I’ll be the first person to say that I don’t believe in regret. I really don’t. But there are definitely things in my life that I deeply regret and think of often. I wish I knew how to get rid of the regret, but I don’t.
Basically, It’s impossible for me to say that I don’t believe in regret – the same regret that frequently inhabits the majority of my emotional ecosystem.
So… I’m going to clarify.
I don’t believe in allowing regret + the shame, guilt, pain, and anger associated with it, to emotionally paralyze me.
If you’re in a state of emotional paralysis, it doesn’t matter how many self-help books you read or how much you physically move, you’ll always find yourself on a proverbial treadmill – running, sprinting, sweating and wearing yourself out but never actually getting anywhere.
You become stagnant and like I always say… there is nothing but death in stagnation.
We are wired to EVOLVE. Part of that evolution is about failing, taking things personally, caring what other people think and making choices that in hindsight, aren’t the best. Those things in an of themselves are not bad – What’s bad is if we don’t learn and evolve AS A RESULT.
For most of us, these choices end up eliciting a great deal of shame, guilt, regret and remorse that we allow to cremate and bury us instead of propelling us up and onward.
If we were genetically and emotionally engineered to be stagnant and stressed, we wouldn’t develop bedsores when staying in bed for prolonged periods. Consistent emotional dis-ease wouldn’t eventually manifest itself into physical disease.
Don’t allow the emotional aftershocks of regret to take you down and rob you of your destiny. Remember: you have ALREADY SURVIVED the earthquake.
The only way that an aftershock could result in emotional death, is if you allow the emotions associated with the earthquake to paralyze you. When you’re paralyzed, the aftershock is going to seem like Armageddon (and you’ll freak out/NOT act accordingly).
I think that regret is a really useful and valuable emotion. If you feel it deeply enough, it turns into the most powerful gasoline for your emotional engine.
It’s just up to you whether you want to drink the gasoline (and be a victim to how sick it makes you) or put it in your emotional gas tank to propel you out of paralysis and into badassery.
The moment I stopped drinking the gasoline of my own decisions and used the feelings associated with my regrets as the propellant that it was always meant to be… my health, relationships, anxiety, skin, business, luck, and life transformed.
Here’s what I wish I knew back then.
18 things that I wish that my gas-guzzling, 18-year-old self knew/would have been told…
What I wish I knew #1: Accept that some people are your sand and appreciate them for it.
Last month, Hugh Hefner passed away. I met him years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles. He had a very kind and inquisitive disposition. No matter what anyone thought of him, no one could deny that he was an innovator. After he passed away, my friend Neil Strauss posted something on his Instagram about Hefner that hit me really hard because I could relate on every level. Here’s what Neil posted:
RIP Hugh Hefner. In my pre-Game days, I interviewed Hugh Hefner for Rolling Stone (full interview can be found here). We talked about his past, and how his obsession for being surrounded by admiring women came from the way his mother withheld affection when he grew up. The discussion we had afterward, I never forgot. Below are the words he said:
“My Mom said that she herself had been raised in a very oppressive home, so she had been unable to show that affection. And I said to her, “Mom, anything that you may have done that was less than ideal was a blessing. It motivated me to create the world that I have created and accomplish what I have accomplished.”
So sometimes it’s the sand in the oyster that creates the pearl. You need some irritation. You need some repression or some conflict. And my life would have been much less satisfying if I didn’t have that.”
WHAT I WISH I KNEW BACK THEN: Don’t try to pearl-label people who have proven time and time again to be your sand. Appreciate the sand and accept it for what it is: the primer for YOU to evolve. Don’t waste your precious time trying to turn the sand into a pearl. That’s not your job. Be grateful for the sand. Although you may feel deprived, unworthy and unloved in this moment, these moments are here to create enough irritation so that you can have the courage create and share your gifts with the world. I was told my entire life that I was too sensitive. I always felt like the doormat in relationsh*ts and friensh*ts and let me tell you – I am so grateful for every bit of it. It motivated me to create this blog, build my business and this tribe of warriors who lovingly affirm every day that I was never/am never alone in so many of my fears, anxieties, insecurities and in situations that I was convinced for so long I was alone in. Know when you’re surrounded by sand and USE those feelings of associated irritation, aloneness and misunderstanding to ignite a fire of hunger for you to find fellow pearls. Pearls are a rarity. Go to any ocean and see for yourself the abundance of sand. There’s no shortage.
What I wish I knew #2: The worst relationships have the best moments.
