The 12 biggest regrets in life no one warned you about

In Living Better

We’ve heard it countless times. The regrets we’re going to have in life if we don’t live life to the fullest. Then we click through and more often than not, the list turns out to be a rehashed version of something vaguely familiar that you once saw somewhere online...Not this one.

Brace yourself. You’re about to be exposed to some really painful truths.

The 12 biggest regrets in life you’ve never heard of

  1. Not caring about bettering yourself under the guise of “People should accept me just the way I am.” This one stubborn outlook spirals into the top reasons why we end up alone, don’t get chosen for jobs or promotions, lose friends and start to resent them for getting ahead while we lag behind.

  2. Not making a strong social circle while you’re in school. People neglect to do this in school citing social awkwardness, bullies, and studies. While I’m sympathetic to all 3, they are at the end of the day just excuses. The habit of social isolation that you habituate yourself to, eventually drips into college and work, and one day you find yourself older and without the social circle of support that you so desperately crave.

  3. Not taking the leap to face fears that would have opened up the possibilities of an entirely different life for yourself. Example: never learning to drive so you resort to living in the same town you grew up in; never having the courage to take that job overseas so you stick to your daily commute and 9-5; never having the courage to ask out your secret crush.

  4. Being lost in the monotony of the daily grind where you forget to really live your life every single day and instead save it only for weekends and vacations. Looking back you notice all those moments lost, the opportunities forsaken, and the sunrises that went by unappreciated. So much beauty lost to worry, boredom, unhappiness and the general numbness of life.

  5. Neglecting your relationship / marriage and letting it drift or break down because of the nagging thought in your mind that there is someone out there better with whom you don’t need to make any sacrifices. Newsflash: all relationships involve give and take. It’s not pessimistic, it’s reality.

  6. Not ever truly finding out who it is you are aside from the definitions placed upon you by your friends, family and society. This leads countless people onto paths in life they never chose and leaves them there stuck on a constantly moving conveyor belt that never pauses long enough for them to jump off. And what are they left with in their old age? The memory of the life they could have had, and the stark recollection of the moment when they chose to step onto the conveyor belt which changed their life forever. (It’s shocking the clarity that comes from finally having time to think in your golden years).

  7. Doing the honourable thing instead of what you really wanted to. Choosing the practical job, getting the degree your parents wanted, staying in a loveless marriage because of the kids.

    One of life's big regrets: Doing the honourable thing instead of what you really wanted to. @IdeasWithRaisa

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  8. Defining your life by the boundaries you set up. The friends and family you don’t talk to anymore, the fears you don’t want to face, the truths you’re not willing to accept about yourself.

  9. Not trusting that voice in the back of your head and saying no to the chances that you were given because of fear. Fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of having to step out of the comfort of the daily predictable routine.

  10. Getting your Aha moment, and then watching it drift by you into oblivion because you chose excuses over courage (no money, no time, no talent, no connections…)

  11. The thanks not given. Not getting the chance to fully express what people in your life meant to you and thank them for it before you lost them forever. (They moved away, you lost touch, they died).

  12. Not focusing on your own issues before having kids and then watching helplessly as they slowly slip into the same cycle you spent your entire childhood trying to get out of.

Painful much? OK I’ll stop.

Now while we’re in the spirit of being painfully honest, we have to admit that all these regrets have one common theme running throughout.

They all were the result of hiding from life. From taking the easy route. From not facing our fears.

Regrets come from hiding from life. From taking the easy route. From not facing our fears. @IdeaswithRaisa

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And while this revelation is slightly jarring (because more often than not we’ll see our current behaviour leading us to at least one of those regrets), it also forces us to ask ourselves a really uncomfortable question:

“What am I going to do with the new insights I just gained? Am I going to slip quietly back into the same, familiar, yet numbing routine, or do I dare to take a step forward into uncharted territory?”

Ball’s in your court.

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