Dealing with regrets

10 Tips to Help Deal with Regret and Move Forward with Life

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Published: June 16, 2021 Updated: September 30, 2022

Published: 06/16/2021 Updated: 09/30/2022

Regret is a universal emotional response experienced when “the outcome of a decision is worse than the outcome of an option foregone.”1 Fortunately, there are many techniques you can learn and use as ways to cope with, understand, and manage feelings of regret when they arise. Mental health professionals with a specialty in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help with this process.

Would you like to let go of regret? Speak with a therapist. BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy. BetterHelp starts at $60 per week. Complete a brief questionnaire and get matched with the right therapist for you.

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In the course of a lifetime, people will experience regrets both large and small. These regrets can lead to motivation for personal growth or they can take you down a pathway to depression and self-chastisement. How regrets are managed can make a real difference in terms of understanding and coping with these difficult feelings.

Here are ten useful tips on how to deal with regret:

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Acknowledge and accept the feelings associated with your regret. This helps prompt you to think about strategies you could use to minimize the pain of similar future experiences.2

Specifically identifying or acknowledging which emotion you’re feeling (“I feel regret”) rather than just thinking (“I feel bad”) will help make you tolerate the emotions you’re experiencing.2

2. Avoid Obsessing About Past Regrets

Try to learn from a past decision that you perceive has gone wrong. If you continue to chastise yourself with past regrets, it will compromise your ability to make better decisions in the present and the future. Obsessing about regrets will only make you feel worse. Use this as an opportunity to learn and even inspire yourself to make new and better choices in the future.

3. Assess How You Cope With Your Regrets

Take time to evaluate the choice that ended in regret. Did you blame others, minimize your feelings, or ignore them altogether? These techniques tend to amplify feelings of regret and make them harder to cope with. Take a deep breath and remember, that choice you made is in the past.

4. Show Yourself Some Kindness

Having made a bad choice in the past does not mean you are forever doomed to repeat this mistake over and over again. Give yourself permission to tackle a similar situation again with the benefit of experience and hopefully a better understanding about how to react in a more positive fashion.

5. Give Yourself Time to Heal From a Past Regret

If your regret is related to a major past decision, you need to give yourself time to heal from the consequences of that choice. Constantly thinking about it and ruminating will keep the negative thoughts and feelings ever-present. Focus on things that will relax, nourish, and energize you in positive ways. In time, the negative emotions will begin to subside.

6. Distract Yourself

Focus your mind and energy on a project with an outcome that will make you feel good. Spend time with people you feel comfortable with and who you can candidly talk with. If you are focused on a current positive distraction, you are less apt to ruminate about past regrets.

7. Create a New Set of Goals

Use the knowledge and experience you gained to make new, realistic goals. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to repair the old damage, respond to future situations, and create more positive outcomes. Celebrate when you meet a goal. If you learn that a goal you set is not realistic, set a new one within the realm of more realistic possibilities.

8. Consider Counseling

If you find yourself stuck in a repeating cycle of self-blame and negative thinking, you may need outside professional help to stop this harmful behavioral pattern. Consider getting help from a therapist.

9. Ask Yourself Hard Questions About the Situation

Psychologist Suma Chand, PhD recommends asking yourself a series of questions as a way to move forward from regret and create healthier behavioral patterns. The questions are:3

  • Have you noticed how excessive regret affects what you do and say?
  • Could you have acted any differently considering the particular stage in your life and the information and experiences you had until this point in your life?
  • Was it only you or did anything else contribute to your mistake?
  • Was there anything specific in the situation that you particularly regret?
  • As a result of this regretful experience, have you changed the way you behave and respond in similar situations?
  • Is there anything you can do now that will make a difference in how you think and feel about a future situation that you may regret?

">10. Recognize the Physical & Emotional Toll Regret Can Cause

Repeated regretful feelings can negatively affect your mental health, causing depression, diminished focus, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness. They can also cause lack of sleep, loss of appetite, and headaches. Research on continual regret and the associated medical consequences in older adults reveals that it can cause vulnerability to physical symptoms like chest or joint pain, headaches, or shortness of breath, as well as the potential for worsening chronic illnesses like heart disease.4

Intensity of Regret

Researchers have studied intensity of regret, finding it’s often based on three variables, including whether the regretful decision was an action or inaction, the degree to which the decision was justifiable, and the life domain or social group of the regret. They discovered that regrets associated with the latter group were felt more deeply because they threatened a person’s sense of belonging to a meaningful group. 5

What Kinds of Choices Do We Regret?

