Three Ideas to Help You Overcome Your Past Regrets

It’s not an easy thing to admit that I have my own regrets from the past.

We all have done or said things that we would rather forget.  I’m sure that many (if not all of us) have made decisions and choices we would rather go back and do over.

I haven’t read many of the books from Dr. Phil McGraw.  What I have read has been rather direct and difficult to read, probably because it contains a lot of truth that is hard to face.

I think Dr. Phil once wrote “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.”

In this post, I’d like to help you address any issues you have with your past regrets.  We’ll think about three consequences of this self-defeating emotion, and three ideas you can use to overcome the “regret habit” in your own life.

Your Mental and Emotional Energy Become Focused on the Unchangeable Past

When you start focusing and wallowing in regret, you are essentially focusing on things from the past that you cannot change.

In the past, I made a few career and education decisions that weren’t in my best interest.

I got involved in some online training that wasn’t a good fit for me.  I found the training to be overwhelming and difficult to follow.  Unfortunately, I made a couple of quick decisions to invest in these courses, and didn’t do my own “due diligence” with these companies.

I have struggled with the poor choices that I made.  Looking back, I got caught up in my own world of regret, and began to “beat myself up” over these past decisions.  

My life had become filled with “if-only” statements… “If only I had taken the time to make a better decision.  If only I had taken the time and not been pressured by their high-pressured sales tactics.  If only I had checked them out online before proceeding.”

If you struggle with any of your past choices, take a few moments and ask yourself:

  • “What did I learn from this experience?”
  • What valuable lesson can I use from this regrettable choice?”
  • “Can I use this experience for my own future benefit, and to help other people?”

With one of the online companies I am referring to, I still have some valuable information I can use in my life and in my online business.  It’s only a complete loss if I choose to think about the experience in that negative light.

Your Self-Esteem and Self-Image Suffers When You Get Too “Wrapped Up” or Focused on Your Past Regrets

I like a quote I once read from William James, who is a famous psychologist:

There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking.

Instead of labeling yourself as a “loser” or a “failure” or “inadequate” for your goals, why not begin to think of yourself as strong, capable, courageous, worthy of success, unique, and valuable?

I am slowly learning to not personalize my past mistakes and failures.

Our identities and value are not determined by our circumstances, our past, or other people’s opinions.

Your worth is based on your supreme value as a human being.  Remember that you were placed on this earth for a reason.

I don’t want to overuse quotes on this post, but this morning I found an excellent quote from St. Francis de Sales, who was a Catholic Bishop who lived during the 16th century:

Have patience with all things but first with yourself.  Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist.  And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.  Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind.

This quote encourages and inspires me to view myself, my mistakes, and my value in a much better light.  I hope it encourages you as you overcome your past regrets.

When You Focus on Your Past Regrets, It Hinders Your Progress in Life

All we have is this present moment.  It’s hard to remember that when we start thinking about our past regrets.

We can’t go back and “undo” the past.

I’ve found that the emotion of regret can often lead to doubts about my abilities and capabilities.

Whenever I started thinking about my own regrettable mistakes and decisions from the past, it affected my well-being and chances of success. It’s difficult to be productive, happy, and in a good mood when we become focused on a negative event from the past.

One of my mentors kept reinforcing to me that “the past does not equal the future.”

I have often needed to remind myself of this valuable statement.

Today is a new day.  Each moment is a new opportunity for you. What choice will you make with it?  Will you decide to make the most of your time as you focus on what you can do now?  Or will you allow your past regrets to dominate your thinking and diminish the quality of your life?

The choice is yours.  I hope you will choose wisely.  Your life and goals are well worth the effort.

I like the quote in the image below (from the website called which says “Never let mistakes define who you are. Only you choose who you are and what you become.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

never let mistakes define who you are Three Ideas to Help You Overcome Your Past Regrets

About kevinb


  1. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal site.

  2. I once again very much appreciate your words of wisdom. I don’t know why it bothers me so much when people say we’re placed on this earth for a reason. I guess it doesn’t make logical sense for me to believe in a higher power. I hope I can see past statements like that, to draw value from what you have said.

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