The Value of Regret

“The delta between I am a screwup and I screwed up may look small, but in fact it is huge.”

-Brene Brown

Making a mistake is a good thing!

There I said it, owning that I am human may seem simplistic, but we are good at getting in our own way as we journey through life. Please consider these thoughts from Janet Landman, Psychologist from the University of Michigan:

  • Regret, “it all depends on what you do with it."
  • We’re all human, so if you believe you are a failure, guess what,,,"
  • "We tend to experience what we expect"

Regret is a form of information, and reflecting on our mistakes is critical to not repeating them. I used to live in the ‘wash-rinse-repeat’ lifestyle; boy that did not work so well. As Dr. Landman says, “regret may not only tell us that something is wrong, but it also moves us to do something about it.” That mindset can help us realize a motive to change. When we mix a little regret into the wash cycle that is life, regret can actually act as an ethical and moral roadmap, helping correct the journey of life.

To us mistakes may bring on feelings of doubt, remorse and possibly depression. We may wear the guilt of a mistake on our personality like a cheap suit, all wrinkled and funky. Keep this in mind. The anxiety of regret and of mistakes are worn by us, they are not tattooed on our forehead, or stitched into that cheap suit for everyone to see. They are there only if we allow them to be. Break out the iron and press the suit. Accountability and acceptance can fuel our life’s rocket.

Please keep in mind this acronym “VERB” that Dan Baker wrote in ‘What Happy People Know’

  • Victim- don’t allow yourself to be sucked into thinking this way
  • Entitled- don’t think I am owed anything, I am not!
  • Rescue- don’t wait around, get going
  • Blame- don’t blame others, own it!