Jeff Howell: Regret Can Be Rocket Fuel!
Mindset Monday - May 2, 2022
Regret can be Rocket Fuel!
Everybody. How you doing? This is Jeff Howell coming at you with another edition of Mindset Monday. And today I want to talk about a concept around regret. So I saw a video a few days ago from a coach that I follow named John Wineland. And I’ve followed a lot of coaches. I’ve looked at a lot of personal development information over the years, and I’ve never really heard anyone addressing regret and certainly not in the way that he did. And so what he was saying in his video is that culturally we are taught to avoid regret and you should have no regrets like everybody’s heard that, no regrets and all of that. And I think that there’s a difference between having regret and having shame around some action that you took. So I think it’s and what John was saying that is if you’re shaming yourself and guilt tripping yourself around actions that you took in the past, that’s a very negative mindset to be in. But if you just are experiencing regret from the standpoint of maybe how you could have done things differently, then that can turn out to be a very positive mindset. So how do you do that? What do you need to do that? First of all, you do need to look into the past to see these things that you’ve done and the different experiences that you’ve had. And then second of all, you need to be able to put yourself in the other people’s shoes that maybe were affected by your actions back then, even if that person is yourself.
So you may have affected that past version of you. You may have affected family, friends, colleagues, other people around you. So there’s there’s that. And then finally, you would need to have some kind of a sense of agency or freedom that you understand that you could have done things differently if you were in the situation now and you you knew what you knew now, or you had taken a different perspective on how you address the situation. So the other concept is that you can look at this from a very micro or a very macro standpoint. So on the micro standpoint, it’s like you might have regret. The sort of in the moment regret that you might have is like the reply, all the classic reply. All right, you could really put yourself in a in a situation where you you’re experiencing a lot of regret around around that. But on the macro standpoint, you’re looking like into the past, like big experiences, big things that you’ve done. And maybe that had a massive impact again on yourself or others in the moment. And so this perspective on it was just it just kind of struck me as such a great way to look at things because again, we are taught culturally that, you know, you shouldn’t have any regret. But what John was saying is that if you can do these things, look back to the past, acknowledge the actions that you took, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, even if that other person was yourself, and acknowledge that you have the freedom and the agency to take a different action than you did, then you can kind of reconcile all of that in your mind and harmonize the feelings that you have around it in a way that you understand the pain that you caused, the trauma that you caused, the drama that you caused, whatever it is that came out of that situation and understand that it just takes a little bit of a different action, just a little course correction.
It may be a big course correction, but it takes a course correction in the sense that you could approach that same situation differently. And now, because you’ve looked back and you felt the regret and the pain of that sort of at a deeper level. And instead of playing the victim, where you’re kind of deflecting the action that you took and not really addressing the core of the issue or the action that you could have taken otherwise, what, looking back into regret will do is allow you to feel into it in a way that is going to give you a sense of the the consequences that arose as a result of your actions. So by default, you’re going to be much more likely to choose a different action in the future in similar situations, because you will have had that experience of feeling the regret from the experience of the past.
So that’s the basics of it. And it just struck me as a super powerful mindset to have as we move forward through life. Any time we’re out there doing anything or taking action, inevitably we’re going to bang into walls. We’re going to do things that are outside of our comfort zone. We’re going to make mistakes, if you will. And the best thing you can do is to find these mindset tools and different perspective. If so, that you can continuously learn from your mistakes and not shame yourself and beat yourself up over them because that’s just going to cause friction and hold you back and kill your confidence and all of these other things. So I’d be interested to hear any of your experiences with regret, how you handle it, if this information hits home for you and how you’re going to use this in your life moving forward, I know that I’m going to keep this in mind from now on and how I address regret and when these sort of experiences from the past come up, I’m going to think through them in a different way so that I can remove any of that shame or other drama or trauma that I have around it, and free up my mindset and my mental capacity to continuously learn and grow in real time. So I hope you enjoyed it. Drop your comments. I’ll see you on the next one piece.