Lessons Learnt or Reasons For Regret?

I wrote a post a while ago, where I had put that I try to never think of anything as a regret. A lovely lady commented that she wished that she could think that way. We ended up having an email conversation about this for a couple of weeks, and it led me to thinking, do you count things as lessons or regret? Pull up a pew, its cuppa and a chat time…..

There is a saying,

Never Regret Anything, At One Time It Was Exactly What You Chose

I tend to agree with this. If I look back over my 44 years, trust me, I could write you a list of a million things that I got wrong, and that I could sit and regret. Is there any benefit to that? Does it change anything? Will it undo any of the things that I could have regret over? Nope. It dosent change a thing.

When I was young, I had a wild streak that meant I was impulsive, I did first, thought later. I was reckless, taking chances with myself, my health, my safety. I got into debt with irresponsible spending, finding myself overdrawn or with a credit card balance. I had that thinking that young people often have, I was indestructible and, whatever I got myself into, it would always work out. I got myself into situations that could have changed the course of my life, that in some cases did change the course of my life, but, do I have any regrets? Not one. All those things taught me something, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but all bound together and made me the person I am now.

My feelings on regret, is that it is a very destructive thought process. If you think about it, when someone offends or hurts us, we feel angry, yet often forgive easily if asked of us. If we have regrets, I feel that we are repeatedly torturing ourself, far worse than the incident did, by the constant mental re-hashing. Why do we do that to ourselves? Do you do that?

you do you book by Sarah Knight

Fab books to read;

You Do You by Sarah Knight

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K by Sarah Knight

Lets think about what regret is. Its basically, our wish to get a re-run, a chance to have another bash at whatever. Something didn’t work out the way you thought it would, or you didn’t do something the way you wished you would have. Your mind takes you over and over it, replaying the scenario over in your head, trapping you in a woulda/coulda/shoulda head space. Its torture.

Also, regret always comes after the incident. At the time, something happens and you deal with it. You make a choice, or have a reaction, and act on it. So, when regret creeps in like the little troll it is, you are thinking about the situation that has passed and that you have regret over, with the mindset of now, the present. Its a totally different viewpoint. You will probably have a better clarity and awareness of the situation now, that you didn’t have then. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing! Am I making sense?

So, you sit there, chewing it over with your friends, or your family, and you beat yourself over the head. Sound familiar? You tell yourself you should have said this, done that, not lost your temper……….. You want to go back, change the way it played out. Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but unless you have Dr Who on speed dial, you cant go back. Its done. The key now is to not let it become a festering ball of regret, sitting there ready to mock you as and when it feels the need. You have to deal with your shiz!

cup of fruit tea and a book

In my experience, (and this is only my experience, Im no mental health Doctor), the first thing you have to do is accept. You have to take responsibility for what happened, and accept that at the time, that was your best way, and conscious decision of dealing with it. Even if what went on is not your fault, you acted/reacted a certain way and that is on you.

The second thing is to look at it with a clear head and see where there were lessons to be learnt. Work out why you acted the way you did. Try to think how you would handle it differently next time. Really pull apart your soul to see what the real issue is. Did you turn down that job offer because your fear/lack of confidence made you feel you wasn’t up to the job? Did you get so angry because what the other person was saying was a truth you didn’t want to hear? Did you break up with your partner because you thought the grass was greener? Whatever your scenario, there will be a lesson to learn, I would put money on it. Work out what it is, and that niggle of regret will disappear and be replaced with experience.

I would also say that if there is an action to be taken, then don’t put it off! If you need to make an apology, do it. If that bank statement needs opening, open it! Don’t put off the action you need to take, if something is fixable. If you do, it will become the troll, regret. One of these actions that you need to take, and in some ways the most important one, is to forgive yourself. We are human, we muck up. We don’t always get it right. As long as we learn the lesson that is most definitely there, then we are moving forward. The incident has taught us something and that can only be a good thing.

So, thats my brain spew over. I would of course love to know what you think about this. Do you have regrets? Do you tie yourself up in knots? Are you able to look at things with a clear mind? How do you deal with a situation that you wish hadn’t happened? As ever, Id love to hear your thoughts. Lets discuss..

