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There Are No Do-Overs…But There Are Second Chances

There Are No Do-Overs…But There Are Second Chances


    What’s done is done.

    We can’t turn back the clock of time. Good or bad, right or wrong, it is done. It’s over!

    • Once the ingredients are mixed, we can not separate them apart.
    • Once a word goes from our mouth, we can not take it back.
    • Once we do an action, we can not choose another one in its place.
    • Once wood is reduced to sawdust, you can’t make it back into a board
    • Once Humpty Dumpty fell, all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again
    • Once today arrives, it becomes too late to live in yesterday

    Despite the fact that no one can not refute the obvious statements above, it is not uncommon for many of us still finding ourselves reworking yesterday.  As a psychotherapist, I am struck by how many of my clients can not seem to leave the land of “if onlys” and “woulda coulda shouldas.”  

    For those clients, yesterday prevents them from living fully in today as guilt, regret and hindsight makes them so much wiser. They cannot forgive themselves for not “knowing better” at the time.

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    If only we knew everything when we were four!

    The good news is that there is an alternative to the emotional paralysis of, “I should have known better-itis.”  Instead of wishing you had known better and kicking yourself that you didn’t, how about giving yourself a second chance?

    Give Yourself a “Second Chance Checklist”

    1. Turn unproductive regrets into productive regrets.  

    Regrets are important in our life to help us self-correct.  The key is to recover from and build on the sharp sting of regrets to look for the lessons learned and take comfort in the fact that these lessons make us wiser.

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    2. Take comfort in the fact that regrets help us develop empathy for others.

    How would we ever develop real empathy if we never made a mistake or a wrong turn? It is regrets that keep us in check from being judgmental and arrogant. Thus, we become better people who, in turn, have more compassion and empathy for others. Empathy is considered to be one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence.

    3. The more wrong turns you made in retrospect, you increase the odds that your future choices will be more informed.

    With so many lessons from mistakes or regrets, you will be in better shape moving forward. It can actually make it easier for us to be happier by living in today instead of yesterday.

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    4. Ask yourself – Did I do the best I could at the time?  Undoubtedly, the answer will be “yes!” 

    In my 35 years as a psychotherapist, I have never heard otherwise.  I have never met anyone who tried to be toxic or dysfunctional. People generally try their best, even if their best is not objectively healthy. Unhealthy people make unhealthy decisions and behave in an unhealthy way. People do not intentionally make self- defeating decisions. So consider it a noble effort to try your best, even if your best felt short and was misguided.

    5. Moving from regrets is a ripe opportunity to work on the ability to forgive.  

    A lack of forgiveness for oneself or others is one of the most common reasons for depression, anxiety and interpersonal conflict. Thankfully, regrets give you the opportunity  self-correct, and to develop the ability to forgive – it brings them right to the surface to work on. Strive to be thankful for this golden opportunity to release yourself of bitterness and negativity for good!

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    6. Use the broken pieces of unrealized dreams and disappointments as stepping stones towards a better future. 

    If you see shattered pieces of your life’s dreams as stepping stones or as parts of a beautiful life mosaic, you can appreciate those broken remnants. All your disappointments, no matter  how small or how large,  can be part of something so beautiful that it can be hard to imagine and can pave the way for building a better tomorrow!

    Conclusion

    You cannot change what happened to you, but you can change what you do with what happened to you.

    So what are you waiting for? Give yourself a second chance. You deserve it!

    What can you do to give yourself a second chance today? Let me know in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Second Chance Avenue via Shutterstock)

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    Judy Belmont

    Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

    11 WARNING Signs Of Unhealthy Relationships You Need to Be Aware Of The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People Robin Williams’ Death Is A Wake-Up Call: 12 Natural Ways To Fight Depression Quick Test: What Is Your Forgiveness IQ? 7 Essential Ways That Inspirational Quotes Can Literally Change Your Day … and Your Life!

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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