The choices we make in a lifetime that can result in regretful feelings fall into numerous categories, including education, career, romance, parenting, the self, having or not having children, and leisure. When a regretful decision is viewed in terms of it being a missed or mishandled life opportunity that won’t come back, the level of regret is higher.6

Does Regret Change as We Get Older?

Younger people are presented with more frequent choices and a wider range of decisions that need to be made, leading to more chances for regret. Researchers concluded that seniors rarely produce regretful actions or decisions that are centered around personal actions. As opportunities fade with advancing years, so do the most painful and self-recriminating regrets, to be replaced instead by “neutered regrets focusing rarely on personal action.”6

How Therapy Can Help

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term therapeutic treatment that is used to help people break ongoing negative patterns of thinking in regard to regret. It is used to help patients alter and reshape negative thoughts and feelings, resulting in a more positive outcome. It can also help enhance communication skills.

Look for a mental health professional with specialty training in teaching coping skills associated with CBT. You can find a therapist in your area by going to an online therapist directory.

Final Thoughts on Dealing With Regret

We only experience regret over a bad outcome when, at some point in time, we could have prevented the negative outcome.7 If you don’t take the opportunity to develop, change, and grow from a negative experience, regret can become all-consuming. Identify why your regret is so profound and how it reveals more about your personal values and feelings. Doing so can create greater self-understanding, more meaning, and purpose.

Additional Resources

Education is just the first step on our path to improved mental health and emotional wellness. To help our readers take the next step in their journey, Choosing Therapy has partnered with leaders in mental health and wellness. Choosing Therapy may be compensated for referrals by the companies mentioned below.

BetterHelp (Online Therapy) – A therapist can teach you skills that will enable you to better cope with difficult situations. BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy. BetterHelp starts at $60 per week. Complete a brief questionnaire and get matched with the right therapist for you. Get Started – Receive help from a mental health professional. The standard plan includes a weekly 45 minute video session, unlimited text messaging between sessions, and self-guided activities like journaling. Recently, they added Yoga videos. Get Started

Brightside Health (Online Psychiatry) – If you’re struggling with mental illness or addiction, finding the right medication can make a difference. Brightside Health treatment plans start at $95 per month. Following a free online evaluation and receiving a prescription, you can get FDA approved medications delivered to your door. Free Assessment

Headspace (Meditation App) – Headspace is the leading mindfulness and meditation app with over 70 million members. Headspace offers guidance and exercises for all skill levels, including beginners. Free Trial

Choosing Therapy’s Directory – Find an experienced therapist who has your welling in mind. You can search for a therapist by specialty, availability, insurance, and affordability. Therapist profiles and introductory videos provide insight into the therapist’s personality so you find the right fit. Find a therapist today.

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Choosing Therapy strives to provide our readers with mental health content that is accurate and actionable. We have high standards for what can be cited within our articles. Acceptable sources include government agencies, universities and colleges, scholarly journals, industry and professional associations, and other high-integrity sources of mental health journalism. Learn more by reviewing our full editorial policy.

  • Andy Towers, Matt N. Williams, Stephen R. Hill, Michael C. Phillip, Ross Flett (2016) What Makes for the Most Intense Regrets? Comparing the Effects of Several Theoretical Predictors of Regret Intensity. Frontiers in Psychology. December 15, 2016. Retrieved from

  • Alice Boyes, PhD. (2018) 5 Tips for Coping With Regret. Psychology Today, August 3, 2018. Retrieved from

  • Suma Chand, PhD (2016) How to Handle Regret. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from

  • Carsten Wrosch, Isabelle Bauer, Gregory E. Miller, Sonia Lupien. (2007) Regret Intensity, Diurnal Cortisol Discretion, and Physical Health in Older Individuals: Evidence for Directional Effects and Protective Factors. Psychology and Aging, 2007 Vol. 22, No. 2, 319-330. Doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.22.2.319. Retrieved from

  • Andy Towers, Matt N. Williams, Stephen R. Hill, Michael C. Phillip, Ross Flett (2016) What Makes for the Most Intense Regrets? Comparing the Effects of Several Theoretical Predictors of Regret Intensity. Frontiers in Psychology. December 15, 2016. Retrieved from

  • Neal J. Roese, Amy Summerville. (2005) What we Regret Most…. and Why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2005 September; 31(9) : 1273-1285 doi:10.1177/0146167205274693. Retrieved from

  • Marcel Zeelenberg, Rik Pieters (2007) A Theory of Regret Regulation 1.0. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17(1), 3-18.

