Could-a, would-a, should-a.
Ah, how many times have you used any of these? Come on, fess up. You may use them so many times that you no longer notice when they’ve been said (or thought).
All of 3 of them reek of “if only…”
Certainly this is one way to look back on your choices, actions or thoughts. And yet, none of the things you recall can be changed. They are part of the past. They are done. And, they are part of you, like it or not!
The Regret Trifecta can also apply to those choices you didn’t make and now wish you had – those actions that were never taken. This line of thinking may send you off with “If only I had done [fill in the blank], my life would be so much [fill in the blank].
Both situations have some things in common: they are backward-looking, wishful thinking, with a dash of desire to rewrite history – yours. Interestingly, they also include a longing to have done things differently.
Good ‘ole Merriam-Webster says that regret is beyond one’s power to remedy. I disagree!
For those choices and actions that you took, and wish you had a “do-over” for, what if you replaced “could-a, would-a, should-a” with “Next time I’ll..”? This reframes your thinking, causes you to look forward, and put into practice what you have learned.
And then you have to let go of the past. Done. I’ve learned. Now, to get on with my life. There are so many people ready and willing to beat you up in life, why should you also be one of them?
As for regret for things you never did…what’s holding you back now? Do your desires and wants come with an expiration date? If so, who imposed it? And, more importantly whose life is it, anyway?
Your call to action:
What are 5 actions you can take to move you closer to a life of no regrets? What hidden desires are rumbling around inside of you? What would your life be like if you gave them their voice?