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Sorry, Not Sorry: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Regret Life Decisions (and How to Achieve it)

Sorry, Not Sorry: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Regret Life Decisions (and How to Achieve it)

Do you often find yourself having regrets about things you did or didn’t do? Do you often wonder what could have happened if you had done something differently? Do you overthink every small choice you have to make in daily life, and then end up feeling bad about it?

Believe it or not, even the most successful people who’ve achieved a lot in life and the entrepreneurs who take decisions that might cost them millions of dollars experience that, too. It’s just that they’ve learned how to accept the insecurity of life, the need for fast decision-making, and the ability to make the most of what you got.

Truth is, you can never know whether one option is right until you give it a try. What matters, though, is to actually act upon it.

Some people spend a lot of time trying to make a choice, even ruining their sleep and peace of mind over it. In the end, however, they’ve brought so much pressure and stress in their life that they don’t want to deal with this anymore, and decide to do nothing.

Such people aren’t doers, and – as we know – success loves action-oriented individuals who are not scared to make a choice and do their best.

It’s important to not just take firm decisions regardless of the situation, but to feel good about your choice and confident in your abilities.

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Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to feel sorry about a choice you made, ever again. Here’s how to achieve that:

1. Experience comes with trials.

To get more experienced in the journey called life, you don’t need to just read about other people’s successes and failures, to have mentors, or to make plans and prepare. What you need is to do new things, try stuff, take risks and simply make things happen.

Experienced people grow spiritually too, they overcome their mental barriers with action and eventually become brave enough to reach any other goal they set in life.

2. Each choice gets you closer to success.

Even if you could have done something better, you now have powerful information. You know exactly what not to do next time. Avoiding mistakes in the future saves a lot of time and worries too.

3. There’s no wrong or right; it’s just a matter of perception.

What’s good for you might be awful for other people. We’re all different in our aspirations, experiences, and lifestyle choices.

This means that no one else can tell you what’s right for you. Let go of the need to listen to those around you.

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Trust your heart and do what feels right. At least you’ll end up on the path that’s created for you and won’t end up living by someone else’s standards.

When you start feeling bad about a life decision you made, look at it from another perspective.

What if it’s the best thing that could have happened to you at this exact stage of your life? What if you came to an important conclusion and can now set new, better goals for your future?

Strive to be open-minded. Find the positives. Learn from everything that went wrong. And realize that in the end of the day, it’s all about how you react to what happens.

4. Insecurity is part of life.

Having regrets about the choices you make in life means you expect things to turn out in a certain way, but life surprises you and you end up disappointed.

Or maybe you expect a lot from yourself or others around you, and then realize other people have limits, too.

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It might also be the doubts that go together with each decision, or that your desire for perfection causes you to fear doing something wrong.

Let go of all that. Declutter your mind and strive for simplicity. It’s unbelievable how true freedom feels like once you leave such negative thoughts and old mental patterns behind, and embrace the present.

We can never predict the future and preparing for it is pointless. Expectations don’t work, either. They just lead to disappointment and never being happy with your current life.

But every day is filled with opportunities, positive vibes and a chance to grow and get better. You just need to learn to go with the flow and make the most of what you’ve got.

Stop trying to take the best decision and focus on simply making a choice sooner and doing something about it.

As long as you’re going after what you want and not being passive, you’re on the right track.

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5. No decision is final.

Another comforting thought that will help you get over feeling bad about past decisions is that you can always do something to change the situation.

What’s happened in the past stays in the past, but right now there’s a lot you can work on to make sure your future isn’t affected by this choice.

So whatever bad decisions you make, no matter how they turn out, don’t focus on the past, but keep your eyes on the end goal. There are many roads you can take to get there, and you’ll change direction many times. As long as the final destination is one and you keep taking a step daily, be sure you’ll get there and will enjoy it once it happens.

Now that you know all this, life decisions shouldn’t scare you anymore.

Each day is a chance to turn over a new leaf, to start the best chapter of your life so far, to meet wonderful people that will help you on your journey.

Also, each decision makes you a stronger individual, better prepared for what life has in store, more courageous and adventurous. Don’t miss out on that.

At the end of the day, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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