For some people, some things in the past are hard to let go. Wherever they go, it haunts them and often appears in their weakest moments. But the danger for keeping the worst parts of ourselves and regrets in our minds is how it can affect our decision making. Due to fear, we may be paralyzed from making the right decisions.
Here are three exercise to help you confront and dispel your worries.
1. List five to ten actions from your past that you truly regret. Add with each regret, “Is there anything I can do now to undo the damage?” If there is, write down exactly what you’ll do. If you have done all you can, let your regrets go. Tear the paper.
2. List five to ten things you used to worry about. Take a slow stroll through your list, asking yourself these questions about each entry.
- Am I still worried about this?
- How my worry help in any way?
- Did my worry help in any way?
- Which of my specific actions or decisions helped resolve the problem?
- Did it simply resolve itself?
- Did I just have to learn to live with it?
Review your answer. Do you see a pattern? You’ll probably discover that worry did little to help, but specific action and the healing power of time may have helped a lot.
3. List five to ten things you’re worried about right now. They can big or small. Ask of each item:
- Will worry in any way?
- Which actions can I take to help resolve the problem?
- Will the problem resolve itself?
- Will just have to learn to live with it?
Keep the papers that contain specific actions you’ve decided to take. Put the others in the shredder. If you can honestly tell yourself that worrying – not deciding, not planning, not action – has helped you in the past or can help you now, go right on worrying. If you can’t find any use in worrying, let the worrying and start using all that energy to live instead.