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  1. Lise
    March 21, 2018 / 8:42 am

    I really liked this.. I used to think of things as regrets instead of learning from them and it made my outlook on life very dark so I learned to just accept it had happened and moved on. The only true regret I have in life is not walking out on the abusive and toxic relationship I was in for nearly five years. But I also learned a lesson from that, never trust anyone blindly. x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 9:05 am

      You are so right Lise, it makes the world a dark place if you live with regret. Im sorry you had the experience of a bad relationship, but, you will have eyes wide open in the next one. It would have taught you so much. I bet if you sat and wrote down the lessons you learned from it, they would be vast. Well done you for getting out xxx

  2. March 21, 2018 / 9:04 am

    I’m really with you in this. It’s too easy to get bogged down in the might haves or could haves. And instead we should really try to see each move a step towards the right direction. It’s much healthier and helps your positivity to take each situation for what it is, process your feelings and then take the new lesson learned. It’s always good to know should you face the situation again you know where you stand xo

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 1:57 pm

      I think that is the key, its trying to life a positive life isnt it. I try to always look on how I can change a negative into a positive, for my own sanity haha. Thank you so much for your input xxx

  3. March 21, 2018 / 9:55 am

    That makes me think of the quote – no idea where it’s from – no regrets are as bad as regretting the things we didn’t do. Like you can regret a bad choice, and I’ve made some bad choices, but I kind of see it as a positive thing that can spur you on to try new things as well. When I left my secure, reasonably well-paid job to set up my own business, some people supported me, but others said I was crazy. But if I didn’t try, I’d never know what would happen, and I didn’t want that sense of regret or always wondering whether I could have made a go of it. So I did it. Yes, it was harder than I thought but it’s been a fun journey, and if I hadn’t done it, I probably wouldn’t have met my partner.
    Dwelling on regrets doesn’t fix things. My Granddad died suddenly and I can think of 101 things I would have liked to say on our last car journey together. But I have to believe he knew. At the same time, I think this can spur us on to try and live life to the full, make time to tell and show people that we care about them, don’t put off important things till the right time comes etc.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      Ohhhh I love this! You have a great positivity. I think good choice, bad choice, its still a choice isn’t it. We still made a conscious decision that led us to that choice. I think you are right to think of it as a positive thing, and in your case, it worked out perfectly! You should congratulate yourself on making that brave decision xxx Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your input. i really appreciate it xx

  4. March 21, 2018 / 11:57 am

    I’m like you & I don’t have any regrets. Yes things could have happened differently, but I made that choice long ago & there’s no going back. I’ve learned my lesson & moved on 😊

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 2:11 pm

      Thats a great attitude, and I love that you feel you learn a lesson. No point looking backwards is there, its done! Thank you for stopping by xx

  5. March 21, 2018 / 11:58 am

    I had never heard the beginning quote before but I really like it. I am awful at moving on, although I do try not to regret things as much as I can. I’m not sure how much I have to learn from some of my decisions but I try to think thst without them I would not be where I am today, nor have my little boy. And I could never regret anything (such as moving to france) that led me (eventually) to having him.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Its a great quote isnt it. It kind of sums it all up in few words. I think that moving on is the hardest part. I find that I have to work it all through in my mind before I can step forward. Its like I have to draw a line under it. Moving to France is a huge move, but look at what it led to, amazing! Thank you so much for stopping by xx

      • March 21, 2018 / 7:20 pm

        I’m just not so great at working it all through yet. Luckily I have the rest of my life to practice!

