The title of this blog was inspired by something that my very wise husband once asked me, ‘What would you thank your future self for?’ Are there things you could be doing that your future self will thank you for? Maybe you started university and thought about quitting, but chose to push forward past your ‘Here and now’ emotions and stuck it out! In 10 years time when you are in a job that you love, you are going to be thankful to your younger self for pushing through the initial struggles. It could be as simple as choosing a healthier diet and lifestyle or investing in relationships.
I have had wonky front teeth for as long as I can remember and was offered braces as a child. Unfortunately as a little girl, I found it too hard to see past the unpleasant procedure that I was offered aged 12. I can remember being far too scared and unwilling to put up with the temporary pain. Now as I sit here in my late twenties, having had two teeth out, to make space for the braces that I will now wear and for a much longer time period due to my age. I am struck by the fact, that the same 12 year old mentality has come flooding back to me as an adult. I had the same feeling of dread as I did back then and my mind could not help but focus on the long two years ahead, that I would have with a metal mouth. Then I remembered those words my husband asked me ‘What would your future self thank you for?’ My current self is saying ‘Noooooo don’t do it!’, ‘You have lived with them all this time and it is not worth it’ But if my future self could speak, I am sure she would say ‘Come on Rachel, don’t be such a wimp, think of the rest of your life with a smile that you will love!’ I am terrified of the dentist, so to listen to my future self took a lot of will power. This may be a small thing, but it does illustrate the way in which we can sometimes think in life. It is often difficult to put in that hard work, when you may not actually see the results for quite a number of years.
Regret means to :
feel sad ,repentant, or disappointed over ( something that one has done or failed to do)
Just living with that horrid feeling of ‘What if I had done that?’ or ‘What if I had not done that?’ can actually mess with your mind and stop you from moving forward. I often found myself replaying scenarios over in my head about past regrets and asking myself would I have done it any differently. It just messes with your head. It is so important that we know what to do with regret and even turn it on its head to create a learning experience from it. Ideally we would be this amazing person and get it right first time. However the reality is that we do often mess up and sometimes especially!
The first thing I have learnt to do with regret is not to let it play out as a TV series in my head. I don’t allow the situation to play over and over in my head. I allow myself a period of learning and growing, then I axe that show and it’s aired no more. When I am faced with new situations, I stop and count the cost and look at the bigger picture. What I mean by this is that I am presented with a new situation or opportunity, I don’t just make a snap decision. I choose to sit still, even if only for a minute and think about all that is involved. I look at how this will affect me now or in the future and who else it will impact. If we just look at the first part, then we are seriously going to be at a disadvantage. I also give myself a ‘good talking to’ (happy to be a bit mad) and say ‘This is going to be hard Rachel, but you know that, so stick with it’ Sometimes admitting to yourself it’s going to be hard can stop that horrible shocked feeling in its tracks, when the going gets tough. We can be so positive about a situation that sometimes when we are struck with a set back, we can quit.
Why not take a moment today and say ‘What would my future self thank me for?’