The Toxicity of Regret

The Toxicity of Regret

Posted by Lori Shemek; December 6, 2013

 “Ships are safe in a harbor, but that’s not what ships were built for”

 What happens if you never take risks, simply playing it safe in life?  Do you, down the road, ever look back with longing, with what-ifs, with sadness that you never took that step to make your dream come true or to put you in a better place in life?

We see risk takers every day from the physicality of football games, Olympic athletes who put themselves out there and other challenges that push people to step out of their comfort zone.  Risk taking really does pay off emotionally, meaning that when you do take a risk – no matter the outcome – it allows you to see yourself in a more positive light.  Even if your perception is failure?  Yes, because you know, without a doubt, that you can handle whatever life throws your way..this is inner strength.

“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction”
~John F. Kennedy

Researchers have actually studied what happens to people around midlife when they look back and realize they did not go for what they really wanted in life.  They have found very interesting results that underscore the importance of taking action on what you desire in your life and by-passing the sadness of regret.

Here are a few of the experiences commonly found:

  • Regrets are normal.  Everyone has regrets.
  • Regrets about areas in life that were not explored can feel the most painful if there is no viable way to make them real.
  • Women feel the most regret about focusing too much on family life and not exploring educational or career desires earlier in life.
  • Career women (and men) feel regrets about the lack of bonding with her children or for women who opted for career first and decided not to have children.
  • Midlife review is a catalyst for the desire to move forward with setting goals, but isn’t enough to create well-being if the goal is not implemented.
  • Those who fare the best are the ones who take action to go after what they want.
  • The people who do not make changes are those that typically lack confidence in themselves to bring about the desired change.

So take that one small step. It really is one small step outside your comfort zone to have the life you deserve and desire. Don’t worry about the’ll be empowered no matter what. And most important of all?  You’ll have created a life with no regrets.

To Your Good Health,

©2013 DLS HealthWorks, LLC. 
Lori Shemek, PhD, Health and weight loss expert, is the best-selling author of Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!