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January 23, 2019 3 min read

You keep going over the memory of your major mistake and wishing you behaved differently.

You can’t shake the feelings of guilt and shame coupled with gnawing regret.

Changing the past is out of the question, so you’re going to have to accept your fallible self and learn from your mistakes.

You don’t deserve to be plagued with self-hatred and pain. I hope this list of ways to deal with regret assuages this painful emotion.

5. Are You Benefiting from this Self-Loathing?


Sitting there and hating yourself is not getting you anywhere.

By going over the memory of your mistake over and over, you are emotionally torturing yourself. It is a direct detriment to repeatedly indulge in these feelings of self-loathing and self-worthlessness.

If hating yourself is not helping you or anyone else, then try something different.

You’ve had enough time to wallow in your own pity. Now you need to learn to accept your imperfections.

4. Self-Acceptance


Everyone is flawed. We have to recognize that as humans, we are going to make mistakes.

Your feelings of regret and guilt show that you’re a good person. This mistake does not mean that you are worthless and unlovable.

Accept yourself in entirety, which includes your magnificent imperfections. Tell yourself that you are good enough just as you are, faults and all.

3. Mindfulness


It’s time to stop your negative thoughts in their tracks and be mindful of the present moment.

As soon as you find yourself getting lost in the story line, come back to your breath.

First, focus on physical sensations such as the way your foot feels inside your shoe or the weight of your swinging hand as you walk.

Next, bring your attention to smells, sounds, and sights. Focus on the sound of rushing cars, the smell of flowers, and the color of the sky or shape of the clouds.

Lastly, deeply inhale and exhale, bringing your awareness to your breath. Try to let your breathing consume your whole body.

Focusing on sensations and breathing can take you out of the past and back into the present.

2. Challenge Your Thinking Patterns


We all have that inner critic inside our head, but during times of regret it feels like they have grabbed the microphone and are shouting at you every second of the day.

When the voice tells you that you are good for nothing, challenge these statements.

Is that really true? Should one isolated mistake be equated with being a life-long loser?


Send yourself positive affirmations, meditate, and breathe deeply. Then, find the strength to talk back to the critical voice by proving it wrong!

1. Guilt and Change


We make royal mistakes that have the potential to shatter our lives.

Your actions caused a disaster and now you’re feeling immense guilt. But guilt can motivate us to change for the better.

Harbor the guilt and then channel the intensity of the emotion into positive transformation. You have hurt yourself and perhaps you have hurt others.

You don’t want to do that again. It’s time to put in the effort toward radical change so you can learn and grow.


You are not condemned to feel relentless regret for the rest of your life.

You’re a flawed individual, just like the rest of us.

Regret serves a function in life because it is a reminder of the way that you do not want to behave in the future.

You made a mistake. It’s okay. Accept yourself and move forward.

Barrel & Co.

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