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5 Tips for Coping with Regret

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It's normal to experience large and small regrets, so regret isn't an emotion you need to be scared of. Here are some tips for coping when it happens:

1. Ditch "I'll never to do that again" thinking.

When we regret something, the feeling isn't usually about a mistake we've made for the first time. Rather, we more often feel regret over falling into our common self-sabotaging patterns. You might regret staying up watching YouTube until midnight because you end up feeling exhausted at work all of the next day. You wish you'd gone to bed at 10 pm instead. Or maybe you regret letting yourself get over-hungry or over-tired—and that decision leading to eating two-thirds of a large bag of potato chips.

If you've fallen into certain traps dozens of times before, it's not likely that you'll never do those things again. Instead of vowing to never make the same mistake again, acknowledge that you need strategies for gradually improving your habits or limiting the negative consequences when you have failures of self-control.

2. Acknowledge what you're feeling.

People love to say, "I have no regrets," but that's not very realistic and probably not true. Like any "negative" emotion, regret is a common experience and one that we're designed to be able to psychologically cope with.

When you acknowledge your emotions instead of denying them, it helps prompt you to think about strategies you could use to minimize the pain of future experiences of that emotion. Also, specifically identifying which emotion you're feeling—that is, acknowledging, "I feel regret" rather than just thinking, "I feel bad"—will help make tolerating the emotions you're experiencing feel more manageable.

When you regret something major, like having worked too much when your children were little, having stayed in a bad relationship too long, or having started late with retirement investing, try keeping in mind that regret is a universal human emotion, no matter what some people will claim about themselves. We're all imperfect. You don't need to create a silver lining out of every situation. Sometimes regret is just regret.

3. Believe in your capacity to grow.

Regret can cause us to become excessively hesitant or avoidant. Regret about a failed relationship may lead you to avoid dating. Or regret about a poor financial decision may lead to you to put investing in your "too-hard" basket and avoiding it completely. Just because you made some less than ideal decisions doesn't mean you're doomed to permanent failure in any one area.

4. Look for little thinking hacks to help you with your patterns.

Shifts in your thinking can help prevent you from repeating the same mistakes quite so often. Author Gretchen Rubin has a great tip: If you regret staying up so late, try thinking about going to sleep early as a treat. It's common to think of staying up late enjoying some personal time as a treat, but think about it: so is hitting your bed and enjoying all those immensely comforting sensations.

Will this sort of thinking shift stop you from ever staying up late watching TV or mucking around on your computer? Probably not—but it might shift your behavior in some instances.

It's far easier to find simple hacks for improving your behavior than it is to completely eradicate problem habits. The Happier Podcast is a great source of ideas for thinking shifts related to the sorts of everyday struggles many people experience. If your regrets relate to how you prioritize, try these tips for focusing on the important, not just the urgent.

5. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to absorb your feelings.

To cope effectively with regret, a subtle balancing act needs to happen. Ruminating isn't helpful—but neither is attempting to just brush your feelings aside.

Try this: Think about a small regret. For example, you didn't doublecheck that you had your Costco card before leaving the house and got all the way to the store without it. That type of regret is something you want to give yourself a few minutes to absorb. If you feel frustrated with yourself and self-critical, those feelings will naturally dissipate pretty quickly on their own.

If you have a larger regret—e.g., you painted your house a color you don't actually like just because the color was trendy—then it might take a few weeks or months for those feelings to dissipate. They'll ebb and flow, and will likely pop up and bug you periodically.

In both examples, the more you can leave your emotions alone to just work themselves out, the better. If feelings of regret pop up and bug you intermittently, you can cope with that. A point I discuss in my book, The Healthy Mind Toolkit, is that human emotions are a signaling system. A traffic light isn't useful if either red or green are permanently lit. The light is only a useful signal if it changes to give you information. Emotions are like that, too: They're designed to come on and then go away. When emotions become sticky, it's usually because we're feeding them in some way, through rumination, harsh self-criticism, or avoidance. If you allow your emotions to naturally work themselves out, that's often more efficient and effective than trying to do something to "make" them go away, which can easily backfire.

The feeling of regret: how it hurts and how to get rid of it

The feeling of regret that everyone experiences from time to time cannot be confused with anything. Parting with a loved one, a hastily made tattoo, even a pizza eaten at night - it would seem that all these things are of a different order, but they cause similar feelings.

You are upset, you feel sadness, remorse, remorse - in general, you regret what happened or what you did. In today's article on How to Green, we will discuss how much it is worth giving in to these negative emotions, what "threats" regret and how to get rid of it.

Whether it's the past in general or a specific situation, negative emotions often overwhelm you. We even try to come up with a scenario of how we should act in order to change the situation that has already happened. Even if the alternative was unlikely or impossible in practice, for example, when it was completely independent of us. Such a scrolling of already existing events distracts from the present, plunging us into the past, which, alas, cannot be changed. However, despite all the negative emotions, feeling regret is absolutely normal for the psyche of a healthy person, and its complete absence is a sign of a mental disorder. So if from time to time you are visited by this feeling - do not worry. The main thing is not to immerse yourself in it entirely, but to use it for your own good. But first, let's understand what regret is and how it threatens our mental health.

Regret and its negative consequences

We usually experience a feeling of regret after events that happened, where there was an opportunity to choose and, in our opinion, we made the wrong choice. Most often, this feeling is associated with negative experiences. For example, instead of remaining silent, you told your friend what we think about her new hairstyle, and as a result she was offended, and now you regret your words. Or you rushed and grabbed the first offer from a travel agency without reading reviews about the hotel on the Internet, and now spend your vacation in a terrible place, as you think, regretting the hasty decision. The list can be continued indefinitely.

According to research, the feeling of regret is devastating to the mental and physical health of a person, as it is directly related to depression and anxiety. Symptoms such as loss of interest in life, fatigue, slow reactions, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, problems with sleep and appetite are the result of prolonged self-flagellation. Moreover, it is not at all necessary to commit some major misconduct in order to get a bouquet of these problems with physical and mental health. It is enough to have the habit of constantly regretting your various actions and choices.

American journalist Katherine Schultz, in her TED Talk, "Don't Regret the Regrets," lists the five main stages of regret that everyone faces. Denial is a childish approach to solving a problem, namely the unwillingness to accept the situation. Feeling of bewilderment, which provokes the third component - the desire to punish yourself. Due to perseverance, or excessive focus on the problem, awakening occurs - the fifth and most important stage of regret. For example, you ate a large piece of cake at night. At first it seems to you: well, what's the matter, think about it, ate one dessert, nothing will happen. Then you start beating yourself up for doing it and come up with a punishment: two hours at the gym tomorrow instead of the planned one. You can't fall asleep thinking how the cake you eat at this very moment is being deposited in ugly folds at your waist. If you reach the logical conclusion, then at the end of this series of self-flagellation you will make a useful decision - for example, if you really want to eat desserts until six in the evening or keep not a cake at home, but sweet but healthy dried fruits. So, despite the negative consequences of feeling regret in the early stages, it can be associated with a positive experience as a result.

How to cope with the obsessive feeling of regret?

If you notice that regret for one reason or completely different does not leave you for a long time, you can deal with it. Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist of the American Association for the Study of Anxiety and Depression Suma Chand advises asking yourself the following questions:

  • How does excessive regret affect what you do and say?
  • Could you have acted differently given the particular stage in your life, the information or experience you had at that moment?
  • Have you changed the way you behave and react to situations like this?

If you answer honestly, you may realize that you acted, maybe recklessly or impulsively, but there was a certain reason for your action. As a result, you will close the topic, learning from what happened, becoming wiser and stronger.

Another way to deal with regret is to regulate it. This practice will help you quickly achieve good results and improve them in the future. The first thing to do is to develop the habit of taking a responsible approach to making any decisions, including the smallest ones. If you know you tend to make impulsive or emotional decisions, then you should also learn to put off making them for a while. For example, until all the details are clarified, so that the decision is as balanced and reasoned as possible. This will help in most cases to avoid regret.

Once you've made your decision, calm down and stop figuring out other details and possible alternative situations. There is no point in regretting and worrying if it is already impossible to change the situation.

What you definitely should not do is to shift the responsibility for making your own decisions to another person. Of course, it's much easier to later blame someone for making the wrong decision, but this is a detrimental practice that does not bode well. In the end, no one is responsible for your life and the consequences of your decisions, only you.

Regret and positive experience

Regret is a kind of signal that corrective action is needed. Over the past two decades, scientists have come to the conclusion that regret is closely related to decision making, overcoming difficulties, and gaining experience. Thus, marketing professor Neil Rose believes that regret plays the most important role among other negative emotions in finding the meaning of existence, preventing negative behaviors in the future, recognizing problems, acquiring harmony and achieving the desired result that you could not achieve in the past. . In other words, regret motivates not only to analyze what happened, but also to avoid similar situations in the future. Therefore, in order to turn regret into a positive experience, it is worth treating it as a motivation, not as an obstacle, and remember that the point is not not to regret anything, but not to regret regrets.

Do you tend to feel regret? Is this a negative factor for you that spoils your life, or have you learned to bring each regret to the logical stage of awakening, translate the negative feeling into a positive experience and draw appropriate conclusions? Share on social media what you regret most and how you deal with it.

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Mark Manson: How to get rid of all regrets - Ideonomics - Smart about the essentials

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Imagine that you have come to a cocktail party where all the guests are yourself from the past. Here is the playground where all your little versions play. Here is a TV room where nervous teenagers watch music videos and play video games. And there are dozens of adults walking around sipping on that crap you drank when you were young and not rich. They represent specific periods of your life: a notorious student who tries to look smarter than he really is, a frustrated and exhausted young man who gets a job for the first time or experiences first love.

Sounds funny. But I think this "Your Cocktail Party" is actually going to be pretty boring. Because you know everything that each of your versions knows, but they know only a part of what you know.

But you can't say that it wouldn't be nice. You would chat with awkward teenagers and reassure them that there is nothing to worry about, those painful school years will pass and things will get better. You would talk to your arrogant 23 year old self and sympathetically knock him down a bit. You would talk to your self who just fell in love for the first time and enjoy the feelings of a new, nascent relationship - all the while not revealing that Miss Perfect will soon throw your heart on the sidewalk and smash it with a dozen blows with a sledgehammer.

But there will also be that old self that you would like to avoid. .. you know what I mean. This is your version of that terrible thing that you never found a way to forgive yourself for. If you have to talk to this person, you will immediately attack him: “How could you? What were you thinking? What an idiot you are, my God."

And then the party will be ruined. Here you are, the real one, bursting into the past, all your past selves staring in horror, feeling forgotten and rejected. A cocktail party in your name will turn into the most terrible moment of your life, which will suck the joy and colors out of everyone else.

A cocktail party named after you is a kind of metaphor for what happens when you feel regret. You reject all the interesting parts of your life and fixate on the one mistake that haunts you.

Regret is a form of self-hatred. If you today are the culmination of all previous actions, then by rejecting one of them, you are rejecting some part of yourself. If you hate any part of yourself in the present, this leads to psychological problems. But hatred of a part of one's past is not much different. She harbors shame and anger. Inspires self-hatred. And makes you a real bore at parties, metaphorical and real.

Regret can be overcome without ignoring it. Passing through it. Calling out that past self, talking to it frankly and understanding why it did what it did. By showing compassion for that old self, taking care of it, and eventually forgiving it.

The lessons of regret

What is the difference between a mistake and regret?

I would say that regret is just a mistake from which we have not learned the right lesson. We often feel regret because we have done something so catastrophic that it is difficult to draw appropriate conclusions. But often we regret not because we did something disgusting, but simply because we lack the imagination to find a productive side to it.

Learning from mistakes is such a fundamental component of not being a shitty person that I don't even know where to start. But let's put it this way: if you did something wrong, but learned from it, then suddenly this mistake becomes useful. The habit of drawing conclusions from our mistakes is something like a magic elixir that makes us better based on all our mistakes. And while the negative feelings may not go away, they definitely won't get worse.

Regret can help us or hurt us. When we feel regret, we can either wallow in past mistakes or take steps to avoid repeating them.

Perhaps you ruined a relationship many years ago and it still torments you. Instead of beating yourself up, try to see the issues that led to the breakup:

  • You may have been away too much.
  • You may have been too selfish.
  • You may not have been good at communication.
  • Perhaps your love was accompanied by unbearable conditions.

To live on, you do not need to rationalize all these unpleasant feelings, blaming yourself or the world for your misfortune. You need to accept your mistakes, understand what happened, and integrate this experience into understanding what kind of person you have become today.

This is how you take responsibility for your failures, and if you really do that, then you don't repeat those mistakes again - that's what regret is for.

