Regrets, I have a few …

But then again, too few to mention.

Well … probably more than a few. In fact, definitely enough to rear their ugly heads at inopportune moments and bite me on the backside. And it’s a funny thing that, despite knowing now (thanks to NLP) what to do with these regrets, I choose to persist in allowing them to get where other thoughts cannot reach.

I have to ask myself the killer question: what does regretting anything do for me? And it’s the same old response – ‘Nothing! I’ve brought it on myself! I deserve this metaphorical sackcloth and ashes routine!’ Of course I’m avoiding the question. Dig deep and I get to the answer – it’s the luxury of guilt … it’s the need to self-flagellate … it’s probably value-led and what it does for me is provide the satisfaction of knowing that I recognise I’ve done wrong and should suffer for it.

The alternative, as NLPers know, is to choose a better, more useful response – because what does regret really do? It gives us an excuse to stop for a minute (or longer) and wallow in our self-indulgence. However, if we want to use our time effectively and creatively and excitingly … if we want to experience life … if we want to attract all of the positivity and opportunities that are out there for us, then regrets are simply a way to avoid those things. Which would lead to the next question: What is it about being effective and creative and exciting and experiencing life and positivity and opportunities that we are scared of?

Now that’s worth a ponder with our NLP hats on.

And … it’s important to state here that choosing to respond to regrets in a new, more positive way does not mean ignoring the effect we may have had on people or processes. It doesn’t mean that we throw away whatever it was that we did or didn’t do … it means channelling it into positive action and good deeds, utilising the energy we’d waste on regrets in making amends – so that the luxury of guilt becomes the luxury of satisfaction with ourselves and our actions.

And that’s really worth a ponder.

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