Imagine that today is the very last day of your life.
What would be going through your mind?
Or, imagine that today you lose someone that you love.
What would be going through your mind?
Of course, these are horrific thoughts to be contemplating. However, in assessing your life, actions and history, it is important to know TODAY what you think about yourself; what are your values and priorities in life; what do you stand for; what you have done that makes you feel good about yourself; what have you done that makes you feel bad about yourself. Today is the day you can what you might regret if it is your last day.
The ANGST of Living with Regret
Sometimes it takes a startling life tragedy or crisis to provide people with a “wake-up” call. Often at times like that people are moved to make changes, do things differently and re-evaluate their choices.
Coming to the end of the road; whether it be for your health, your life, a significant relationship, a career or loss of a loved one, with words unspoken, deeds undone, and a long list of good intentions that went unattended is devastating to your emotional soul.
Being a psychotherapist for many years and having known the angst of clients, friends, family, colleagues and my own life experiences, I know for certain that living with regret is painful and a continuous drain on your mental outlook. With that said, I also know that the human spirit can be awesome and tenacious about making changes when it becomes apparent that something must change. People can overcome addictions, loss of relationships, loss of jobs, loss of financial wherewithal and any other overwhelming obstacle, once they make a decision to do so.
Not to sound cliche; but the mind is a terrible thing to waste. It has incredible power to assist you in achieving your highest potential, including living in a way that won’t cause you to feel regret about your choices.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU ASSESS YOUR LIFE
- Are you proud of the life that you live?
- Do you do the things that you intend to do?
- What is important to you?
- What are your values?
- Do you live those values every single day?
- Do you take care of your health?
- Do you tell your loved ones how much they mean to you?
- Are you proud of your accomplishments?
- Do you live mindfully?
- What do you regret now?
- What can you do to make amends, forgive yourself and make changes?
How do you feel about those questions? Do you feel as though you are on a good track, walking your talk, doing what you believe is right? Or, do you feel some disappointment, angst, sadness, anger or anxiety as you ponder them? This process can provide you valuable feedback. Your answers become the pivotal guides in shaping your future to live without regret.
Self Esteem Grows by Doing the Right Things
It is never easy to live up to all of your standards, all of the time, impeccably. None of us do! After all, we are human, we make mistakes. We must face obstacles every day that force us to make choices. Sometimes we make a solid choice reflecting who we are and what we believe in. And, sometimes we make that choice that haunts us with “I wish I had done something different.”
The key is to make the majority of your choices good solid ones because you KNOW without question who you are and what you believe in. Living mindfully about that is what makes people feel satisfied and content with their lives. Self esteem is built over time by doing what you know is right to do and is often what is hardest to do.
Strive to live your best life! Make it your challenge! Learn about the obstacles that hold you back from embodying the values in which you believe. Take the necessary steps (even and especially if they are difficult) to keep your actions focused on the objective: living without regret … you won’t regret it!
- Assess your situation
- Identify what you want to improve
- Get feedback from friends, family, loved ones and/or a counselor
- Create an action plan
- Take action – one step at a time
- Pat yourself on the back when you make a change!
- Look back and be proud