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6 Steps to Turn Regret Into Self-Improvement

Turn regret into motivation

Turn regret into motivation
  • Acknowledge how you cope with regret: ignoring it makes it more present
  • Stop the regrets spiral, until you are ready to face the situation with more clarity
  • Revisit the story and identify practical lessons you can learn from it
  • Treat yourself like your ideal mentor would
  • Ask yourself why you feel regret and work backward to identify the values that are tied up in your feelings
  • The cure for anticipating regret isn’t feeling lousy or overthinking, but pursuing solutions, using the wisdom gained through self-reflection.

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6 Steps to Turn Regret Into Self-Improvement

6 Steps to Turn Regret Into Self-Improvement

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/smarter-living/6-steps-to-turn-regret-into-self-improvement.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Turn regret into motivation

  1. Acknowledge how you cope with regret: ignoring it makes it more present;
  2. Stop the regrets spiral, until you are ready to face the situation with more clarity;
  3. Revisit the story and identify practical lessons you can learn from it;
  4. Ask yourself why you feel regret and work backward to identify the values that are tied up in your feelings;
  5. The cure for anticipating regret isn’t feeling lousy or overthinking, but pursuing solutions, using the wisdom gained through self-reflection.

The disease of "What if"

It’s human nature to linger on feelings of regret. We look back and think that missed opportunities(real or not) could have set us on a different, possibly more rewarding path. Unchecked, these emotions become overwhelming sources of stress and anxiety.

Turn regret into motivation

  • Acknowledge how you cope with regret: ignoring it makes it more present
  • Stop the regrets spiral, until you are ready to face the situation with more clarity
  • Revisit the story and identify practical lessons you can learn from it
  • Treat yourself like your ideal mentor would
  • Ask yourself why you feel regret and work backward to identify the values that are tied up in your feelings
  • The cure for anticipating regret isn’t feeling lousy or overthinking, but pursuing solutions, using the wisdom gained through self-reflection.

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Optimizing life for fewer regrets

Most of us are afraid of messing thing up. But we rarely ask, “Would I regret that failure?” If the answer is “no,” then that is absolutely a risk you should pursue.

Sometimes, the right decision becomes crystal clear when put into these terms.

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Jeff Bezos's Regret-minimization framework
Jeff Bezos's Regret-minimization framework
Project yourself forward to the age of 80. Looking back on your life, you want to minimize the number of regrets. 

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Experiencing regret

When you experience regret, you neglect the celebration of all of the exciting parts of your life to focus on this one festering mistake that haunts you.

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Learning from Your Regrets

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Questioning Your Narratives

Our narratives are the way our minds construct events to explain our feelings and experiences

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Maximize Opportunities
Maximize Opportunities

Lucky people do not wait for things to happen to them.

They take notice and act upon the opportunities that they find.

Luck and Intuition

Lucky people act on their intuitions across many areas of their lives.

Intuition is when your body and brain have detected a pattern before you have deliberately considered it.

Expect Good Fortune

You are more likely to be successful if you are optimistic about your opportunities.

When you think things will work out, you are more apt to persevere. You are also open to new opportunities.

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Time for yourself

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Acknowledge Your Errors
Acknowledge Your Errors

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Make A Plan

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To increase your self-awareness, make an effort to reflect on your strengths, developmental opportunities, triggers, values, and the like so that you are intimately familiar with what makes you tick. 

Be open to feedback and criticism

Weighing feedback can help you guard against blind spots. It can assist you in recognizing if your behaviors are having the effects you are intending.

If they aren't, you can adjust your actions or apologize accordingly (or mindfully choose not to do either).

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