Learn from the BURN of Regret
By: Jill Mazza
Who wants to revisit the burn of regret? The rushing in again of low-level emotions like hurt, anger, embarrassment, resentment, fear, shame and self-pity would be agonizing. Yet, regrets are useful reminders of behaviors and choices we DO NOT want to repeat so that we can get more of what we DO want in our personal and professional lives.
When facilitating corporate interpersonal communication skills seminars, I ask participants, ‘Why are you here today?’ Invariably, a few say they have been ‘volunteered’ by their managers to attend due to behavioral problems like creating conflict and lacking in self-awareness and emotional control which they are required to change if they want to keep their jobs and further their careers. Stories about professional regrets are discussed. During a recent seminar, one very engaged participant shared a book he was reading entitled, Taming Your Tongue written by Deborah Smith Pegues. One of the many personally relevant and underline-worthy sentences on page 56 was, “Learn from the burn, but forgive to live.”
People often say they live with no regrets. I wonder what that feels like? The burn of regret is often painful. We can consciously shift that burn into a cool confidence – a knowingness that we will do things differently and make better choices to serve ourselves and others best next time. Feel the burn, learn and make the change.
In 2012, I will be continually checking my ‘BURN FILE’ for valuable reminders so that I can move forward with more control, clarity and confidence when making important decisions about life, work and relationships. Regrets are personal. There is no need for public re-burning at the stake. Consider spending some quiet time alone to write out your New Year’s action plan and affirmations. Example: I do not allow anyone to negate my existence and importance in this world. I embrace my personal power and live in integrity and truth.
Whether we’ve been burned – or have done the burning – we can honor our history by leveraging learning. Referencing past regrets can be part of a strategic approach to future planning. That burn of regret can potentially be the fuel we need to ignite the next great step along our life’s journey.
Jill Mazza is an ICF Credentialed Coach and corporate trainer helping clients to communicate with increased control, clarity, and confidence on the job and in personal relationships. Contact: email@example.com.