Stop Living with Regrets By Embracing the Present

Are you living with regrets? Is there anything from your past that still bothers you? 

Here’s one regret that I used to think about from time to time.

I was in seventh grade. My assignment was to do a report on the planet Saturn.

A girl my age in my class was assigned to the same planet. I waited with anticipation to hear her presentation.

Maybe because she was nervous, or for some other reason, she presented the facts about Saturn incorrectly. I mean all her facts were wrong.

So, what did I do?

I called her out on all her “wrong” facts in front of the whole class. I was merciless.

After I finished, she ran from the class in tears.

I felt like a jerk, because at that moment, I was.

For the longest time, when I thought about that incident, I would cringe inside. 

It was definitely not one of my finest moments.

Can you relate to this?   

Are you living with any regrets that are similar to that one or maybe worse?

How to Stop Living With Regrets

While there are many other things I’ve done that I’m not proud of, the incident above about was one I regretted deeply. This was probably because I’d never made someone cry like that before.

The fact is there’s almost no human alive who doesn’t regret some of the things they’ve done. Even when the source of regret happened years ago, like my incident in seventh grade, we often hold onto those feelings.

As we relive them, we wish that we could change the past.

And while no one of us can travel back in time to change our mistakes, we can learn from them. Figuring out how we can improve the next time is how we move forward.

Learn to Live in the Present

One of the best ways to let go of the past is by learning how to live in the present. This is a great strategy because, when you really think about it, you don’t have any other time to live in anyway.

Another benefit of focusing on today is it allows you to release your need for perfection. It does this by helping you accept the fact that you are simply a human being doing the best you can at whatever you are doing right now.  

Staying present helps you to make peace with your past. It frees you from holding grudges toward people or situations that happened long ago.

It also helps you to eliminate worries about what may happen in the future.

By letting go of the regret and worry, you begin living your best life.

But like so many other things, this is a lot easier said than done.

So, what can you do to stop living in regret and embrace the present?

Here’s Some Tips to Help You to stop living with regrets:

1.    Decide what you want.

One of the biggest reasons for living with regret is not knowing what you want. It’s only when you understand what’s important to you, can you begin to focus on the present.

The easiest way to do this is to write down a list of goals you want to achieve. After you have created them, develop a plan to turn them into a reality and then commit to following through.

By thinking about what you want, you will be more focused on the present. This will allow you to work on what’s important to you and leave your regrets in the past.

2.    Uncover what’s holding you back.

When you listen to your fears, it’s easy to get stuck in regret. While people express fear differently, it’s commonly revealed when a person has difficulty accepting their faults.

So, if you want to be less caught up in regret, start by looking honestly at your fears.

Maybe you have made a habit of making excuses for not pursing your goals because of a negative experience from your past. This fear has prevented you from moving ahead.

The way to overcome this fear is admitting that it is holding you back, and then figuring out a way to overcome it.  

Once you do that, you’ll be able to free yourself from the weight of the past that has been holding you back. This will allow you to move toward the life you desire.

3.    If you want to stop living with regrets you’ve got to focus on what you can control.

We all find ourselves in a rut from time to time. While we may think we know what we want, we get stuck in place.

Often, this is a result of letting our regrets get the best of us as we rehash past mistakes.

But sometimes it can be a result of worrying about what might happen in the future as we fill our minds with images of all the things that could go wrong.

Of course, all this living in the past or worrying about the future only makes us feel miserable.

Look, the past is in the past, and the future is a mystery. Both are out of your control.

Instead, go with the flow.

Going with the flow doesn’t mean facing life without a plan.

It means letting go of the need to control everything and, alternately, focusing on what you can control, this moment.

4.    Work on dropping into the zone.

When you’re doing something simply because you just feel happy doing it, there’s a good chance you’re in the zone. In the zone you leave everything else behind. It feels feel like you’re in another world, a world filled with true happiness.

You can only drop into the zone when you are living in the moment.

Rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, decide to focus on what you’re doing in the moment. This can help bring you into a flow state where you are content with whatever life brings you rather than living with regret.

5.    Invest time with friends and loved ones.

Time is our only limited resource. You can use it wisely or carelessly.  

Careless uses are spending too much time on social media and playing with technology.

While there’s nothing wrong with spending a few minutes a day keeping up with your contacts, spending hours a day looking at people’s fabricated lives or reading about the latest celebrity breakup is a waste of time.

So is spending all your time playing video games.   

You can make good use of your time by saying no to these types of activities. You can also decline to be part of time-wasting projects.

Instead, choose to give your time to those who have real importance to you.

The moments you have with them will help to keep you from living with regret.

Try Using One of These Tips Today

While I am still sorry that I made that girl cry in seventh grade, I no longer carry that regret around with me. I can do this because I have learned how to forgive myself and live in the present, at least most of the time.

Look, living in the past or living with regret is something we all do.

It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.

Make peace with your regrets by embracing the present.

This will allow you to live your best life.

modern mindfulness

Want to learn more about how to live in the present? Then pick up your copy of Modern Mindfulness: A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World, today!

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