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Painful Regrets Are Necessary Because That’s How We Learn

Painful Regrets Are Necessary Because That’s How We Learn

An ancient wisdom that has resonated for generations is that when you reach your darkest hour, all is not gloom and doom. You can truly shine. It may sound cliche, but it’s not that the feeling of being ashamed is welcomed or appropriate, it’s a necessary key to open pathways and let go- to start afresh on a new soul journey.

John Jerryson, a banker, came to the awareness that he had lived all his life opposite to his true desires. His dreams and his passions all wasted away when he chose to follow the security of a steady, “safe” 9-7 job. A sleep, eat, and work pattern consumed all energy and precious time of the once robust, energetic, and innovative soul. He strived towards reaching corporate career ladder heights, leaving behind his family, friends, ambitions, and passion. It’s a painful regret for him, but he turned out to realize the greatest lesson in life. He even shared his story on the internet and wanted to remind others about the most important things in life.

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The Benefits of Shame

People usually avoid shame even when it is warranted. However, there can be benefits to shame. Think of it this way. To have an ability of self-reflection to review your own mistakes and analyze how a better path is possible is common wisdom.

The general tendency is for people to fail to accept the consequences of their actions. Take a trip down memory lane into childhood. Remember the wagging fingers with voices droning on about learning lessons as you rolled your eyes? That reaction was not mere parental frustration. Admitting failure is a step toward maturity. No one likes to feel depressed, but all of us can recall the embarrassment from our wrong doings. Maybe we are just pieces on a chessboard in the game of life. We are moving ourselves, and sometimes we make mistakes that we have to live with.

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Psychology Today defines regret as  “a negative cognitive/emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made.”

On the life path of battling our fears and seeking to be courageous, mistakes will invariably be made. We make decisions that are wrong. We misunderstand. Sometimes we suffer serious consequences and deal with the aftermath of disappointment. Regret erodes our efforts to achieve our aspirations.

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The Consistency In Regret

The three areas of life about which there is the most regret are education, romance, and career. People are haunted by what could have been or should have been according to a meta-analysis. It is well known that people regret things that they did not do more than the things they did do.  People regret actions immediately after they happen, but as time passes ideally they undergo psychological immunity by learning from mistakes.

Rejoicing In Regret

Being ashamed is not about being sorry for your existence. Rather it is a quiet reflection with a gradual resolution to take a differing action in a similar circumstance the next time. Seeking true enlightenment is not about running away from your vulnerabilities or camouflaging them to put up a confident image to impress others. It is a moment of stillness from normal life, shutting out the sounds of ego, and focusing on vulnerabilities.

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We are unique in our visualization of opportunities, but what we all have in common is that when an opportunity has passed us by we all lament, “I wish I had pursued what I wanted”;  “I should have seized the opportunity- taken the chance”; “I could have used my talents or skills”; “I wish I had not been afraid to follow my dreams”.

It is never too late to learn from experiences and seize opportunities awaiting us. Do not fear making mistakes. Embrace the learning curve and lay out a new life map.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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