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The Role of Regret in Personal Growth

Author: Sarah Morgan

Often, people come across paths they must choose between—a decision to be made. Picture the classic caricature: an angel on your right shoulder and a devil on your left, each whispering the “best decision” for you. But if you make your choice, will you regret it?

So many questions for one seemingly simple task. Decisions are a constant presence in the world of mental health. They can affect your entire life, setting things in motion like a tiny snowball rolling down a mountain, gaining momentum and developing into a massive avalanche. It shows us that one tiny action can create so many different reactions. That one moment in time can have a massive ripple effect, sadly even impacting the next generation.

I remember being in grade school and learning about cause and effect, but I never processed it on a day-to-day basis. I was a carefree spirit, full of light and wonder, with not a worry in the world. Little did I know, I was making choices every single day. What clothes to wear for school, whether to make my bed and clean my room—and if I didn’t, would I get in trouble? Very quickly, the whole cause and effect concept clicked in my brain. Actions have consequences. They can either have a positive outcome or, in many cases, a negative one.

Isn't it funny how life is nothing but a series of decisions? Just one bad response can lead to a terrible day or future, while a good response can lead to happy moments to cherish. I always remember my mother telling me, “Remember, Sarah, five people can tell you positive things, and one person can tell you something negative, and sadly, it’s the negative that you’ll remember and dwell on.” It’s so very true. Darkness can rush in, changing your entire mood.

I seldom have regrets or wish I could change a choice I’ve made. That’s not to say the thought isn’t there from time to time. You just live through it and try to move on. Some regrets, however, stick with you as you navigate through life. If you’re lucky enough, as you grow, they soon become lessons learned and valued—a little piece of advice you can offer to someone in need. That life experience you went through helped mold you into the person you are today.

As life continues to ebb and flow, the choices we make will forever predict the future outcome—there is no going around that. But, if we take a long, deep breath and try to pause before making a decision, it may help in the long run. It may give us peace of mind or the comfort we didn’t know we needed.

I’m not saying that making a bad choice is a terrible thing—sometimes it may be good for the soul to learn from and grow. Just know that for every action, there is a reaction, and be as cautious as you can. Give yourself some grace, and surround yourself with a strong support system who can be your compass as you navigate through life’s maze of decisions. Life can be a beautiful thing if you allow it. See? Another decision for you to make.

If you’re struggling with the weight of your decisions or need guidance in navigating life's complex paths, Thrive Counseling is here to help. Our experienced counselors provide the support and tools you need to make informed choices and find peace of mind. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards a more balanced and fulfilling life. Visit our website at Thrive Counseling or call us at (555) 123-4567. Life is full of decisions—make the choice to thrive.

About Thrive Counseling

We are offering counseling, home-based and group programs through telephone or online through ZOOM. Call us for your mental health & substance use needs! Call Warren, (330) 469-6777 or Youngstown, (330) 355-9998 TODAY!

Anyone can call for assistance or support. Assessments are based on the individuals' needs and what will work best for them. Thrive can provide immediate assistance for mental health crisis situations. Medicaid and most other insurances are accepted.

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