Everyone has things in their past they regret. Looking back on your life, you think of the things you could have done differently. But you can’t change our past, so how do you live life without regrets? How do you get past the feeling of giving up on that one person who has always been there, yourself?
The regrets of knowing what could have been will make you want to give up. I’m not talking about taking your life, but that deep-seated feeling that you have that says, “why keep trying.” I can say that I have felt like giving up so many times that I cannot count. It may be more than the fish in the ocean.
Everything we see says never give up. So many sayings indicate that to give up is a failure. This is not a true statement. Giving up may be a choice you have made for self-preservation or laying something old down to begin new.
But in your mind giving up always feels like you didn’t try hard enough. It has a connotation of weakness. So today, I want to talk to you about regrets and giving up. How doing just that can be therapeutic. How giving up can be a momentary, fleeting feeling. Or maybe it is a way of showing self-kindness and take a break.
Regret is sadness or disappointment from a loss or an opportunity missed. For example, regret can be remorse over something you did or the way you dealt with life. But regret is in the past, and bringing the past back up today will produce the need to give up.
Why do you feel like giving up when you face regret? Because changing the past is a hopeless situation. You can’t change the past, and you can’t make the future happen. You can only live for today.
Regret will grow and fester in your mind. So much so that your mind may exaggerate the original situation. Some will tell you to get over it, but it is not that easy for those with a deep-seated feeling of guilt. You have to take active steps to let go of the past.
How Do You Live Life Without Regrets?
First, we will tackle how you can live life without regrets and learn to let go. If you are a worrier or can’t let go of the past, here are some steps that will help.
No matter how much you dwell on what happened, does it change it? No, it only becomes larger in your mind. Before you know it, the past has caught up with you and affects your daily life. However, you can do some things to help with the process of dealing with regret and the feeling of giving up.
- Accept the situation as the past
- Own your part in the regret
- Acknowledge the pain it caused you and others
- Apologize when you can
- Forgive yourself to live a life without regret
Accept The Situation As The Past
Since we can’t change the past, it is important to accept it. This is possibly one of the hardest steps. To know that you made a wrong decision that has affected your life and others wears on your mind. You regret what you did, and you dwell on it day and night.
Think about it for a moment. At the present time in your life can you go back and change that decision? Can you change the outcome? No, because it is over and you can not travel back in time.
Run the decision through your mind. Please give yourself a time frame to dwell on it and then visualize it flying out the window. When you see it go, it will be time to accept that you have no control over the situation. Now let it go.
Own Your Part In The Regret
Look deeply at the situation. What parts did you have in the decisions that may have altered your life or the ones around you? To live a life without regret, you will need to see yourself clearly. Are you to fully blame for the outcome?
Own the parts that you had a direct play in. Give the parts that you did not have control over to your higher power. Now take a deep breath and cleanse your mind and body.
It is much easier to look at the situation when you are not taking responsibility for the actions of others as well as your own. It is also easier to let go of the regrets when you see what your part was.
Acknowledge The Pain It Caused
Did the decisions you made cause pain to another? Once again, you cannot take back words spoken or decisions that took place in your past. Acknowledge your pain and the pain of others. But you don’t have to take responsibility for the pain of others.
The other person has control of their life. You do not control another person’s actions. If the other person chose to hang onto the pain, it is not your responsibility. Do not allow regret to set in again.
Accept that you made a decision that caused pain to another or yourself and move on. Do not sit and think about it trying to change it. Remember, you are building a life without regrets.
Apologize When You Can
Are you still in contact with the people you affected with your decisions? If so, you may want to apologize for any pain you may have caused them.
When you apologize, you are releasing the pain and the past for a healthier present. But remember, the other person does not have to accept your apology or forgive you. If they choose not to, it is still good to apologize. You are setting your mind at ease and letting them know what part of the situation you own and accept.
It will set you free from the guilt and feeling of giving up and help you live life without regrets.
Forgive Yourself To Live A Life Without Regret
Forgiving yourself for the decisions you made is a continual process. We are to forgive others, so why not forgive ourselves?
Forgiving yourself is a complex process as outlined in “What is Forgiveness and What Are the Benefits?” I believe the most important phrase in this article is “Forgiveness is not pardoning, condoning, excusing an offense or forgetting about it.”
This alone is why forgiveness is a continual process. To forgive yourself is a mind set that allows you to accept who you are and accept your shortcomings. It is liking yourself and caring for who you are.
Giving Up On Yourself
As I mentioned earlier, I am not talking about taking your life or depression. I am talking about self-preservation. You can give up on yourself when it comes to situations that are not healthy or functional. Such as a bad relationship or a project that is taking too much time and no progress. I can also refer to this as giving up without giving up on yourself.
When is giving up on yourself a good thing and a bad thing? You may say it is never good to give up, but it can be healthy and protective.
Giving up can help with self-forgiveness and allow you to move forward to live a life without regrets.
Functional ways of Giving Up
- Giving up on a project such as work
- Giving up on a relationship
- Giving up on a fight for self-preservation
- Giving up on life-acceptance
Giving Up On A Project
I operate and manage 3 websites that I personally own. That is until recently. I had one site that has gone nowhere. For a solid year, I did everything possible to make one of my sites profitable. It never did take off. I was pouring money into it and getting nothing in return. I had to accept that giving up was the right thing to do.
At first, I felt like a failure; even though the other 2 sites are up and running well, this one site caused regrets. Are you in a situation like this one. You know you are spinning your wheels, but you can’t think of giving up because of the regrets. Maybe the regrets will be more if you keep going and don’t accept the situation.
Giving Up On A Relationship
A relationship can be with a friend or a significant other. It can also be with children or parents.
Any relationship that is unhealthy and causes pain, dysfunction, and regrets is not worth keeping. Giving up on yourself in a bad relationship is taking care of yourself. Let go of the bad, accept the regrets, own your part in the relationship and heal.
You didn’t actually give yourself up; you found yourself when you practice self-care.
Giving Up On A Fight For Self-Preservation
This is not a physical fight but one that you battle in your mind. A fight that consumes your thoughts. Maybe it is to prove you are right or not at fault. But a fight like this will steal your peace.
Giving up yourself in a fight means finding common ground with yourself. Let go of convincing others and worrying about what someone else thinks of you. You know who you are, and that is no one’s business but yours.
When you don’t allow the concerns of others to affect who you are, you will find peace of mind.
Giving Up On Life-Acceptance
Giving up on the worries of life is a form of acceptance. To worry about the past and future is a waste of time and effort. Worry about now. What is your thought process? Is it positive? Are you doing things at this moment that put a smile on your face, or are you self-absorbed in negative thoughts?
Accept your life and find gratitude in the big and small aspects of who you are.
Conclusion-Bring It All Together
There is a lot of information in this article. It will take time to absorb it and apply it to your life. To live a life without regrets, it is also necessary to know when to give up on yourself or when giving up is healthy.
It takes giving up to overcome the regrets of past mistakes and decisions. Decisions that may have affected your work life and relationships.
If you are a person who hangs onto regret and guilt from giving up, then please bookmark this article and refer back when regret creeps back into your life. Work through the steps and heal.