Do you ever feel like you have “Missed the Boat?”
Are you struggling with life regrets?
Wish you could change the past? Maybe, do things differently?
Ever wonder, How to deal with regrets and life mistakes, or How to get past guilt and regrets?
We are all in the “same boat,” in “missing the boat.”
Everyone at some point or another becomes aware of and acknowledges that they have a life regret or something they wish they could go back and change.
What is Regret?
Regret is feelings of sadness, repentantance, or disappointment over something that has been done, chosen, or an opportunity that was passed up or missed.
What Leads to Regret?
Basically, we can regret:
- Things We Did,
- Things We Failed To Do,
- Things We Wish We Could Have Done, and
- Opportunities We Missed.
So many of us have regrets and feel like we totally “missed the boat.”
Some of the most common regrets are:
- Words Left Unsaid…
- Working Too Much…
- Worrying Too Much About What Others Think…
- Not Following Their Passion…
- Taking Life Too Seriously…
- Not getting a degree…
- Not Spending More Time With Family and Friends…
Power of the “What IF” of Imagination
Regrets are enhanced by our need to bargain with reality through imagination and false narrative writing. We write scripts and false narratives as a way of emotionally bargaining for an imagined outcome. This maladaptive behavior compares the real world with visions of the best created/imagined world. You can never know how things would have turned out, but your mind can easily paint a false rosy picture of it.
Wheel and Deal
Bargaining sounds like; “Could I have done something differently?”
Regrets often result from decisions that move you further from the ideal version of yourself.
Ideal Version of Self
The person you want to be is grounded by your values, which reflect the things that are important to you.
A decision that compromises your values exposes you to the risk of regret.
Some Examples of Personal Values Are:
- Achievement and Success
- Hard Work
If values are violated by our personal choice, the outcome is often regret.
Values are pretty fixed, often not changing like views and opinions do.
Values Should Not Reflect Society
Values should never be society driven, because this leads to internal dissonance and inner conflict.
If values aren’t grounded in the truth of God’s word, they are subjective and changing. This leads to regret as society changes its rules constantly.
- To avoid regrets, it is important to make decisions that are consistent with biblical life rules and biblical values. Even if things turn out poorly, you will know why the decision made sense for you at the time.
- Course correct – Don’t bargain with the past, it just keeps you stuck.
It’s easier to course correct after taking an action, than to time travel and pursue what you left behind. “Time to move on and do better”
You have two choices when it comes to your life mistakes:
- Shulk in it, regret it, feel bad about yourself, or
- Own it and use it as fuel to keep you going in the right direction
Most Successful People
Some of the most successful and highly adaptive people have a very different view of failure and mistakes than most of us might.
Without failure there would be no new ideas and no innovation. When you’re no longer afraid of failure, you are able to learn and grow. With each failure you know a little more, and it gives you the data you need to make better choices.
Being willing to fail is the driver of creativity, innovation and new ideas. Some of the most successful people in the world had the largest amount of failures. They just needed one new idea to work, but it took many failing ideas to figure out the one good one.
Failure Doesn’t Exist! Only Learning and Redirection Does!
So what does exist, if failure does not?
Pushing through or giving up. That’s all there is!
What you need is a new perspective. Holding on to your “missed the boat” moments should not leave you in guilt, shame, and life regrets. It leads to spiritual paralysis.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
When it comes to taking healthy spiritual and relational risks, I’d rather regret the things I’ve done rather than the things I haven’t done. Better an oops than a what if.
Live your life with a bet-the-farm kind of faith!
Jesus’ death on the cross covers all of the sins that lead us to regret. His redemptive work is the way for us to move past our sins, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) So, if you have regrets, give them to God in prayer. Ask Him to walk with you as you move through these regrets and most importantly, if you have not repented, wait no longer!
This is your moment!
Three Tips to Overcome Regret
- Own it and learn from it.
- Plot a new direction going forward.
- Give it to Jesus and trust His redemptive promises.
Consider the Two Possible Outcomes of Your Regrets:
- Leads to self repentance, or
- Leads to self destruction .