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How to Let Go of Your Regrets | Mark Manson

Regrets and Responsibility

Only the regrettable can teach you something. It can show you where your narratives went wrong and where you are not taking up responsibility for your life and your pain.
The good side of regret guides us to a better understanding of ourselves and a place of acceptance and growth.

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How to Let Go of Your Regrets | Mark Manson

How to Let Go of Your Regrets | Mark Manson

https://markmanson.net/regret

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

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.

The way to overcome regret is not to ignore it, but to push through it. Engage with your former self, and ultimately, forgive yourself.

Learning from Your Regrets

Regret can be seen as a mistake that we haven't learned the proper lesson from yet. If we learn from it, that mistake becomes helpful and makes us better.

The way to move on is to take responsibility for your mistakes. Understand what happened and integrate that experience into your understanding of who you are today.

Questioning Your Narratives

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

They are seldom accurate and often unhelpful, but we need them to hold our sense of self in place.

Learn from your narratives

Our narratives are chronically short-term, emotional, and self-centered.

However, regretful mistakes can have some subtle, non-emotional, long-term benefits. They can root out all superficial values and help you replace them with healthier, non-material values. In hindsight, your most painful mistakes can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Let the narrative die

When we experience regret, we are choosing to replay our broken narrative over and over again. Our problem is that we take these failures on as our lost identity - the person we should have been. Then we torture ourselves with that idealized image.

With each passing year, we grow further away from what our ideal was, and we regret it. But the narrative is not necessarily true. The best is to let that narrative die. The older and wiser version of yourself knows what you actually want. Use it and move on.

Regrets and Responsibility

Only the regrettable can teach you something. It can show you where your narratives went wrong and where you are not taking up responsibility for your life and your pain.
The good side of regret guides us to a better understanding of ourselves and a place of acceptance and growth.

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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...
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.
Forgiveness

Forgiveness is choosing to not let negative events of the past define how you feel.

Forgiveness can keep your emotional body healthy. It increases feelings of happiness and decreases ...

Forgiving is not the same as forgetting

You can forgive someone and still maintain a boundary. They may not even necessarily know you forgave them.

When you hold onto anger towards yourself or others, it weighs you down, drains your energy and increases your stress.

Living in the past

Resentment forces you to live in the past by fixing that person to that past moment.

Do not let yourself or the relationship be defined by anger. The ability to forgive and move on is critical for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with the people you care about.

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The theory is that if everyone has high self-esteem, then everyone will be successful and live a happy life. If a society was inoculated with high self-esteem, it would end poverty, crime, and violence.

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