Written by Eric Cooper

Some people think it’s a great mindset to live by the motto of “no regrets,” meaning they’re going to live life to its fullest and take everything on positively. This isn’t bad in theory, because it encourages living with a positive mindset.

That’s not expressly a bad thing, but in practice it takes away a very valuable resource for you in terms of motivation. Regret, while it’s not a great thing to have and live with, can be used as a fantastic means of motivation when you view it in the right way.

People get riled up when they regret things that they once did or didn’t do, and have a desire to change it for the better and not return to their old poor habits. A very important aspect of this idea is that you also have to move on after you regret.

You can’t let regret overtake you, so after you’ve used it effectively as a motivational tool and tool of change, you also then have to let go and find peace with it. By dwelling on your regrets, you’ll be stalling your progress just as much as you would by ignoring them altogether.

It’s all about finding the balance between not having regrets and regretting things too much. If you go too far on either end, you’ll be stuck making no progress, because you’re not taking full advantage of the motivation that you get from having regrets.

You need to be able to look at them critically without too much emotional attachment, understand what you did wrong, and then move on to coming up with a means of fixing that problem.

Regretting things is a perfectly natural response. It’s not a bad thing that we should feel the need to suppress. If you’re always suppressing your regrets, you’ll more than likely feel them deep down, and you’ll end up not learning anything, either.

When you bottle up emotions like that, it can become very dangerous quickly. Take advantage of opportunities to learn something. Even if it is something that you regret, just take what you can from it and keep moving forward.

Nothing useful is going to come out of dwelling on things, because you can’t change the past. You can, however, change the future through your actions. If you learn to use regret as a tool for your success, you can turn a lot of negative things into useful resources.

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