There comes a time in life where most of us won’t be able to do certain things, such as climbing a mountain once you reach your 80’s, for instance. This is just part of the nature of living and one we must constantly adapt to as time passes. As my dad always says… “It is good to grow older because the alternative isn’t pretty.” 🙂
So as long as we are living a fulfilled life, one where there is no room for regrets, it won’t matter much to get to the days in which we cannot climb mountains, because we’ll have plenty of memories to lean on. To get to this point, however, we must become aware of our stand in life, and learn from our past and even from the experiences of others.
Eliminate Regrets in Your Life
A recent study revealed the top 15 things that human beings regret once they get older. The study took into consideration many factors, such as social status, race, belief, and culture. As you can imagine, when it comes to regret and a wide variety of backgrounds, there are some variations to be expected; for instance, those with less financial resources regretted not having had the opportunity to travel more. However, there is one kind of regret that came up consistently at the top, and regardless of the factors mentioned above… do you know what it was?
The regret of not having done certain things due to self-doubt and unfounded fear! Think about that, because the realization of this is huge! As time passed, these individuals had come to the realization that what they feared and doubted had no real cause for fear or doubt… it was all a perception in their minds.
And this goes even further. While some expressed regret for not having done things like sky diving or boat racing, most of them regretted much simpler things, such as not having said “I love you” to at least one special person in their past. What had stopped them was fear of rejection. However, they now admit that even though they were aware that the feeling was not reciprocal, they would have liked stating their feelings at the time.
Others regretted not having learned a new language due to self-doubt, or not having danced more even if they had the opportunity to do so. There is so much to learn from this study, especially if you recognize that you have stopped short at doing certain things due to doubt and fear, or simply because you take life too seriously.
So how do you eliminate regrets in your life? – You might ask…
First, dedicate a few moments to think of a situation in which you could have done otherwise. Did you remain seated at your friend’s wedding instead of dancing? Did you skip the opportunity to invite someone out? Did you reject an invitation to learn something new? Did you refuse to participate on a promising business?
Whatever it was… get clear on the reason you did not go through with the situation. What was the real cause of your missing something or rejecting an opportunity? Was it because you doubted yourself? Did you experience fear of the unknown? Did you feel incapable or shy perhaps? And more importantly, was this fear rational and founded, or was it just a perception of your mind?
Once you come up with an answer, ask yourself if it was worth skipping the activity or missing the opportunity. Most likely, you will regret not having gone with it once you realize that you missed the opportunity to experience something new because of fear or self-doubt.
Now ask yourself… what could I have done differently to avoid this regret? Perhaps learning the steps to start that business; getting the courage to say “I love you,” or even taking a chance at dancing even though you do not know how to dance! Imagine if you had gone with it… how would you feel today?
The good news is that by bringing this to your awareness now, you will start taking on more opportunities and eventually, you will eliminate regrets in your life as you grow older.
Above it all, realize that life is an adventure. Evaluate risks, yes, but be more daring. You have one life and it is up to you to experience it at its best. Enjoy every minute of it and do not let self-doubt and fear rob you from living to the fullest. This is how you eliminate regrets in your life!