If you’re in the desert without water and food for 48 hours, the dirtiest cup of water and the moldiest piece of bread will satiate you and make you feel like you just ate a burger and fries. The reason why relationsh*ts are so hard to get over is because they have these seemingly irreplaceable moments. The moments were that amazing NOT because you were with the mate to your soul, but because everything surrounding those moments was so bleak. It left you THAT hungry. Always access your level of hunger first. If you don’t, you’ll waste your life shining your light on others and pathetically pedestalling as you marvel at their illumination.
What I wish I knew #3: People can only activate an insecurity that you breathe life into every day.
What I wish I knew #4: Don’t choose to believe something just because it conveniently caters to your fears.
What I wish I knew #5: If you’re not in pain, you don’t need to inflict it.
People who are imprisoned by their insecurities, pain and self-sabotage will try to make you feel just as insecure, hurt, confused and never “enough.” Happy, connected and empathetic people don’t need to emotionally perpetrate in their relationships just so they can feel a momentary sense of power. You’ll know that you’re with the right person if you feel like you can just be YOU – without any risk of judgment, rejection, abandonment or lack-of-communication freakouts. There’s no emotional eggshell walking.
What I wish I knew #6: When it comes to friendships, just like there’s a difference between cockiness and confidence, there’s a difference between being protective and parental.
Friendship is about supporting, connecting, being there for one another and having each other’s backs. You don’t need to be/become or be subjected to Mom, Dad, some sort of inverted moral police, etc.
What I wish I knew #7: The moment you stop caring what people think is the moment that you’ll be able to call your own shots – relationally, creatively, professionally and scholastically.
What I wish I knew #8: Don’t waste your time trying to fit the square peg of a definition into the round hole of experience.
Failures of any kind are experiences, not definitions. Your triggers are not your truth – Your truth is how you evolve and propel out of seemingly impossible experiences.
What I wish I knew #9: You know you’re on the right path/in the right relationship/doing the right thing if what you’re engaging in does not dishonor or cost you in any way. Know when to fold.
What I wish I knew #10: If you truly want to heal, help someone out of the pain in which you suffer. When you feel like you provide value to the lives of others, you’ll no longer look to f*cktard people to dictate yours.
What I wish I knew #11: The only person in this world who has been with you through everything, who knows all of your secrets, your deepest fears, successes, failures, anxieties, pain and has remained with you through it all is YOU. And if that’s not what constitutes a soul mate, I don’t know what does. If you don’t have your own back, no one else will.
What I wish I knew #12: The only difference between a people pleasing doormat and a dream girl? BOUNDARIES.
What I wish I knew #13: Don’t ever assume that someone is a better person outside of a relationship with you than they consistently were in a relationship with you. People don’t just miraculously transform – they reveal who they are over time.
What I wish I knew #14: No matter what, everyone will always have their own “allergic” reaction to: 1) your successes 2) your failures 3) your evolution. Be a peaceful warrior, a quiet observer and pay attention to how the people closest to you react to not only your 1’s, 2’s and 3’s, but how they also react to other people’s. It will tell you all that you need to know.
What I wish I knew #15: When you first start dating someone, pay more attention to how they treat others.
Of course, they’re going to be on their best behavior with you. Make sure to be very perceptive of how they treat animals, children, the elderly, people who they don’t know, the person handing them their coffee, people who they can’t “get anything” out of, etc. It’s a red flag telescope and a window into your relational future.
What I wish I knew #16: Always aim to connect when you talk with people, never audition.
Auditions involve getting chosen and the inevitability of rejection/not getting the part. They involve having to be “perfect” for the role and perfectionism is the lowest standard that you can hold yourself to.
What I wish I knew #17: If you wouldn’t date a literal deadbeat (and tie your value to them becoming the next Steve Jobs), stop dating emotional deadbeats (and tying your value to them somehow, acquiring the tools to be in a mutual, empathetic, honest and connected relationship with you).
What I wish I knew #18: Don’t allow your heartbreak, pain, anger, hate, sadness, obsession, frustration, etc., to cloud your vision to the point that it disallows your emotional gag-reflex from kicking in.
When you feel any of the above emotions for someone else, you’re translating to your psyche and to the world that this person is worth channeling the energy into feeding and perpetuating those emotions.
When you are completely disgusted by someone’s actions (or lack thereof)… This is the moment that you truly stand in your own power.
Your disgust for being treated in a less-then manner needs to outweigh your desperation.
If you were on a date and your date started farting and picking his nose, rolling it on a plate and eating it with a spoon, you’d get up and leave because you’d be DISGUSTED. The same needs to happen when people pick their emotional nose and eat it. It’s not about you or your perceived lack of value, it’s THEIR filthy habit. Get disgusted, NOT desperate.
Big love and hugs to you all 🙂 Lots of good stuff coming soon.