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How To Live Life With No Regrets

How To Live Life With No Regrets

Regret is like a ghost. It arrives when we feel low or down in our lives and sticks around for a while – sometimes months, years, and even decades. Since misery does like company, it’s not a surprise that our uninvited “ghost” shows up in perfect timing, and it’s usually when we are reminded of the things we wish we had done differently in our lives.

The thing is, regret will only stay if we let it. In order to let go of his heavy burden and lingering ghost, we must first understand what we are regretting in our lives and why.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to live life with no regrets.

1. Reflect on Past Regrets

Everyone has had their fair share of things that they have regretted in their life, but the question to ask yourself is how long you have been carrying these burdens?

Guilt and regret weighs heavily on your mental health, which as a result can disrupt your physical productivity.

The first step is to acknowledge the things that you regret doing or not doing. The following step would be giving yourself space to explore in those things.

Remember, be kind to yourself when you are doing this. It takes a lot of courage to face the things that continue to cause us pain, guilt and suffering.

2. Have a Healthy Conversation with Yourself

Now, as you explore this space and begin addressing the things you regret, keep in mind that you are having a conversation with yourself. This isn’t a blame game and this space isn’t meant for you to slip down a rabbit hole of self-sabotage.

One way to avoid self-sabotage is identifying the things that are working against you. Holding onto regret is one form of self-sabotage, and moving forward means having healthier conversations with yourself to get to the root of “the thing.” There is a hidden root to the things we regret in life and finding it can help bring more clarity.

3. Find the Root

Let’s get to finding that root. We experience guilt and regret in different situations and circumstances in our lives whether it be our career, relationships, or even putting our needs in the back burner.

Here are several examples and getting to the root of these regrets:

Regret 1: I regret not accepting that job offer. I would have moved up to a senior position by now and be making x amount a year.

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The regret here is about a missed opportunity. There’s a reason why you may not have taken that opportunity when it was presented and it can timing, personal reasons, or specific priorities that needed your attention at the time.

First and foremost, see if you are that same person you were at that specific moment of your life.

Are your values the same?

Do you still want the same things you did then?

What experienced have you gained from not taking the job?

Chances are, you may be a completely different person then as you are now. As humans, we are meant to grow and outgrow older versions of ourselves. The root here of the guilt is not about mourning a missed opportunity, but accepting that things may have changed – including you.

Here’s another one, but this time it’s about something that’s been done.

Regret 2: I regret moving to a new city. It’s not what I thought it would be and I’m not happy.

The regret here is moving to the unknown and there was a reason why you decided to take that jump.

Was it to try something new or was it because you’ve always wanted to live in this particular city?

Was it for someone or something?

Ask yourself these questions and then look at what your current needs are.

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It’s also about living in the present, and by doing so your energy is not fixated on the regret itself but about finding the positives of what you thought was a negative situation.

Remember, every situation needs time to breathe.

4. Accept That You Are a Work in Progress

Everyday we are figuring out more and more about who we are or what we want in this one life that we live.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is acknowledging that you are a human being, and perfection does not exist. Forgive yourself for things you did not know when you made “regretful” decisions, and don’t let anything hinder your growth from here on forward.

Acknowledge that certain decisions were made because of what you wanted at that specific moment; it’s a way of honoring yourself. Holding onto regrets mean you are living in the past and honoring yourself means living in the present.

5. Value Your Time and Energy

Our energy is one of the most precious things we have control of even though most of the time it may not seem so.

Using time-management tools such as keeping a to-do list and delegating household tasks are helpful, but energy goes beyond just physical activities. We have emotional energies, too.

Be mindful of the energy you put into your physical work, in your relationships with partners, friends and colleagues, on hobbies, and other daily activities.

If you feel like your energy is being drained in certain aspects of your life, it’s your intuition telling you to check-in.

Choose one day out of the week and tune into how you feel during your daily routine:

  • How do you really feel after checking your email the moment your alarm goes off?
  • How present do you feel when you are eating your lunch hovered over your computer?
  • How would it make you feel if you called versus sending a text message to your loved ones?

Also, set your non-negotiables. Value the things that are important to you and stick by them especially if it’s a set date and time. This is one way of honoring and putting yourself first.

Many times, regret happens when we don’t honor the things that nourish us mentally, physically and emotionally.

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6. Don’t Wait for the Weekend to Rest

If you’re working Monday thru Friday, the moment Friday comes around a sense of relief may be washing over you.

“It’s the weekend!” you shout.

Every day should spark that emotion. Condensing all your me-time for the weekend may increase burnouts and bring instead feelings of unproductively. The weekend should not be a 48-hour countdown until Monday or a time to crank out your personal to-do list.

Carve out time everyday to unplug and fuel your soul with the things that you want to do. This could be anything from not checking emails after 6 p.m., putting your phone to airplane mode at a specific time, or simply playing the guitar every single day.

The more you fuel yourself with the things that make you happy, it’ll limit those excuses of “I regret not keeping up with learning the guitar” or “I regret not spending more time with my family because I was focused on work outside of work.”

Me-time is important.

7. Set Goals

It’s essential to set goals – long-term, short-term, big and small goals. When you set your goals and have a clear vision in mind, you have a focus.

Often, regret happens when we’re “not where we want to be” in life or when we don’t achieve certain things. One way to live a life without any regrets is to simply hone in on the things you want to achieve, and it’s even better when you can see it everyday.

How?

Get out that pen and paper – it’s time to create a list.

This is the 101 things to do in 1001 days exercise. 1001 days is a little short of three years and will fly by before you know it. Having small fun goals is just as important as having big life goals. Although this list may seem like a bucket list (which it could be), it gives you a timeframe of 1001 days to complete the items on your list.

Don’t sell yourself short and be creative. You can section your list into categories such as career and travel, or write them down as they come to find. Every day is a new day. It’s another 24-hour reset, and the question to ask yourself is what you will do about it today.

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Check out this ultimate guide to goal-setting to help you achieve your goals.

8. Learn from Others

“Frodo: ‘I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.’ Gandalf: ‘So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’” -The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring

When death arrives, our perception of the world changes. This moving article, “These 20 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds Will Change Your Life” explains just that. We all think we’re immortal until we’re not. We all believe we are invincible until the world around us shows that we are equally fragile and delicate as our bodies. Here are some of the things that were listed:

  • I wish I wouldn’t have compared myself to others
  • I wish I’d told others how much I love them.
  • I wish I didn’t wait to “start it tomorrow.”

Some of the most profound lessons are learned from not doing or not saying enough.

Do two things today:

The first thing is to tell someone you love them and are thinking about them.

The second thing would be to choose something you’ve always wanted to do and start today. No excuses.

Final Thoughts

Regret is a powerful emotion, and if not careful, it can consume your thoughts, energy, and time.

Several years ago, I made the conscious decision to laugh every single day including on the days I felt miserable. I knew that when my time came, I can look back and say that my life was filled with laughter and it’s the one thing that helps me feel alive.

Always remember that no matter what your situation is, you can kindly ask this “ghost” to leave, but it will only leave when you begin doing things for you.

Whatever it is, do it with passion and love.

More Articles About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Bishop via unsplash.com

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Akina Chargualaf

Akina Chargualaf is an entrepreneur, writer, and the content creator of travel and personal development blog Finding Fifth.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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