How To Turn Regret Into A Resource

You got any regrets in your life? Anything you wish you could go back and change or do differently?

We all do. It’s kind of like asking you if you’re breathing. Yup…we all are.

Some of us may struggle with those regrets. Wishing for a time machine. Kicking ourselves for what happened. Focusing on the past.

All of that is robbing us of energy we need for this present moment. Carrying our regrets is like carrying a backpack full of rocks all the time. There’s not much benefit to it and it wears us out.

So let’s turn our regret into a resource. We can’t change what happened, but we can change how we respond to it and how we use it.

Write A Letter To Your Younger Self

Take a pen and piece of paper and write (with your hand) a letter to you…much younger you. Write about the regret you’re carrying now. Your letter should include a few key components:

  • An apology to your younger self for what you did to contribute to the situation, the mistakes you may have made.
  • Explain the emotions you felt at the time and the emotions you feel now.
  • Talk about what you learned from the experience and the opportunities you might have missed.

This exercise helps you to be vulnerable with yourself. As you do, you’ll begin to feel empowered by taking responsibility for your own actions, both then and now. But there’s an even bigger reward than that.

  1. You’ll begin to reframe the regret as a series of lessons you learned.
  2. You’ll increase your own self-awareness.
  3. You’ll develop greater empathy for others who are in similar situations.

You can’t go back and change the past. But you can turn regret into a resource that guides you as you move forward.

Try it. 

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