Regret: the feeling of wishing we did something different in the past than we actually did. Is there any worse feeling in the world than regret? The thoughts of ‘I wish I did this’ or ‘my life would be better if I made that decision,’ can haunt us forever. Hindsight: the ability to fully understand something after it has happened and what should have actually been done in the situation. This concept goes hand in hand with regret and can be just as defeating.
Everyone has heard the saying “don’t regret something because at one time it was everything you ever wanted.” This quote is absolute bullsh*t. I’m sure you’re going to regret any terrible decision you made when you were blacked out. Chances are you didn’t even know what the hell was going on when you made this choice. Whether it’s drunk eating or sleeping with the wrong person -- that’s a regret.
Everyone experiences things in life they wish they could go back and change. We learn new things as we grow and mature and we can’t help but look back at our past mistakes and kick ourselves in the asses for not acting differently. If only we knew what we knew now, then.
Let’s look at some of the regrets you never want to have in life:
I Wish I Took That Job Offer
You may think you should stick out your lame 9-5 job because it's the safe option. However, when a new and invigorating opportunity comes along, we reject it because it’s risky. Maybe the pay isn’t AMAZING, but the opportunity can be a once in lifetime experience. By passing on this opportunity, you are limiting yourself because you never know what could have been. Who knows, you could’ve given up that typical career path for one of excitement and adventure.
I Wish I Spent More Time With My Family
Everyone is busy, especially in their 20s, so that leaves less time for family. Careers force people to move to different cities that can be hundreds of miles away from their homes. This distance is figurative and literal, as traveling with a full-time job is not an easy task. Family is important as they will unconditionally love you, so make sure you actively try and spend as much time with them as possible before it’s no longer an option.
I Wish I Broke Up With My Partner Sooner
Holding onto a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship is just downright stupid. Sometimes a relationship has run its course and reached its expiration date. There is virtually nothing you can do about that other than just letting it go. You don’t know what opportunities you are missing out on if you stay tied down to something that no longer serves a purpose for you.
I Wish I Told That Person How I Really Felt
Perhaps one of the biggest regrets of all is letting someone you love pass you by. This stems from insecurity and fears of rejection. This person could’ve been someone with whom you could share your life, but your fears got in the way. Take risks and put yourself out there. How else will you know how this person truly feels, unless you approach him or her? You really have nothing to lose in this situation because if you do not tell this person how you feel, you have already lost the chance.
I Wish I Traveled Abroad
This is probably the most rewarding experience a person can have in his or her lifetime. The best time to do this is probably in college, since it will most likely be at the expense of your parents. In addition to that, the timing is great. You can immerse yourself in another culture while gaining college credit. Most programs are not major-focused, so this is a great time to explore different fields. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. The older you get, the more difficult this will be, since it is basically impossible to take a month off from a full-time job to travel.
I Wish I Didn’t Cheat
Many times people fail to realize how great a relationship is and, as a result, stray. Happiness doesn’t come from getting what you don’t have; rather it’s recognizing and appreciating what you do have. Sure hooking up with someone else may seem like a “good” idea at the time, but when your mind clears the next day, you will realize how badly you f*cked up.
I Wish I Relied On Myself For My Happiness Instead Of Others
The ability to be independent is something that not everyone possesses. You need to be independent in order to survive in the world. Learning to support yourself is fundamental for any success you ever hope to achieve. Before you can settle into a happy life with someone else, you must be happy with your own life first. You are more than capable of achieving happiness on your own. If you make the fatal error of engaging in a relationship before you’re satisfied with yourself, your unhappiness will resurface and manifest itself in destructive ways. You cannot fix internal problems with external solutions.
I Wish I Asked For Help Sooner
For some reason, people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. This can be linked back to societal pressures of perfection. The tendency to believe that you should be able to function on your own prowess alone is unrealistic. Having this mindset will only prevent you from reaching your goals. Look at the reality of your situation -- do you really need help? Is the only thing preventing you from asking for help, your own ego? Put your ego aside and if you truly need help, go and ask for it. You have nothing to lose, only something to gain.
I Wish I Got To Do What I Wanted To Do
Whether it’s traveling the world or pursuing an unorthodox career route, this regret is the worst to have. How many times have we mistakenly allowed others or “the perfect picture” to drive our behavior? There is no time like the present, so if there is something you want to achieve, go out and do it. You can’t expect to gain anything without taking risks.
I Wish I Stood Up For What I Believed In
Standing up for your beliefs is difficult when they run contradictory to the people with whom you surround yourself. Not everyone is going to have the same convictions in life, but it is crucial to stand by yours. No one will respect someone who simply follows the crowd; let your passion shine through your words and actions.
I Wish I Turned Off My Phone
How many moments do you think you have missed in life because you were too busy scrolling through your Instagram feed? We are all guilty of behaviors such as this. You need to make yourself aware of how often you are using your phone while out in public. Once a moment has passed, there is no way to re-live it, so put away your cell and immerse yourself in whatever situation you are in.
I Wish I Trusted The Voice In The Back Of My Head
Listen to your instincts and follow your gut feeling. There is a reason people always say to stick with your first answer. You cannot let the opinions of others sway you; you need to learn how to listen and to trust yourself. At the end of the day, it is you and not your friends or your family that has to deal with your decisions.