Being a financial adviser and radio host, I have heard my fair share of stories. Unfortunately, most are more about regret than anything else. There is regret over the decisions that were made. Decisions such as, 'I should have saved more money', 'I should have never accumulated so much debt', 'I wish that I would have been a better steward over what God had given', 'I wish that I would have been paying attention to my finances', etc.... When you are viewing life through the lens of regret, a few things happen to you. First, you become so focused on the outcome that you did not want, versus the outcome that you do want. Second, what you focus on in life becomes bigger and more consuming. It creates a vicious circle of financial regret, and it easy to get stuck.
The good news, however, is that financial regret is a choice, and you can choose a different path. Try these suggestions and eliminate financial regret for good.
First, although it is easy to think that you are the only one who has made bad decisions, you are not alone, at all. Everyone at one time or another has made financial decisions that did not serve them well. It is not about the decision. It is how you respond.
Second, it is time to let go of the past. We tend to hold on to regrets because they serve us in an odd way. Our regrets create a form of an odd comfort zone. It is almost as if we feel safer staying in the zone of regret than taking a risk and making new decisions.
Third, what did you learn from the decisions that did not work out? That is the value of decisions that didn't support you. Even though most financial regret has a degree of financial loss associated with it, financial regret also has a very valuable aspect to it - lessons and experience.
Fourth, the past can only serve us based on what we have learned. The most important decision isn't the one you didn't or did make in the past. It is the decisions in the present moment that are the most important. We always have the present- it is God's gift to you!