Does worrying about regret bring more regret?

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‘Fear is temporary, regret is forever’. This one of the many inspirational mottos in the media that are meant to inspire us and push us out of our comfort zones. However, does the push for a ‘regret-free’ life cause more worry than peace of mind?

Recently, an article published by The Guardian said, “the fear of future regret makes people risk-averse – so as well as wasting time worrying, they’re likely to make regrettably cautious choices”. So, is this true? Does the notion of living with no regrets bring more confusion and stress to our lives, or is it as innocent and motivating as it claims to be?

On one hand, the word ‘regret’ is enough to leave a bitter taste in our mouths, so much so that we begin to see life as a clock ticking down, meaning we have to grab life with both hands. Although we may suspect we may not be making the most of our lives, with the fear of regret sneaking in, perhaps the view of regret only as something negative in our lives is untrue.

Who is to say having regrets is a bad thing?

Some time ago, regret was a hidden secret that stayed hidden until our deaths. But when French psychoanalyst Corinne Maier wrote her controversial book No kids: 40 Reasons not to have children, this opened up a conversation not only about regret among parents, but also regrets in general. And with more people talking about their experiences, it seems as though the notion of regret as something negative may be dying.

Evidently, regret is a path each of us is bound to take separately in our own personal journey; whether we allow it to shape us or leave it in the past and move on is up to us.

But one thing is for sure – worrying about regret will only bring more regret.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Make the most of your regrets; never smoother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh”.

Do you have regrets in your life that are making it hard for you to move forward or do you need someone to just listen to what you have to say? Why don’t you call our free helpline, where we have advisors on hand to support and listen to you with any situation you may be going through!  Call on 020 7686 6000.


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