But, of course, all this is much easier said than done.

Doubt your stories

In my book Everything sucks. A book about hope,” I explained that our minds are always making up stories to explain feelings and experiences. These stories are rarely accurate and often useless, but we need them because they keep our sense of self alive.

By learning to question our stories, we can better understand how bad our actions really were. And when we honestly ask ourselves these questions, we often find that it wasn't all that bad after all.

Suppose Timmy invested his savings in a pyramid scheme and lost them. Timmy feels terrible. His wife hates him. Friends laugh. He can't pay the rent. Everything is falling apart.

At this point, due to the painfulness of the event, Timmy creates a story for himself: “I wasted all our money because I'm an idiot. I destroyed our lives. If only I could go back and start over."

Timmy feels regret.

These stories are dangerous because they take root. If Timmy thinks he's a piece of shit and doesn't know how to handle money, then whenever he has a new experience, he will interpret it in terms of "I'm a piece of shit and can't handle money." He will assume that everything good that happens to him is just luck, and the bad is the result of his mistakes.

The problem with stories is that they are short, emotional and self-centered. What Timmy fails to consider is that losing money can bring some subtle, unemotional, long-term benefits.

In addition to understanding that one should never invest in a shady timeshare in Las Vegas, his experience will test the strength of a marriage and change his own relationship with money for the better. He will understand that for life he needs much less than he used to think. This can eradicate all the superficial materialistic values ​​that he has adhered to all his life and replace them with healthier, intangible values. This situation puts a stress test on friendships and brings them closer to relatives who help in difficult times. It is also a useful cautionary tale to help others avoid repeating the same mistake.

If one day Tim looks at this experience from a distance, he will say, "It was the best thing that ever happened to me." And in fact, most people say that their most painful experiences were often the most important in life.

But to understand this, you need to stop interfering with yourself. Get rid of these stupid stories of yours.

Repeating your worst hits over and over

Regret is the desire to relive a past event. We reproduce our story over and over again and live as if it is all true, even if this story has long ceased to correspond to the world around us, although it continues to hurt us.

The problem is that we identify with these lost opportunities - we perceive these failures as our lost identity, the person we were supposed to be but never were. And then we torture ourselves with this idealized image.

Let's say you find yourself in a dead end in your career. And maybe you're not the young shooter you once were, so you think it's too late to do something else. You are too old to go back to school, too old in your career to change majors, your life is too settled to change anything that will affect the family.

(By the way, these stories are all wrong.)

So you've created this ideal self that reflects who you wanted to be 10, 15 or 20 years ago, not who you are today. You are perfect:

  • young, because that's when you can go to school;
  • are single and free from responsibility, because that is when the foundation of a career is laid.

This is stupid for various reasons. Firstly, you yourself have come up with the idea that youth is important. If you don't want to think like that, then don't.

I used to think that I wanted to be a musician. Then I dropped out of music school. I don't sit and think, "Oh my God, if I hadn't quit, I could have become a musician - what's wrong with me?" No, I realized that my desire to be a professional musician was a completely abstract ideal in my head, and I was able to change it.

Secondly, even if you could revive your sense of youth, you would have to deceive yourself in some painful way.

Meanwhile, every year you get a little older, take on more and more responsibilities and move further and further away from this idealized youth. As it becomes less and less achievable in your head, you feel like your idealized self is slipping away. And you regret it. You regret it very much - so much time is lost, so much time is wasted.

Damn it. Let this story die. You don't need her anymore. This is not true and has always been false.

Let him die.

Instead, let the older, wiser version of yourself choose the direction of your career. Now that you have an idea of ​​what you really want. Your age has so many benefits! Use them and move on.

Having overcome your regrets and accepted the falsity of your ideal self, you are freed to take responsibility for the present.

Regrets and responsibility

I've already said that in order to break off a relationship, you need to recognize that a part of you - a part that was born and lived only when you were with this person - died and disappeared.

The same goes for regrets. To stop regret is to let your lost self die once and for all so that you can learn what lesson regret is trying to teach you.

Here's the irony: at the You Cocktail Party, the only version that can teach you something you don't already know is the deplorable you. This is the only version that can show you where your stories went wrong, where your understanding of yourself is broken, where you refuse to take responsibility for your life and your pain.

We often cherish regrets as another way to avoid responsibility. And the confrontation with our regrettable essence makes this responsibility inevitable - we must recognize and accept who we really are.

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