Regret

I almost made a huge, life-altering mistake yesterday.

I’m not going to get into the details – suffice it to say that I had pulled the trigger on this action, and was going to go through with it. I consulted with people that had experienced the same thing, and I thought my decision was the correct one, the sound one, the right one for me.

Then, after I’d made the decision and gotten the ball rolling, regret set in. Major regret. What-the-hell-have-I-done regret. I spent the afternoon and most of the evening getting progressively more depressed, until I finally came to the realization that I was not going to be able to live with the decision I’d made and continue to function in a normal way.

So, I reversed my decision.

The very act of deciding to reverse my decision immediately lifted my spirits. The haze lifted, and I knew that reversing my decision was the right move, and I understood that I never should have proceeded with it in the first place. My mood immediately improved, the sort of improvement that comes with making the right choice.

What drives people to make decisions that they know are not in their best interest? For me, it was the lure of the quick fix. I thought that some immediate pain would be worth the long term goal, and often that is true. In this case, though, the pain would have gone against everything I purport to stand for. I would have been doing something that was counter to everything I’d worked for over the last few years, and worse, was counter to who I am as a person.

The regret that followed my decision far, far outweighed the more subtle, pervasive regret that had been building in my psyche, a low-hum type of regret that led me to making this ill-informed and ill-timed decision in the first place. In the end, that was easier to live with the existing regret than to have to deal with the alternative. At least for now.

I’m not one who is really given to too much self-analysis and internal critique. I make a decision and I stick with it, confident in the knowledge that I’m a pretty good judge of most situations and can see most outcomes, and following my choices through with grace and aplomb (mostly). And this situation was no different – I went into it with eyes wide open, and knew exactly what the ramifications would be.

It was only after making this particular decision that I began to realize that I didn’t want to live with the results, that my decision was the wrong one, and that I would regret making the move for many years to come. It was the sort of life-altering crossroads where I could clearly see the results of both sticking with my decision, and reversing it. I chose the road I’d already been traveling, and that made all the difference.

I made the call (actually, sent the email) to express my regrets and reverse my decision. And felt 100% better, confident in the knowledge that I’d made the right decision this time, a decision I knew I wouldn’t regret.

What I’ve Learned

Trust your gut. And when your gut tells you that your gut betrayed you, trust that as well.

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