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Regret is a feeling that’s misunderstood by most people. There're a couple of schools of thought regarding regret that just aren’t true, and they can add misery to our lives for absolutely no reason!

First is the idea that feeling regret is useful. It feels useful because we believe it serves an important purpose. However, feeling regret doesn’t come from what you did or didn’t do. Like all feelings, regret that you’re currently feeling, comes from a thought you are thinking about the past, in the present moment. Generating the feeling of regret doesn’t do much for you other than make you feel bad.

Another misconception about regret is that if you don’t wallow in it, you won’t change your actions. It’s not required to feel regret in order to abandon something you want to give up or start something you want to pick up.

Sometimes people think when they don’t handle a situation in the ideal way, they deserve to feel bad about it. Regret is self-punishment, it serves no other purpose! Punishing yourself does nothing for your future self.

If you find yourself in a similar situation in the future, you can do what you wish you would have done, but you can’t go back and change your actions, so there’s no reason to wallow in bad feelings.

Regret doesn’t make what happened in the past right or wrong, it just makes it more difficult to move forward. It keeps you in the past. Staying focused on the past can’t help us in the future; what we really need is to focus on how we’re going to be different moving forward. Ask yourself who you want to be, and what actions you want to take to make amends for what happened.

Replace your feelings of regret with feelings of compassion, determination, and commitment. These emotions will take you farther in the future than regret ever will.

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