sandfingers.jpgA Team Member spoke regretfully to me the other day: She was negotiating to sell a house, going back and forth with a potential buyer, and had delayed a day or so accepting an offer that was close but not quite what she wanted. In the meantime, the buyer made an offer on another house that was accepted, and the hopeful seller regretted having followed advice to try one more time to increase the sale price.

“You can’t lose what you never had,” was my response. It never was a sure thing. Even when you reach “agreement” on a sale price, it takes a while to reduce it to a contract and to get a deposit. And even then there can be inspection periods and other contingencies. It takes time for a real estate contract to go “hard” and then it is generally only as hard as the amount of the deposit. Specific performance is difficult to enforce and often eliminated as a remedy via the contract. If the buyers were that close to making an offer on another place, they might have done so no matter what the seller had done. Many buyers “parallel process” until the last moment, exploring back-ups, creating options, and continuing to follow properties in which they had a prior interest.

What was being regretted was far from a sure thing.

Frequently, too, this is the case in life. We often look back with “rose-colored glasses” at “the one who got away.” Our emotional minds paint events in the glowing hues of possibility, of what might have been. This comes more from our imagination than the harsh glare of reality that existed at the time.

Regret, remorse, and the attendant feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction can sap our energy, cause us to lose our focus. Look to what you CAN do now, not what you should have done in the past. More future, less past!

Learn whatever lesson your experience holds (but no more!). Process events without dwelling on them and move on. Life goes on, so should you. Don’t let your life leave you behind or you will end up regretting the time you spent regretting.

Sometimes when I catch myself playing the “I wish I had” game, I ask myself what it is tomorrow I will be wishing I had done today, and then go do that. Taking action, getting moving, always makes me feel better and serves to take my mind off my regrets.

Use your mental muscles, practice good mood management. Discipline yourself to be your best self, to move forward into the future with purposeful plans, galvanizing goals, vivacious verve, and energetic enthusiasm.

Remember: “You can’t lose what you never had!”

Closing quote: We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. – Jim Rohn

From How to Overcome Serious Regrets

1. Determine what your regret really is. Do you regret something you did or Something you didn’t do? Something someone else did or did not do? A circumstance beyond your control? It is important to step back from the feelings of regret and identify exactly what the regret is.

2. Ask for forgiveness and make amends. Apologize for any harm you may have caused others. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Be compassionate toward everyone involved.

3. Accept the circumstances. Avoid blaming others but rather take responsibility for anything that you could have better handled.

4. Deal with toxic relationships. Sometimes other people cause us to do things that leave us with serious regrets. Do you have a toxic relationship that needs to be addressed or severed?

5. Grieve for your regrets. When we feel regret, we relive guilt, sadness or anger over and over again. Allowing yourself to experience these feelings fully with the intention of moving forward can help you stop revisiting them.

6. Recognize what you have learned or gained. When you find yourself thinking of the regret, turn your thoughts to the things you have learned and the opportunities that are now yours, even if they are not what you would have preferred. There is always a lesson even in pain and sadness. Look for the lesson and focus on it instead of what might have been.

7. Write out a plan or agreement for yourself that identifies how you could avoid having this sort of regret in the future.