Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Worst Type Of Regret

Nobody wants to live a life full of regret, but how exactly are you supposed to avoid that? After all, we only ever have two options to choose from: do it or don’t do it.

And since we can’t predict the future, our choices are always a gamble. We don’t know if it’ll pay off until after it’s too late to turn back.

So how do you reduce the odds of feeling regret?

By going against your gut. 

When faced with a scary and potentially rewarding situation, we’re wired to play it safe and opt out. So rather than quitting your dull job or ending your so-so romantic relationship, we prefer to stay put.

And in some cases that’s absolutely the right choice. Like when it’s not your job or relationship that’s making you unhappy, but when it’s a lack of meaning or adventure that’s making you miserable.

But a growing body of research shows that by and large we regret inaction the most. Things not done.

Sure, doing stuff may turn out badly. But by failing you can at least confidently say that you tried to seize the opportunity. Even if it hurt you in some way, your choice probably won’t torment you years down the line.

Yet this is exactly what happens when you fail to act. 

Because you can’t predict the future, you can forever torture yourself with images of what could have been. 

So those things that you’ve been contemplating to do? Do them. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll just have another beautiful scar that you can show off to inspire others.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach