I was recently talking with someone who has told me on numerous occasions that he has some pretty severe regrets over a bad decision he made. “I fucked up,” he says. “I regret it,” he says. I know I’m not the only person he’s told this, and if you knew the situation, you’d know he DID fuck up, and he probably DOES regret it. The interesting thing to me, though, is that he continues to do the very thing he says he regrets. He makes no real effort to change things.
While no one can go back and alter the past, staying stagnant in a situation that brings you continual regret isn’t going to make anything better. It can, in fact, make things worse. The secret to moving past negative feelings is action. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ACTION moves you past fear, regret, shame, and sadness.
I believe action is also the difference between regret and remorse. You can regret something and then proceed to do absolutely nothing about it. Awesome. You’re now a victim who mopes around and TALKS about how bad you feel about things. With remorse, you actually DO something about your negative feelings.
Regret: “Man, I’ve eaten a shit ton of donuts today. I fucked up.” Proceeds to eat remaining two donuts during Netflix binge. Goes to bed with heartburn.
Remorse: “Man, I’ve eaten a shit ton of donuts today. I fucked up.” Gets up off couch, throws remaining two donuts in trash, takes walk. Sleeps peacefully that night.
Which one gets the more positive result?
I mean, maybe some people enjoy whining about their mistakes and looking for others to pardon them with no real change. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t work that way. Actions are what most people are looking for. Actions are the PROOF that backs up what you say. Actions are the lifeblood of most healing. Actions will move you past your bullshit faster than anything else.
What are you waiting for?