may influence behaviour at any given moment in time."

Other people aren't perfect, either

It's difficult to hold yourself to the same standard you expect from others. That's because we're all flawed, and we're all just trying to do the best that we can. We're not perfect and never will be, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our best. Everyone makes mistakes.

That means everyone already knows that they are imperfect in some way and has either accepted it, or is still struggling with it. They've likely made mistakes similar to yours (or worse) without even realising it — or maybe they did realise it, felt remorseful about it, and have forgiven themselves for their errors by now. If you can't forgive yourself for your mistakes at this point in your life, there's a good chance others don't remember them either.

Final Thoughts

Regrets stop you from moving forward. They sit in the back of your mind and make you take one step back every time you try to take two. They drag on until they make you feel old and tired, no longer optimistic or courageous. And because they're so heavy, sometimes we don't give ourselves permission to let them go.

Our emotions aren't static; they evolve with us as we experience new things and encounter different situations.

When someone says something hurtful to us, for example, it may sting for a little while but doesn't stick like before when we were younger and more innocent (or maybe less innocent).

A mistake that once caused us endless regret becomes just an experience in life that brings us wisdom rather than shame. We might even have fun looking at it through some fresh eyes—built up more confidence that leads to greater success for ourselves and others in the future.

But regret doesn't have to be such a burden, because there's always another tomorrow where we can make a better decision or live a bit differently in order to change our destiny from a negative one into a positive one.

Letting go of regrets empowers you to rewrite your story and your destiny.


About the Creator

Rejoice Denhere

Lover of the written word, mother, and business owner.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.