This is a guest post by Julia Wells.
Have you ever wished that you had chosen a different career, spent more time in the company of loved ones or had spread your wings and travelled more? It appears that you are not alone in harbouring regrets. In a recent study of 2000 participants, researchers discovered that we spend over two hours a week reproaching ourselves for some of the life choices we had opted for. However, perhaps we should change our mode of thinking and see regrets in a more constructive light. They can often be the positive spur that prompts us to make those long-awaited changes to our lives. This five-point plan may just give you the impetus you need to ditch those niggling worries once and for all – and really start living the life you deserve.
Leave Your Regrets Behind and Live the Life You Deserve
It’s Courage, not Cash You Need
Many of those questioned in the survey placed the blame firmly on lack of finances for thwarting their dreams and aspirations. Yet this is only half the story. When pressed further, it became apparent that deep down it was a lack of courage that prevented many people from achieving the things they had always yearned for. If you’re hoping for a big win on the lottery before you embark on traveling the world, then let’s face it, you could be waiting a very long time! Your time is now. Pluck up the courage to face your fears and don’t allow a lack of money restrict you. Be resourceful and find a way. So you want to see the world but can’t even afford a bus ticket? Have you thought about volunteering overseas and using your existing skills to secure a place with an orphanage or a wild-life reserve? You won’t get paid a full wage, but very often flights, accommodation and food are provided. It’s a small start but it could transform your life.
Keep a Journal
People are understandably very nervous about confronting their fears and doubts. Yet examining what holds us back can often be a truly liberating experience in itself. Buy yourself a notebook and write down whatever comes to mind. Your thoughts are private. You don’t have to share them with anyone else unless you choose to. By writing down your worries you may find that you begin to unlock the reasons as to why you are not achieving your full potential. It’s not easy and it does take courage. However, it could also be the start of an amazing journey for you. The therapeutic process of keeping a journal may finally enable you to unlock what is really holding you back and give you much-needed clarity.
Make a Plan and Stick to it
Creating your own personal plan is a great way to start tackling any issues or concerns you may want to change. The problem with many people is that they set themselves unrealistic goals from the outset and then find all their good intentions gradually fall by the wayside! Start with very small steps. So you want to change your career? Begin by thoroughly researching what it is you need to do to make the leap. Find a mentor – someone who will give you genuine advice and support. Above all, don’t give up! If you truly want something, you’ll work hard to make it happen. Start thinking outside the box and find creative ways to solve any obstacles you come up against. Keep persevering and you may find those doors you thought were locked suddenly opening up for you.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Many participants on the survey cited lack of enthusiasm and encouragement from their partners, friends and loved ones as being a major factor as to why they felt unable to make the necessary changes in their lives. Whilst it’s true that others can often appear to be negative because they don’t want us to be disappointed or disillusioned if an endeavour doesn’t come to fruition, other issues can also come into play here. Often jealousy, resentment and a fear of being left behind can be the real reasons as to why a partner or friend is less than enthusiastic about your new venture. Toxic relationships are stressful and debilitating. They can also destroy any hope we have of moving forward. It’s vital that you surround yourself with people who genuinely have your best interests at heart. Positive, supportive folk can have an amazing effect on our own self-confidence and belief in our abilities. They can also provide solutions to challenges we may have thought were impossible to overcome. Be selective about who your share your dreams and aspirations with. If you find a relationship has run its course because of your own personal desire for change, then be prepared to let it go. Always remember – for transformation to occur we must be brave enough to relinquish the old for the new.
Be Kind to Yourself
Any kind of change can be daunting and very often we can feel we are taking two steps back instead of two steps forward. Yet any progress, however slow, is still growth and advancement. You have done something quite remarkable by taking the first tentative steps towards transformation in the first place. So what if things don’t go quite according to plan? Relax and take some time out to evaluate what you need to do to get back on track. It’s important that you nurture yourself whilst going through this new chapter in your life. Eat well, get a good night’s sleep and, above all, remind yourself that your hopes and dreams are still worth striving for.
Regrets can stagnate and immobilise us if we let them, but if we are bold and daring we can turn regrets into wonderful opportunities and amazing life-changing experiences. Don’t let your fears prevent you from living the life you truly deserve. Remember – you only get one crack at the whip. So what are you waiting for? Make that leap!