As humans, we tend to play it safe. It’s easier that way, right? It can be easy to ignore the negative impact of what we’re doing today that simply seems “normal” or “fine.” It isn’t until later that we look back and feel that inescapable disappointment…regret.
I once ignored my values too. I joined the conga line of living for societal expectations and superficial motives. It’s tempting, there’s fun music and everything. But, when I took a second to reflect on my everyday living, I recognized a disconnect between what I wanted and my thoughts and actions. I took off the obscure party hat of perceived standards and found the ability to make a real change.
You owe it to yourself to live a life centered on your truth and your ambitions. Whether you need a wake-up call or a reminder, here are 19 brutal truths of regrets you may have in your future if you keep ignoring your innate being. It’s time to live fully, without hesitation.
1. Holding back. All those times you ignored the instinctual urge to go for it. Keeping thoughts and opinions to yourself in fear of being “too much.” You’ll regret walking on tiptoes around what you cared about most.
2. Thinking you know what people are thinking. Swapping logic for assumptions and feeling certain of someone else’s brain. Harping on illogical presumptions. You’ll regret the unforgiving migraines caused by consistent foolish behavior that could have easily been avoided.
3. Waking up unhappy and without purpose. Not taking advantage of gratitude’s ability to have been your sidekick from sunrise to sunset. Underestimating how beautiful each day was. You’ll regret not seeing every morning as an opportunity for love, growth, support, and whatever else you were looking for.
4. Wanting to fit in more than wanting to be yourself. Getting trapped in the lure to be loved rather than to be accepted for who you were. You’ll regret not embracing your uniqueness and honoring your true self.
5. The consistent watchdog of “what-if.” The tormenting thoughts of uncertainty and indecision. Maintaining a safe lifestyle because the vague outcome of an important decision carried too much risk to pursue. You’ll regret the relentless internal battles when you could have been going after what you wanted.
6. Not thanking people enough for their unforgettable contribution to your life. Taking relationships for granted instead of giving them the verbal attention they deserved. You’ll regret not articulating your love and appreciation enough.
7. Being stagnant. Not growing and pushing yourself. Not prioritizing the importance of learning and evolving. You’ll regret the extended lethargic phases that swallowed your potential.
8. Caring too much about the wrong things and not caring enough about what inspired you. Focusing attention on soul-sucking situations and wasting energy on trivial matters. You’ll regret not putting effort into what actually mattered.
9. Being embarrassed, about anything. Letting the nerves and self-consciousness of embarrassment hold you back. Feeling shame from being human. You’ll regret not embracing the fact that shit happens and it’s okay to mess up.
10. Wasting the luxury of freedom. Exhausting energy on complaining about a situation instead of recognizing your ability to take control and change things. Staying in a self-made box because it was just “part of life.” You’ll regret feeling caged, when, really, you defined your limits and boundaries.
11. Not spending time on yourself. Allowing involvement and engagement in multiple activities to override your “me” time. Neglecting what made you feel good. You’ll regret the self-inflicted domino effect of stress that stole your sanity and enjoyment.
12. Cradling comparison in your mind and body. Forgetting to detach yourself from the action of comparing, despite knowing that we all experienced life differently. Identifying yourself based off how you perceived others. You’ll regret measuring your self-worth to anyone and anything but yourself.
13. Not recognizing the good in life. Constantly reinforcing the fact that everything is going wrong by not remembering all the beauty in life. You’ll regret focusing on the bad when you reminisce on the good old days.
14. Fearing vulnerability. Being controlled by the monster of judgment and not sharing yourself with others. Thinking rejection and lack of validation was the end of the world. Convincing yourself that you were only as important as one person’s opinion of you. You’ll regret keeping to yourself and missing out on opportunities.
15. Losing touch with people. Forgetting relationships that once meant the world to you just because it was easier than putting in effort. You’ll regret realizing you wanted to keep in touch with people after it was too late.
16. Physically staying in one place. Feeling like if you can’t travel far then you cannot travel at all. Getting caught in the fictitious trap that you’re stuck. You’ll regret neglecting the opportunity to see more than your corner of the world, whether across the ocean or a couple hours away.
17. Fueled arguments with loved ones. Arguing only driven by stubbornness that lead to fragile bonds instead of increased appreciation. Rationalizing that you couldn’t back down and apologize. You’ll regret the fatality of close relationships because you needed to be right.
18. Allowing plans to lurk in your shadow, but never see the light. Letting your fears, or whatever caused an infinite pause in your plans, be bigger than you. You’ll regret not doing what you said you were going to do.
19. Not taking a chance on yourself. But taking a chance on everyone else, instead. You’ll regret it.
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More About the Author
Marissa is a 23-year-old living in the suburbs of Philadelphia constantly looking for her next adventure. She currently works as a Content Specialist and volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line. Marissa believes everyone has an important story to tell and is an advocate for mental health, creative expression, and cultivating compassion. You can find her exploring a hiking trail, drinking too much tea, or impatiently waiting by platform 9 ¾ in an endless search for the Hogwarts Express.