Is it possible the emotional strain of regret and disappointment are blocking your path to happiness, confidence and contentment?
Imagine this: Someone makes a comment that touches a nerve. Your thoughts begin to swirl. 'Could I have done better? Should I have made a different choice?' What ifs and if onlys start racing through your mind and your mood plummets. In this way you let yourself feel the pain of regret again and again. Some off-handed comment and an old habitual thought pattern takes over, eventually dissolving into a pity party for one with no clear way out.
When I've spent too much time in feelings of regret, I find myself in a lonely place with neither comfort nor reassurance. I've opened my heart to feelings of self-doubt creating fertile ground for guilt, fear and depression. The weight of disappointment and regret heaps on more doubt, self-blame and indecision.
When things don’t come out as hoped and we wish for what might have been, the world seems to be conspiring against us. It’s easy to think if we’d only made a different choice, everything would have been rosy.
I realize now that regret did not serve me well. I'd turned to a sadly familiar emotional habit that offered little, if any, illumination. Rehashing circumstances, looking to lay blame, or wishing things had come out differently are all dead end thoughts. We cannot change a choice made in the past, nor can we erase its results in the present.
It’s only natural to feel pangs of disappointment or regret when our expectations aren’t met. And good or bad events in our lives invite comparison to what might have been. But as I develop my more self-compassionate thought process, I find it much more constructive to turn the situation around and ask myself 'Would I make the same decision if in that situation again?'
I am a caring, reflective and hopeful person, and when I look back, I feel I generally tried to do the best I could do at the time, so I feel confident I would probably have made the same decisions under the same circumstances. I didn’t have a crystal ball then, nor do I have a reset button now.
I haven't always made the best choices in hindsight, but I feel I do the best I can at any given time, and I have learned that mind-numbing regret is not productive. Learning my lessons and moving forward with new information is helpful. Accepting the past and living without painful disappointment or regret helps me feel much more confident and positive.
I hope you encourage yourself to use a more self-compassionate inner voice. Catch yourself as soon as you can and move forward with greater self-appreciation and confidence.
There is no benefit in multitasking? Really? Now they tell me!
Thankfully this discovery coincides with my effort to live a more conscious and healthy lifestyle in spite of myself, so the thought that multitasking has been causing me to be less productive and forgetful is just the kind of evidence I need to push me in a healthy direction. (see attributions below)
I have been a habitual multitasker, and believed the trait served me well over the years. I have owned businesses, raised children and worked in fast-paced environments that seemed to benefit from my special knack for juggling all things for all people.
I see now that I lived a detrimental lifestyle that has become a challenge to undo. In my quest for a more self-compassionate and intentional life, I have been making a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy every day in fitness and in health, and I continue to seek ways to improve my memory and stress levels.
Like me, even if you are managing to get off the multitasking crazy train, you probably still have moments when you catch yourself running and you realize you haven't taken a deep breath in forever and you don't know why.
On my path to greater inner peace, I have learned a number of things about myself. Over the course of the last few years, I am consciously choosing to slow down and enjoy life. I want to do the things I've had on my bucket list. I want to enjoy my family and friends in a deeper way. I want to contribute in fulfilling ways.
But I not only want to DO things; I want to savor them. I want to absorb life and enjoy it. I don't want to multitask my way through my bucket list. I want to BE in there enjoying every moment.
I'm seeing success for my effort. I'll share my meditation methods in another post so stay tuned, but regarding my daily activities, my mind is still programmed for speed. Even though I am building a day to day life that allows me to focus my thoughts calmly in the direction I desire, I still find old habits die hard.
I live in an active household with normal tasks and routines. I have a husband, a business, a family, plans and a full life. My tendency to hurry up and tighten up will be with me for a while longer, it seems. Taking time to breathe and look and listen and walk is a gift I must remember to give myself moment by moment.
Even noticing that I'm speeding along is a big improvement and cause for celebration. Learning a new behavior is done in stages and over time. My awareness gives me a chance to improve this very moment. I stop and notice my breath, and I open my mind's eye and look around.
It really feels good when I notice myself rushing for no particular reason and realize I can choose at that moment to slow down; to BE in the moment. I feel my shoulders relax and my attitude improve, and the moment comes into focus. I can be in the moment in an instant! One benefit of my past multitasking expertise: I'm good at switching gears quickly. Ha!
1) 'Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows' By Adam Gorlick
Stanford Report, August 24, 2009, news.stanford.edu
2) 'The Myth Of Multitasking', NPR Talk of the Nation with Ira Flatow & Dr Clifford Nass
May 10, 2013, http://www.npr.org
3) 'Don’t Multitask: Your Brain Will Thank You' By Issie Lapowsky
Time Business & Money, April 17, 2013, http://business.time.com
4) 'Clifford Nass, Who Warned of a Data Deluge, Dies at 55' By William Yardley
The New York Times, Business Day, November 6, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com
5) 'This Year I Will...', By M.J. Ryan
Published by Broadway Books, 2006
It has often occurred to me I love sharing my experiences with others, and I frequently find myself in roles like listener, adviser, encourager, and cheerleader. One day a friend said to me that I’d be a great Life Coach and the light came on!
I feel that I have influenced and touched many lives, and I have always loved sharing with anyone who would listen. But I really I wanted a better way to help people live their lives in successful ways so they can experience more joy and enthusiasm while solving their daily frustrations. Life Coaching is the answer!
I feel blessed to be drawn to people who are kind, giving and open minded. Like me, my friends and acquaintances seem to be looking forward to their middle years and are anticipating great things. But at the same time, we seem to be feeling more weight of responsibility to our loved ones and less of the freedom of middle age than we anticipated.
Why am I telling you all this? I’m very excited to have found my best approach to help people enjoy their lives and reach their goals in conjunction with caring for the important people in their lives. I’d enjoy connecting with you and offering you or someone you know a free sample coaching session so that you can see what coaching is all about. We’ll find a topic that’s relevant to your life so you come away with something valuable.
In the meantime, check out my website at www.audreywilcox.com. You can also find me on Facebook as Free to Imagine. If you feel like sharing my pages and blogs with your friends, please do!
P.S. My business will grow quickly through referrals. Please keep me in mind whenever you’re talking with friends who are finding themselves ready for change but just aren’t certain of the next step.