By Rawan Albina ( @RawanAlbina)
“There should be no regrets only lessons learned”. Now stop for a minute and think about this sentence. What is the first thought that crosses your mind? Do you have regrets in your life or are you free of them? How about this sentence: “worrying is as effective as chewing bubble gum”? (I borrowed this one from a 90’s song) Do you agree with it? Does it make sense to you?
I personally believe that regret and worries are unnecessary.
Of course you might get the pangs of regret or you wake up one morning with an anxious feeling that reminds you of things that went wrong and the far too familiar question pops up: “what if…” Regret is the natural cause of a “what if” question placed in the past and worry is the natural consequence of a “what if” question placed in the future.
Through my work as a coach, I have met many people who are consumed by regret. They basically live their life in the past and feed on past glories and failures to the point that they forget to live in the present. You can keep playing back scenarios in your head but the truth is you cannot change the past. The only thing you can affect is the future. Yes, you can have a big impact on your future. Actually, your future is in your hands so what you make of it is entirely up to you. If you are resentful, blaming or keep worrying about what maybe happening, you are dwelling on negativity and not allowing your resourceful, creative self to be in charge and take the horse’s reins.
I am sure most of you have read or heard about the Secret. The whole idea behind it is simple. Ideas are energies that you project and they have an impact on your future. No wonder bad things keep happening when you imagine them! In the same way great things will start happening if you start projecting them. So instead of thinking up worst-case scenarios every time, try putting a positive spin on your thoughts. Imagine all your dreams coming true, your ambitions being accomplished, and visualize yourself attaining your goal. Negative self-talk is a killer. It sabotages every single one of your efforts and pushes you back on your path instead of pushing you forward. If you keep telling yourself you are a loser or whatever you think you are, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You will always be that loser. Instead, ask yourself who would I like to be? No dreams are too big to accomplish and no ideas are silly ideas. If you catch yourself saying things like “oh stop being silly” or “this dream is just not practical” pinch yourself and say this out loud: “I deserve to dream and be happy and I am going to do everything in my power to make things happen!”
If the picture can be rosy and nice, then why do we make mistakes? The answer is simple, mistakes help us grow. This is where the expression “there are no mistakes only lessons learned” comes in. If we do not make mistakes and do not get to experience the array of negative emotions that accompany mistakes including regret, we are unable to see our own boundaries. We are all flexible human beings but some of us are more flexible than others and when we grow we keep pushing our own boundaries and testing ourselves, our values, and our thresholds. We are taught early on the difference between right and wrong so these are the first acceptable social limitations that we put on ourselves. But as we grow older, we become more critical and judgemental of ourselves and others. We create opinions and allow these opinions to dictate who we ought to be. Where there is judgement there is no room for growth. Remove the judgement and you will have ample space to experiment and learn. Making the same mistakes or falling in the same traps does not mean you are stupid or a bad person. It simply means that there is a lesson there for you that you still have not learnt. If you keep allowing people to take advantage of you this means that you are pushing yourself to the limit until you have enough courage to stand up and say: ENOUGH!
In general, “What you resist persists”. Which means that the situations that you refuse to deal with because they are too uncomfortable or too painful often carry your biggest lessons. So try to have an open heart and an open mind the next time you find yourself in a situation you are trying to avoid. And ask yourself what can I learn from this situation? What lessons does it conceal?
In conclusion, as you grow into your best-fulfilled self, there should be no room for regrets and worries in your life. No room for “what ifs”. Instead of dwelling on such emotions, I would encourage you to fill that space with love, compassion, and forgiveness. Have love and compassion for yourself and others. Eliminate judgement and most importantly forgive all those who may have caused you pain and sorrow including yourself. It is only in forgiveness that you can release the negative emotions and allow for bigger and better things to happen in your life.
Rawan Albina is a Dubai-based professional coach. You can learn more about her and her work by:
– Visiting her website www.leapconsultancy.ae
– Follow her on Twitter @RawanAlbina
– Or join her Facebook Fan Page “Life on a Treadmill”
Her strongly positive nature and calm demeanor enables her to gently draw out a person’s full potential as she helps them get in touch with their passions, find their purpose and LEAP into a truly fulfilling and extraordinary life.
Women who are at a crossroads in life, young women ‘Entreprenettes’ and teenagers have all found a strong guide in Rawan who has helped them discover the life skills needed to begin the new phases in their life with confidence.