The Internet is clogged with inspirational memes that decry regret. It’s a shaming disguised in inspirational motivation: No regrets. We are not allowed to regret anything. Ever.
But, we all have them. They’re important lessons and I would even argue more important than the mistakes that we are all apparently allowed to make (as long as we don’t regret them J)
Regrets form the “should haves”, “could haves”, but didn’t. They pick at your conscience and nag at your soul. But instead of looking at them as weights around us, dragging us down. I look at them as safety nets to stop me from making the same errors in judgement.
For me, the biggest regrets are the ones where I really did know better but did it anyway. The biggest one of all was when I took a job just to get away from the one I was in. “They” say you should never run from something, you should run toward something. And normally, I abide by that little life rule. Except for the time that I didn’t. And boy-o have I regretted it.
My normal list-making, risk-weighing, talk-about-it-until-even-I’m-sick-of-it self threw all caution to the wind jumped ship. Had I done even an ounce of research I would have known not to accept that job offer and saved myself years of headaches. Had I simply asked one question about my future boss, I would have known to steer clear of the passive-aggressive-control-freak egoist. Had I just asked one person if they were happy, I would have had a clear heads up of a bubbling toxic workplace that was about to erupt.
Do I regret this choice? Absolutely.
Have I learned tonnes from it? Definitely.
Will I make the same mistake again? Never.
Regrets aren’t about wanting to live in the past, they’re living reminders to help you make better choices in the future.