Avoiding Regret: A 4-Step Guide



It’s so painful because by its very nature, its something we can’t do anything about. It’s a feeling we have about something we’ve done or failed to do in the past, and of course the past is gone and out of our control.

That’s why it’s so important to try to avoid the things we think we might regret before they come back to haunt us.

Several major regrets that I help people to avoid are the regret of never feeling that they’ve made a real meaningful impact in their lives or careers, and regret that they’ve never reached their maximum potential, using all of who they are in their work.

The fear of living with that regret – of losing that peace of mind – is so compelling for some people that they absolutely must make a change in their career so that they know, without a doubt, that they gave their all to a dream they hold dear, or to creating a dream and doing something that feels heart-centered rather than always just playing things “safe” in life.

If you are one of those people, haunted by worries of missing out on doing something bigger with your life and your career, how can you avoid regret?

Your Guide To Avoiding Regret

1. Examine your values. Your values are where everything starts. When  you know what you value, you know what you want to bring into your life. Only then can you truly know how you want to shape things for yourself, not because other people tell you that you should. Understanding your values can make the next steps easy.

2. Set your goals. Once you know what you value, it’s much easier to set goals in your life.

For example, if you’ve decided that it’s really important for you to have work that’s meaningful to you and that gives back to the world in a way that uses your most valued talents and gifts while also honoring your value of monetary abundance, then that points to a certain set of goals. If you want meaningful work and a laid back lifestyle without so much emphasis on abundance but more on travel and freedom, that’s another set of goals. Know what you value and your goals will follow.

3. Take action now. Once you’ve set those goals, it’s time to take action!

But action can mean different things. Sometimes it means getting very busy making phone calls, writing lists, networking or doing other external activities. But other times it means doing internal work. Maybe the most important action is tackling a fear or other internal block. Perhaps it’s finding your center. Whatever the right action is for you to move closer to your goal, don’t hesitate!

4. Assess your progress. If you keep plowing forward on any path without stopping to look around to be sure that you’re on the right path toward no regret, you may still end up where you didn’t want to go after all. So be sure to stop now and then to make sure that things still feel right and that there’s nothing calling for you to pay attention to it as a possible warning sign of future regret.

Dreams vs. Regret

No matter what it is that you want in your life, there’s still time to create the meaningful career that you want. You don’t have to settle for less than your dreams, and you certainly don’t have to live with regret! There may appear to be many barriers in your way when it comes to making a career move, but if you are motivated by avoiding regret, you can make a change!


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrproductions2012/4731879799/”>JordanAnthony</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>


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