        • kerrylifeandloves
          March 21, 2018 / 9:15 pm

          Ahhh and you will. You are already half way there as you realise that you need to work on it. Dont be too hard on yourself xxx

  6. March 21, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    I’ve always said I regret nothing, but reading your post made me thing I guess there are things I regret as I reacted in the way you described! But the past is the past and it cannot be undone so there’s no point dwelling on it. I loved this post Kerry!!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 2:29 pm

      Ah Thank you so much, i am happy that you enjoyed this post. I think the way to look at anything that dosent work out the way we hoped, is to look at what we can take away from it, learn, and gain experience. Its all the rich tapestry of life eh! Thank you so much for reading xxx

  7. March 21, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    On point, once again Kerry! I think the biggest thing for me is the realization that life is so short. There’s so much to experience and to do, there shouldn’t be room for regret. Each and every choice I’ve made has poured back into my character and personality. I think it’s those choices that can shape me into who I am. If I spend my time regretting what I’ve done, I won’t be looking forward to what’s to come. “Learn from your mistakes, and use them to shape your tomorrow.”

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 2:33 pm

      Love, love, love this attitude! Thats exactly how I feel, all the things that happen, all the choices we make, all add and weave into our character. I dont think I would have the compassion for people that I have if a few of the things in my past hadnt happened. I love that saying too, Learn from your mistakes, use them to shape your tomorrow. Love it! Thank you so much for reading and taking time to comment xx

  8. onegreymonday onegreymonday
    March 21, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    Don’t they say the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do?
    I believe this 100%. As a previous commenter said life is too short – and as we get older a lot of things really aren’t important, so we might as well go for it.
    As usual a beautiful well written and thought provoking piece that I had to read a couple of times before I could really get my thoughts together to comment.
    Have a lovely day,

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Oh Liz I love your comment, thank you so much. I always hope to spark conversation and thoughts with these posts, you make me happy to hear that this is how you feel. Thank you x x I think that it does come with age too, we realise what is worth our worries, and what is not! Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate your reply xxx

  9. March 21, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Wonderful post as always, I think the main thing that differentiates a regret and an experience is the fact that you find the life lesson in the experience. It’s all too easy to dwell on all the things you could have done differently and I am definitely guilty of this sometimes, but it’s also so satisfying to move onwards and upwards with a new lesson learned, and feel like an improved version of yourself. Love this xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Yes! A new improved version of yourself. I love that, and that is exactly what happens if you ditch regret isnt it. I think we dwell on it because we think we could get a different outcome if we did things differently. I lean towards the thinking that things turn out the way they are meant to, so we learn. Thank you so much for reading my lovely, and your fab input as ever xx

  10. March 21, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    I loved this post! I am trying to live a life with no regret. I have made some questionable decisions over the past year, some I still do know whether right choices were made but I’m trying not to dwell on the past and realise that it must have been the right choice at the time 😊

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Im so glad you enjoyed the post, thank you x. You have hit the nail on the head, it was the right choice at the time, so it will either be the right decision or a lesson. Either way, you will grow from it xxx Thank you for your comment xxxx

  11. March 21, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    I definitely agree with you on this one. I’ve realised life is way too short to live with regrets and you have to take every chance wether it be something your afraid of or not. Great post, lovely!

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 21, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much, Im glad you enjoyed xx. What is that saying, Fell the fear and do it anyway! Thank you for your comment xx

  12. March 21, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    This is probably my favourite post I have ever read!
    I definitely wish I was in that mindset, might give those books a try!
    It is exceptionally easy to dwell on what you have done in the past, it is a lot harder to accept the life lessons and move on from it, your post justifies the effort completely 🙂 x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 22, 2018 / 6:57 am

      Ohhh thank you so much, thats such a lovely thing to hear! Thank you x. I think its about acceptance. If you accept that what is done is done, you cant change it but you can certainly learn from it, it makes it feel like you can take some positive from a bad situation. I try to always find a positive in anything, as I can be a massive overthinker! The “Life Changing Magic….” book is not specifically about regret, but its about trying to change your mindset a little. Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it x

  13. March 22, 2018 / 3:20 am

    This reminded me of the quote: “Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you
    right. Forget about those who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.” by Harvey MacKay

    Thanks for sharing your post at the re-opened SS. Hope to see you again and if possible please promote the re-opened SS to your fellow bloggers and then they can also meet up with very interesting ‘silver’ bloggers

