Regret is pointless — your choices are always right in the moment

The choices you make are always the right ones in the moment

Have you ever had an “I regret that choice” moment? You beat yourself up for being stupid and you make yourself feel terrible. All of us have made bad choices in the past and you’ll make more bad choices in the future. But you’ll never know it’s a bad choice until after it’s made. Do you know regret is pointless?

It’s easy to make mistakes in business. But it’s not your mistakes which threaten your success. Mistakes are inevitable. There’s no point having regrets. What matters is how quickly you resolve the mistakes and what you learn to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

I have a perspective about regret. Regret is a pointless emotion. That’s because, every choice you make, is always the right choice for you, at the time. You never set out to make a bad decision. Ever. Whatever decisions you make, are always the best ones for you in the moment.

 

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Regret is pointless — You can see consequences, but you can’t see regret

The problem is, the decisions you make in the moment, may turn out to be the wrong decisions after the fact. Often your choices are not great, but you don’t know that at the time. As an adult, you can foresee consequences, but you can’t see regret. When emotion is involved, sometimes you have blinkers on. You think with your heart and not with your head. You know there are good choices and bad choices. Your intention is never to make bad choices. The choices you make always feel right for you when you make them. It’s not until you start experiencing the consequence of your actions that you can reflect on the success or failure of your choice.

Related post: Personal development — 14 ways to invest in yourself

 

Whatever decisions you make, are always the best ones for you in the moment. Click To Tweet

Right choice in the moment, wrong choice within seconds

You have a busy road to cross. You’re waiting until you see a break in the traffic which will allow you to step safely onto the road without risking being hit. You see a moment which you believe gives you a safe, clear path. You make a decision to cross and you step out onto the road.

It becomes obvious within seconds, your choice is a bad one. You realise you’ve just stepped into the path of an oncoming car you didn’t see. At that moment in time, you believed you were safe. At the time the choice was the right one. Within seconds you received feedback that it was the wrong one.

 

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Right choice in the moment, wrong choice within a day

You receive an email which infuriates you. You’re livid! Your instinct is to respond immediately. You tell yourself, they’re not getting away with that. You start typing out an emotion fueled response. The language you use is usually reserved for your most private angry moments. You insult someone who you would never normally speak to in that manner. The things you say, you don’t really mean but you’re just so mad. You hit send and you think to yourself, “how do you like them apples!”

For the rest of the day, you can’t let it go. Your stress levels soar through the roof. You vent to anyone who will listen. You can hardly sleep that night. In the morning, you’ve calmed down. In the light of a new day, you start to see that maybe you overreacted. You regret what you wrote. In fact, you’re mortified. You wish you could take it back. At the time, you believed sending that email was the right thing to do. Within a day, you see that it was the wrong choice.

 

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Right choice in the moment, wrong choice a year later

You’ve got a choice to make which will influence the next 4-5 years of your life. In fact, it may influence the rest of your life, or so your teachers have been telling you for the past few years. You have to choose which university or college course to enrol in and you make a choice. You choose a course which looks like it interests you and it’s the right course for the career path you hope to pursue.

By the end of the first year however, you aren’t feeling it. You’re not enjoying it. It’s not what you thought it was going to be. You made the wrong choice and now you want to do something completely different. You chose what you thought was the right path. Turns out a year later, it was the wrong choice.

Instead of feeling regret, try to look for the lesson

You always chose what you think is right for you in the moment, otherwise, you wouldn’t make that choice in the first place! Instead of feeling regret, try to look for lesson. Try and view your wrong choices as experiences which can teach you what not to do next time. It’s all a learning curve.

 

Instead of feeling regret, try to look for the lesson. Click To Tweet

 

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18 Replies to “Regret is pointless — your choices are always right in the moment”

  1. Well , how do you define mistake ? It’s hard to acknowledge if awareness is not given and people have different recognition of mistake yes or no.

    1. Very good point Dieter. Acknowledging a mistake and learning from it is very different to feeling regret about our choices. Mistakes are inevitable and it’s important to be aware, acknowledge the reality, learn from it and then move on. But when you get caught up wishing something hadn’t happened, and wishing you could change the past when you can’t, that can be very damaging.

  2. Regret can be such a terrible monster. But you are absolutely right, it isn’t healthy to live dwelling on the regret. It is so important to acknowledge the feeling, recognize where you went wrong, learn from it, and move forward. We can always take steps towards resolving the conflict causing the regret, but in healthy ways. Living in regret is detrimental to ourselves and those around us.

  3. Love this Lisa – regret and doubt and questioning your choice can be crippling sometimes so this is an always needed advice and perspective!

  4. I tried to tell myself everyday that mistakes are all part of the process of life and you just have to learn from them. This post is great xx

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