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How to ditch the regrets and replace them with positive thinking

It is one of the most negative emotions and one of the most debilitating. It happens when we look back into the past and wonder what might have been. It’s called regret and it has the power to prevent you from moving on, make new friends and can rob you of the impetus to explore fresh opportunities.

It is one of the most useless emotions anyone can have simply because you cannot change the past, you cannot rewrite something that has long since gone and the more you dwell on it, the more you allow such thoughts and feelings to hold you back.

Please do not confuse regret with guilt, another major contender in the league table of useless emotions. Regret is the idea that you wish you had done something differently when you had the chance. Guilt on the other hand is the result of you choosing to do something which may well have hurt others or the belief that you have let someone down and that is for another blog.

Regret that you did not choose to take that big job opportunity, or maybe your said no to a fantastic proposal, perhaps you gave up the chance of a lifetime to help another, possibly helping an aged parent or supporting a partner to your own detriment – I could carry on with examples here, but I guess you get the idea.

And here you are today wondering what might have been, wondering if your life would have been different had you taken another decision when you reached that particular crossroad in your life. You need to know that it doesn’t matter. You made what you thought was the right decision at the time and you are now looking back and picking out all the best bits and are creating a false picture of how things could have turned out. I say false because you do not know for sure.

In the absence of a crystal ball none of us have any idea what might have happened. That dream partner might have turned out to be a monster for all you know, the big job opportunity might have turned sour. You however can only see the good things that could have happened – nothing wrong with that – except that now regret has crept in it has convinced you that everything would have been wonderful – if only.

That’s the trouble with regret. It paints a false picture which you have allowed to colour over the years completely forgetting about your reasons for saying no at the time and if you are reading this and nodding along in agreement, then what do you intend to do about it.

Positive thinking has a role to play here because what you need to do now is to somehow put your regrets into some sort of perspective. If they have been causing you are a problem then you will need to once again go back in time and revisit them and those crossroads moments?

That should be the easy bit. Especially if you have been holding on to all those regrets for some time. So here you are in the past – tell me now, what would you have done differently. Revisit the reasons you said no at the time and ask yourself the big question – looking at your life now and the way it has turned out, would you really have changed anything?

As we bring you back to the present you now need to ask another question. Have all these regrets been holding you back? If the answer is yes then you must use positive thinking and make that decision to remove them from your life.

Many people find it helpful to write them down in some detail. Add all the different scenarios that could have happened if it helps – these are your regrets that we are talking about here. When you have completed the list write in bold letters that they no longer have any part in your life.

Now here comes the best bit. Destroy that list, shred it, burn it, but get rid of it and as you do you are symbolically destroying past regrets in the knowledge that the only thing that you can change is your future.

When you are ready you can then decide what that future is going to be now that you have let go of the past. So you had better get that list out again and start working with that great Amazon of the Universe. There are plenty of blogs on this website which will show you how.

It is now time to map out your new life with Powerful Positive Thinking, common sense and action – you will regret it if you don’t - so what are you waiting for.