Regrets can haunt you for years. Eating away your energy, joy, and ability to be in the present moment. It is an inner peace killer. So how to deal with your regrets?
Letting go, ‘Yeah, right!’
Letting go sounds simple, and it is so @#$% difficult. I once read the quote: ‘Lessons learned are the bridges to cross the rivers of regret.’ This wisdom helped me a bit. If I make a (terrible) mistake, the least I can do is learn from it. If I learn from it, the mistake makes more sense and has a purpose.
Can you accept yourself?
One of the reasons you seek other’s acceptance is that you might be very critical towards yourself. You are not accepting any negative or less perfect about yourself. In the end, accepting or even embracing your mistakes is about accepting yourself. It took me many years to accept myself. How about you? Are you looking for acceptance from other people? Do you think other people are better than yourself? Self-acceptance is impossible if you wait for the outside world to approve you. If that happens, it is ‘Other’s-acceptance,’ not self-acceptance.
How to accept yourself and your mistakes?
It is good to realize everybody is flawed. What is shown on social media is the best side of people. Their worst side is mostly or entirely hidden. We all make silly, stupid or terrible mistakes. We are all perfectly imperfect. ’Cause all of me loves all of you … All your perfect imperfections’ – John Legend. So join the club of beautiful imperfect persons. The imperfect persons who make mistakes all the time and are ok with it.
How to put this into practice?
You made a mistake. Action options:
- Look your mistake in right the face: ‘Yes, I did this.’
- Apologize and show understanding.
- Understand the lesson: ‘What can I do differently, starting now?’
And, especially for the smaller mistakes: please laugh at yourself. Be happy you are human. Others will like you more, as most people dislike a (seemingly) perfect person. Like in filming a mistake is just a ‘miss-take,’ you probably get a second chance to get the scene right. And bloopers are fun to watch.
Let your regrets flow away. Embrace your mistakes and embrace yourself.
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