I’ve had some pretty crappy stuff happen to me in my life. I’ve been walked on by people. I’ve been abandoned by people I thought would stay in my life forever. I’ve been through a lot.
2017 was a really crazy year for me and I did more growing in that year then I think I did in my past 18 years of life. A huge lesson I learned in 2017 was how to stop regretting things. (2017 gave me a lot of opportunities to regret things.) And today, I’m going to share seven tips I learned during this time to stop regretting things.
1. Stop expecting things from people.
A lot of the time, expectations don’t equal reality. If you expect things from people, you’re going to be disappointed when they don’t become reality.
This one took me so long to really put into practice. I’m the type of person who just gives and gives and gives to people. And sometimes, (okay, a lot of the time) I get jealous of the fact that they don’t put in as much effort as I do. I start expecting them to do the things that I do, but they’re not me. And, I have to accept that.
2. Learn to forgive.
This one will take a while. It’s really hard to forgive someone who hurt you, but I promise, you’ll feel better once you do. You don’t have to tell the person to their face that you forgive them. You can just write it out in a letter and read it out loud to yourself.
I had someone hurt me pretty bad last year. But, this year, I decided I wasn’t going to let that negativity ruin my life anymore and I wrote out a forgiveness letter intending to read it to them, but I didn’t end up reading it to them. From that exercise, I learned that just the act of writing out all the things I forgave them for helped me so much! Sometimes, I go back and read that letter and it brings tears to my eyes, I’m so happy I did this.
Seriously, stop holding onto the pain of the past. Don’t let those negative people control anymore of your thoughts and time. Forgive them and move on.
3. If something made you happy at the time, don’t let bad things that happened later ruin those memories.
Learn to love those moments.
I know, sometimes it’s hard to think about the happy moments you shared with someone when you think about the pain they caused you later. But, those happy moments shaped you into the person you are today just as much as the pain did.
Pain changes you, but so does happiness. Don’t regret the happy moments. They don’t last forever. Enjoy them while they last and smile when you remember them later.
4. Understand that everything happens for a reason
This is probably the tip that’s kept me from having the least regrets in life. I’ve seen the hand of God in my life so much over the past year that it makes me emotional. I’ve seen Him in everything from broken iPhones to broken relationships. And, it’s changed my perspective on everything. There isn’t a thing in my life that He doesn’t have control over and that gives me so much peace.
5. Be authentic
If you pretend to be someone else, you’re gonna regret it in the end. Just, be 100% you all the time. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always done my best to be as authentic as I can possibly be, everywhere. Online and face to face. Albeit, it’s pretty hard to give y’all a glimpse into how much energy I have all the time and how weird and awkward I am in person through a blog post. Oh well.
6. Do everything in your power to make your dreams a reality.
You only have one life, you better do everything in your power to make it worth it.
Life is about taking risks. They’re scary and sometimes they fail, but in the end, you either learn a lesson or the dream becomes a reality. And, for me, that’s motivation enough.
I’ve always been a dreamer, ever since I was a child. I dreamed about what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up and became an adult. I dreamed about the impact I wanted to make in the world. And, there’s nothing more fulfilling than working hard every day to make those dreams a reality.
7. Accept yourself as you are
All of these tips are really hard but this one is probably the hardest. I’ve learned that we humans are hardest on ourselves. We beat ourselves up over the smallest mistake, a point less on a test, an extra donut, a missed workout, a miscommunication with a friend, and so much more.
But, just like we give the other people in our lives grace and forgiveness and accept that they are human and make mistakes, we need to do the same for ourselves.
Someone once said:
‘Once you accept your flaws, no one can use them against you.’
And, I believe this wholeheartedly. If you spend more than 10 minutes with me, you’ll probably hear at least one self-deprecating joke. I learned a long time ago that if you laugh at yourself first, everyone eventually just laughs with you.
Once you accept yourself, you can stop caring what people think of you. And, that is the best way to stop having regrets in life. Live your life on your terms, not on everyone else’s. You are in control of your future. Take a deep breath and move forward. You got this. I believe in you.
Which of these tips are you going to implement in your life? Are there any tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
Soli Deo Gloria,
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