Morbid post alert! I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. This is way too much of an important topic not to write about!
When I think about people looking back over their lives with a sense of regret, it makes me feel really sad.
But, I know how easy it can be to go through your life ‘putting up’ with issues that seem too troublesome to tackle, feeling too afraid to confront them or just getting caught up in the busyness of every day life to do the things they really want to do. Change can seem really hard.
So sometimes a book or an idea, that really hits you in the gut, is just the thing to be the catalyst for change. This is that book.
In Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware draws on her experience as a palliative care nurse. Through working closing with people who were dying, she saw similar themes around regret cropping up again and again.
Here are the themes that she noticed. I invite you to consider whether any of these could apply to you, so that you might have the awareness to make changes now, and avoid the regret in the future. I know I’ll be doing this.
1. ”I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This, apparently, is the most common regret of all. What dreams do you want to fulfil? Are you following your own path, or someone else’s? What action can you take today to start doing more of what you want today?
2.”I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” If you’re someone that works too hard (like I can sometimes) this might hit you like a tonne of bricks. It’s easy to allow work to become all consuming, and to believe that there will always be ‘some other time’ to relax and do things we enjoy or spent time with the people we love.
The time to enjoy your life is now. Is it time to get off the treadmill of work and make more time for you?
3. ”I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” Bronnie notes that lots of us suppress our feelings because we don’t want to rock the boat or upset other people.
Bitterness and resentment are the result; sense of not being free.
Are you holding something in? What steps could you take to be more open and courageous when expressing yourself? It might be hard at first, but it gets easier and the results can be powerful.
4.”I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.” Many people get so caught up in their own lives that old friends get left behind. ”Everyone misses their friends when they’re dying” Bronnie says.
I challenge you to reach out to 3 old friends today – send them a letter, email or give them a call. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to hear from you.
5. ”I wish that I had let myself be happier” ”Many people don’t realise until the end of their lives that happiness is a choice”, says Bronnie. I invite you to think about how you can bring more play, silliness and joy in to your life.
I’ve you’ve been stuck in old patterns, it can be comforting and familiar to want to stay the same, but change is possible.
Now, I’d love to hear, do any of these ring true for you? What step can you take today to make a change? Let me know in the comments.
Ready to make a change? Get in touch with me for hypnotherapy sessions in London.
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