This Is How To Overcome Regret: 5 Secrets From Research - Barking Up The Wrong Tree - Deepstash
This Is How To Overcome Regret: 5 Secrets From Research - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

This Is How To Overcome Regret: 5 Secrets From Research - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

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Regret Redeemed

Regret Redeemed

Obviously, excessive regret is a bad thing. Ruminating over mistakes leads to depression and anxiety. It’s like banging your head against a wall but with absolutely none of the benefits.

That said, the attitude of “no regrets” is dumb and wrong. This emotion is useful and necessary. Regret can be a stroke of genius. (Though, admittedly, at first it just feels like a stroke.)

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Foundation Regrets

Foundation Regrets

Regrets that result from a failure to act responsibly. When we weren’t conscientious, prudent, or disciplined enough. We shirk in school, eschew exercise, or don’t work hard enough on the job. We opt for short-term pleasure instead of long-term gain. We all want dessert first.

When you hear yourself saying the words “too much” followed by “too little”, you’re probably dealing with a foundation regret. “I did too much spending and not enough saving.”

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Boldness Regrets

Boldness Regrets

Boldness regrets sound like this: “If only I’d taken that risk…”

Inaction. Foregone opportunities. The chance we did not take. They are also common when it came to career. We play it safe. We didn’t jump on that new job opportunity or start our own business.

The old saying is accurate, “We regret most the things we did not do.”

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Moral Regrets

Moral Regrets

You know the ones. You behave poorly, break the rules, lie, or betray. Moral regrets sound like: “If I’d only done the right thing…”

The lesson here? Do the right thing. Make the decision you will be proud of in the future, no matter how tempting the immediate alternative.

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Connection Regrets

Connection Regrets

We let friendships die – or never give them the chance to bloom. This was the most common of the big four regrets. Connection regrets sound like this: “If only I’d reached out…”

It’s not hard to rekindle relationships at first. But often we wait too long. Feelings fade. People move on. And, eventually, people die. (Researchers have found this dramatically reduces how often they reply to your text messages.) If you do not reach out, there may never be another chance. The opportunity is lost forever. This is tragic. Terrifying.

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Whaddya Gonna Do About It?

Whaddya Gonna Do About It?

First, can you undo what caused the regret? Can you reach out, make it right or apologize? If so, stop doom-scrolling through your mental regret list and take action. There’s often a way to press Control+Z on your existential keyboard.

But sometimes there isn’t a way to fix the past. (Regret or no regret, I am not retaking the SAT’s.) In that case, there are three steps for coping: disclose, reframe, and extract a lesson.

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Sum Up

Sum Up

Here’s how to deal with regret:

Regret can be a good thing: A regret is a lesson you need to put into action to make yourself better. Your work is not yet finished, Daredevil.

Foundation regrets: Avoid them by doing the work.

Boldness regrets: Dodge them by taking that risk.

Moral regrets: Do the right thing, Spike Lee.

Connection regrets: Text them. Now.

How to cope: Can you undo it? If not: disclose, reframe, and extract a lesson.

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CURATED BY

hatimbootwala

I am interested in ideas be it primitive or modern

Don’t see regret as an ever-present threat. See it as a helpful reminder. An opportunity to improve your life. The pandemic has created regrets in all of us. Lost time, lost opportunities, lost connections. Now’s the time to fix them.

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