(singing). Oh, I’ve buggered that up. See, I regret doing that now. And you know what? The world didn’t crumble because I balled up the lyrics to Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf. I haven’t sung that for a while. So, tonight I want to talk about regret because, we all have regrets and the reality is, when you get to a point in life where you feel good about who you are, and where you are, and what you’re doing, there is no point to regrets. If you’re still living in a place where, “Oh, life would have been better if I’d done this,” or, “It would have been better if I’d done this,” or, “My God, it would be so different if I’d done that,” or, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I got so drunk and did that. What did I say?” or, “Oh my God, I hit send on that email. Ugh,” the reality is we can’t go back. We just can’t. We’re not plugged into The Matrix and we can’t pick up a remote control and go back and fix that stuff. What’s done is done.
But what we can do is not carry those regrets with us forever. They’re harnessed on our backs and they can be debilitating because, if we have too many regrets, we start fearing what we’re doing next or, “Oh my God, if I do this, am I going to make him stay? Is it going to end up like last time? Oh, I really regret falling in love, so I can’t fall in love again because if it goes wrong then… Oh, I should never have fallen in love. It’s all my fault.” You can hear what I’m saying. If we attach the action that we regret, because generally it’s an action, we don’t tend to regret a thought because if we just have the thought and don’t do anything with it, then nobody knows we had the thought, so we can’t really have anything to regret. But if there’s an action that’s gone with that regret, we can stop ourselves taking action in case that regret happens again and that’s no way to live.
So, I wanted to give you five tips on how to deal with regret and a little bit of a story. I used to regret lots of things. Oh my God, so many things. So many things. “If I’d said yes to this gig, if I traveled here, if I haven’t fallen in love with that person, if I hadn’t done that at that point, if I hadn’t accepted that job, if I hadn’t had that credit card, if I hadn’t… If I hadn’t, if I hadn’t, if I hadn’t, if I hadn’t…” Absolutely paralyzing. Totally paralyzing. And through my journey of personal development and learning more about myself, and about the world, and about how we think, and how we do things, I realized that all those regrets were pointless.
And you know why? Because, I liked who I was. Correct that. I like who I am. And every one, every single one of those good decisions, bad decisions, fabulous actions, what the… actions, the crazy times, the good times, the lazy times, the bad times, (singing), have all led me to this particular moment doing this particular live in this particular house, living this particular life. And I love my life. I love what I’m doing. I love who I am. So, there is nothing to any of those regrets. But it’s taken me a long time to get to that point. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of times I was like, “Argh!” A bit like tonight, I got garlic in my eye, which is why I look a bit dodgy. You don’t rub your eye after chopping garlic.
So, five tips for dealing with regret on the spot, so you’re not like me and it takes years and a lot of money in personal development, and therapy, and all those kind of things to get over all that shit. So number one, acknowledge what you’re feeling. Don’t push it under the rug. If you’re feeling bad about something, acknowledge it. Because, the first step to changing anything is understanding and acceptance of what it is you’re feeling. So, that’s step number one.
Step number two is where can you accept responsibility, control, that kind of thing, for what actually happened? So, I’ll go over the drunk example. Say you get hammered out with some friends, absolutely trollied, and you go home with someone you shouldn’t have gone home with, and you said some things you shouldn’t have said, and you wake up going, “Oh my God, what did I do?” Or, you wake up somewhere and you’re not quite sure how you got there. Any of that. Any of that. Remember back in your twenties? And no comment from the cheap seats, anyone who’s watching.
Because, chances are at some point you’re going to go, “Oh, it was all so and so’s fault because they kept getting me drinks.” Well, you know what? Pull up your big girl panties. You said yes to the drinks. Unless it’s a case of your drink being spiked, which, God, I hope that never happens to anybody, you have to accept responsibility for that. You have to accept that you had control over that situation. So, that could be a tough one because if we’re in a moment where we think that it’s all gone pear shaped, if we can lay blame somewhere else, oh, that makes us feel good for a minute, it really does. But in the long run, it doesn’t make us feel good. It’s no good for them. It’s no good for us. It’s just pointless. So, step number two is really accepting responsibility for what you had control over and where you went with that. Okay?
Step number three is, what can you learn from it? What can you learn from it? Oh, I regret eating all that chocolate. What can I learn from that? Don’t buy the bloody chocolate. If it’s in the fridge it gets eaten, so don’t buy the chocolate. Is there a behavior or a thought loop that you can change so it doesn’t happen again? Losing your temper is a great example. And losing your temper in traffic, or in your job, something like that, there’s a thought pattern where you’re getting frustrated, not dealing with things in a certain way, which then leads to the outbursts, which then leads to the regret. So, it all comes back to that original thought pattern that you’re not dealing with that particular situation. So, what is that and what can you do about it? Really look at what is going on there. Or in my circumstance, don’t buy the chocolate and put it in the fridge.
The fourth thing is I want you to be really clear about forgiving yourself for the situation that you regret. So unless you’ve committed murder, chances are whatever’s happened is forgivable. So, forgive yourself and don’t look externally for that. You’re not ringing your friends from the party and, “Oh, please forgive me for my behavior. Please forgive me for my behavior,” because you need to forgive yourself first. If you’ve done anything outrageous, if they’re your friends, they’ll forgive you anyway. And if it’s in a work situation, you may need to actually go to people admitting your errors and asking for forgiveness. But the first step is forgiving yourself because if you don’t forgive yourself, and there’s a whole live on forgiveness and the importance of it, so go back and watch that, but forgiving yourself, you’ve got to get that because you cannot absolutely, I repeat, you cannot move forward unless you forgive yourself for this kind of thing. It just doesn’t happen.
And last but not least, number five, one, two, three, four, in how to deal with regret quickly is, what action do you need to take now to help get over that regret? What is the action that you need to take? Say you regret not handing in your homework on time. Your first action might be contact the teacher. And I talked about first steps last night. First action might be contacting the teacher to ask for an extension. Second thing might be to clear out your diary so you can get the homework done. But whatever the regret is, there’s something there caught up in your brain, and your heart, and how you’re feeling about it. Taking action on that is going to help with your recovery and helping you make you feel better.
So to recap, regrets are part of life, you are going to have them, okay? You’re going to have them. So, get rid of the ‘I nevers’, ‘I shouldn’ts’. Get rid of it. Shit’s going to happen, dude. And you can’t take it back, can’t rewind. It’s not like an Insta Story where it disappears after 24 hours and nobody remembers. So, you need to acknowledge what you’re feeling. You need to see what you can learn from it. You need to accept responsibility for your part in it. You need to, as I said, get rid of the ‘I shouldn’ts’, ‘I nevers’, blah, blah, blah, and take action. Take action, whatever you need to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, that’s it, my five tips for moving on from regret. So, you can sing a song in French badly as well, okay? Good night and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.