There comes a point in your life when you come to a cross road. You have already spent so much time and energy trying to move forward from your past relationship. And now you find yourself with two options. The first, continue to drown yourself in your own self pity. The second, actually move on. There is a good chance that no matter how hard you try, one thing will continue to hold you back: regret.
How do you break free from regret and move forward?
1. Understand the root cause.
Many times women struggle with moving on because they are holding on to their past and wish that they could go back and do it differently. For example: maybe you cheated, or you were too needy, or your expectations were too high. Maybe it was as simple as you should have treated him better. You have to understand that if you could go back and do it all over again, the end result would be the same. If you are struggling with regret, take the time to understand why. The things that lead to regretful decisions usually include: lack of intimacy, insecurities, low confidence, diminished self worth, trust issues, need for validation, ect. There was something going on in your life at that time that has to be acknowledged.
2. Learn from your past.
The most valuable lesson you can get from your past is to take accountability for the hand you played and grow from it. Whatever your regret is, figure out what was going on in your life that caused you to get to that place. Were you in a relationship where the other person was verbally or emotionally abusive to you? Were you insecure about your value in the relationship and so you sought validation elsewhere? Did you expect him to always check in with you because you were still holding on to past trust issues? Did you expect more out of him than you were willing to give in return? You can either use these reasons as excuses, or you can use them as motivation to create self awareness around why you made a certain decision, and commit to yourself that you will not be there ever again.
3. You are human, give yourself a break.
Forgive yourself. Your reality then was not the same as your reality now. We strongly believe that no one has the right to judge another person’s decision when she has not walked one day in the other person’s shoes. Your expectation for perfection is set too high, and you are your number one critic. Take the opportunity each day to better yourself going forward, and only look back to see how far you have come. Once you grow from the regrets in your past relationship you will not desire to go back. You will be a better version of yourself and you will expect the same out of your partner.
4. Focus on the things you can change now.
You have to remove the mentality, “If only I could go back…” and replace it with, “the best is yet to come”. The longer you allow your past to haunt you, the more regrets you are going to have. It really is as simple as that. What you do today and going forward is the only thing that matters. Set expectations and boundaries in your relationship for you and your partner. Do not settle for anything less. You will not always make the right decision, but you will always have the ability to make the wrong decision right.
5. Talk about it.
All of the steps above are really important but this one is the most near and dear to our hearts. Talking about your past is a big piece of the healing process. The most incredible thing happens when you start talking about your regrets, you learn that you are not alone. Every situation is unique, and through talking about your regrets you will gain insight and wisdom from other people who have been where you are. Doors will also open with opportunities to share your story and inspire other’s who are still struggling.
Share your thoughts, your stories, and your experiences on this topic. Leave a comment below or use the contact us tab. We love to hear from you!
Sarah and Samantha
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