Regret: a powerful gift of the universe, resulting from error? Or a negative emotion one experiences over and over (and over again) because they don’t learn the first time? (Laurie Faria Stolarz)


The topic for this month is regret. What is something I feel regretful for in my writing and publishing life? 

            I think, first and foremost, it’s important to remember that in life we make mistakes, all of us - mistakes of all kinds and proportions. It’s inevitable. It’s normal. And, I think, it’s what we’re supposed to do. Not that any of us sets out to make the wrong choices, but we’re here to learn, right? Evolving is at least one of our purposes. 

            The gift of mistake-making is what comes from it: hopefully, reflection, insight, and perspective. If we all looked at our mistakes in that way, the word regret might have a healthier connotation. But, alas, it doesn’t. The word is negative and bitter, and there’s also a degree of sadness to it – because, let’s face it, regret can feel downright bludgeoning. 

            My regrets, vocationally speaking, tend to occur from mistakes in which I didn't - or don’t - go with my gut, when I second-guess myself out of insecurity. The choice to partake in a project that was sure to go viral, even though the money (and my heart) wasn’t in it? Yeah, I regretted that choice but told myself I’d make it up in dividends, and that it would help strengthen my other sales, and that I’d gain more exposure. Rationalizing my "yes" choice, obviously. Anyway, the project bombed because the people behind it changed, and then the plan and funding changed, including the scope of the project. Blah, blah… Lesson learned, for sure. 

            But was it, really? 

            Because, since then, I’ve agreed to certain terms that didn’t feel necessarily right, because I feared not (that whole job security thing creeping back). I feared the powers-that-be might turn around and pull the deal (which one of them actually threatened = fear validated).

            I feared too many questions might equate to a reputation of “being difficult,” the result of which (in my head, at least) could yield a less-than-enthusiastic launch without as much financial backing. I feared never working again in the industry. I feared losing my readership. I feared not being liked.

            The list goes on, proving that, clearly, the issue is mine. The universe knows this, which is why I keep getting the same challenges thrown in my path. 

            When am I going to learn, for real? Fingers crossed, it'll be next time. 

            Other common regrets: spending money on myself, eating after nine, having too many snacks, skipping a workout, saying the wrong things, not being more thoughtful in the moment.



Post a Comment