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 22, 2018 / 7:00 am

      Ohhh I adore that quote, and how perfectly it sums it up! Thanks for sharing. I will pop on over and stumble/share the post. Its a fab idea for us silvers xx Thank you for reading, much appreciated x

      • March 22, 2018 / 1:19 pm

        Thank you so much, hope to see more ‘silvers’ come and share and enjoy the fun at SS.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 22, 2018 / 7:01 am

      Ohhhh thank you so much! Thats so kind of you. I will check the link out xxx

  14. March 22, 2018 / 7:02 am

    Oh Kerry I loved this post! I used to say how much i regretted some of my stupid teenage decisions but you know it’s helped me learn from my mistakes and if I hadn’t made those rash decisions I wouldn’t be where I am now. I might night have met my partner and we wouldn’t be expecting our first little one. So really I think everything happens for a reason, even if it’s a crazy decision that at the time you’re like why did I do that?! And totally regret it in the long run you need to look back and realise it happened for a reason and to learn from your mistake!
    Sorry that was awfully garbled, you put it much better! But I really loved this post!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 22, 2018 / 7:46 am

      Ahhhh it wasnt garbled at all haha. I totally get what you mean, and I am so glad that you loved the post! I am a massive believe that on the most part, everything happens for a reason (not serious, horrible stuff btw). I think some of the decisions I made in the past, and the outcome of them, was to teach me to change in some way. Its always been something that I have been needing to learn. You just dont realise it at the time do you. I think regret comes if you start trying to change what happened, or wishing you could, you cant do that, accept, move on, learn the lesson. Thank you so much for reading, and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated xxxx

  15. Thelma Alberts
    March 22, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    Of course I have regrets in life but what is past is past. I can no longer undo the things I have done. I am careful now to say things that can be hurtful. Life is too short for regrets but I have learnt my lesson. Thanks for this wonderful blog.I have found this through Senior Salon link.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 22, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting! I appreciate your input xx. Yes I agree with you, life is to short to wonder what would happen if we got a do-over. Maybe that mindset, in part, comes with age? Im so happy you found me x

  16. March 24, 2018 / 1:45 am

    Hello. I’ve long believed that a life lived with no regrets was a life not fully lived. That regrets were simply mistakes: not worth obsessing over, but to be learned from. You’ve given me a bit to chew on here. I may rethink my use of the word as a result. Thanks.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 24, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Hello, thank you so much for visiting xx. I think the sentiment of that saying is still so incredibly true though. If you dont have those moments of ohhh no, why did I do that, then you dont get the lesson/experience. I agree, maybe its just the word “regret” as that is a negative? I am so happy that its given you food for thought, that makes me happy! Thank you so much for stopping by, input and perspective always welcome and appreciated xx

  17. March 28, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Lovely post, positive and motivating as always!
    I try not to have any regrets. Like you say we almost always learn something from our actions, and we must have done what we did for a reason in the first place. Sometimes life carries you away, you can’t always sit and spend a day writing a pro and con list for every life decision. You just have to do!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 28, 2018 / 10:27 pm

      Oh thank you Gemma, so glad you enjoyed xx. You are so right, we can over think every thing we do, too-ing and frow-ing. Sometimes we just have to trust that what happens, is for a reason. Thank you so much for your valid input as ever xxx

  18. June 20, 2018 / 10:37 am

    I really enjoyed this post! I always look at regret in this way: I’d rather regret something that I’ve already done than something I wish I could have done. Because if I regret something I’ve done, at least I know what the outcome was and I wouldn’t be wondering “what if?”. If that makes sense! But yeah, we should learn to stop regretting and learning from what we’ve previously done. That’s why we only get one chance, make the most of it! xx


    • kerrylifeandloves
      June 20, 2018 / 11:00 am

      Hi Amita, thank you so much for stopping by and reading, much appreciated. I agree with you 100% about not regretting things we could have done. Life is too short isnt it! I tend to be a jump in head first kind of girl, sometimes that pays off, sometimes it dosent haha! I always learn from it though, and never regret doing it. Thank you for your input, its always so good to hear how other people think xx

I love reading your comments x

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