Read, Run, Repeat

A tale of fitness, books, food, and life in between

Fears, Regrets, and Becoming Brave

on January 31, 2014

Yesterday I was catching up on the latest episode of Biggest Loser while I was getting my run in …. I seriously am not sure what I’m doing to do when the season is over—I can watch the episodes on my iPad, and it has made my longer cardio days so enjoyable – plus, I’m killing 2 birds with 1 stone!!

About halfway through the episode, Jillian was talking with a particular contestant, and she said something that really resonated with me:

I proceeded to think about this for the rest of my run … and realized that it is so very true. There are so many times in life when I have been afraid – when I’ve avoided or copped out on something due to fear and anxiety. I didn’t believe that I could accomplish it, and so I turned my shoulder and walked away. And in the end, those moments have ended up being things that I regret. If I had the courage and the coping skills to wiggle my way through the fear, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with the regrets.

And here’s the thing about regrets. They really do last forever. There’s not much you can do to change the past. Case in point: when I was in college, I was focused hardcore on my studies – school has always been my jam, and I’m good at it. So I threw myself into all the academic things. But that meant my social life was pretty much non-existent – at the time, I felt like that was okay – I’m an introvert, and social events in college made me anxious. But now? It’s a HUGE regret of mine. Real life certainly came quickly enough, and I wish I had spent more time cultivating friendships and discovering who I was – rather than ONLY academic stuff.

(Funny side story: I was back on my college campus this week for a training – and I simultaneously felt like I had never left and also ancient. I can’t believe I graduated from undergrad almost 10 years ago. Wow. Time really does march on)

Anyway, here’s the other thing about regrets: they can certainly haunt you for the rest of your life, in some cases. And if you don’t find a way to forgive yourself and /or change your view of the situation, the end result kinda sucks.

Another Case in point: One of my biggest fears is failing because (*gasp*) that would be less than perfect. One of my biggest regrets thus far is my failed first marriage. To address one of my “white elephants” in the room: I was married at 25 to my college boyfriend, after 7 years together, and less than a year later it ended. We were young, he got scared, we never really actually considered what being married meant, and it just wasn’t a healthy relationship. End story: it wasn’t meant to be.

There have been numerous times since then that I have been convinced that I have forgiven myself for what I have viewed as a “mistake” – but now I’m engaged J and planning my wedding – and that has just dug up a whole bunch of other memories and issues and negative thoughts, at times. So you see, my failed marriage and my regret continue to follow me around. It’s a very heavy burden to carry.

(source)

I am working very hard to not view the failed marriage as a “failure” or a “mistake” – because in fact, it’s been a situation that has caused me to grow so much in so many ways. And I wouldn’t be the girl I see in the mirror today if all that mess hadn’t happened. I may have never found P, the love of my life, if it hadn’t happened. And I don’t want to carry this regret around for the rest of my life – or be so afraid of failing again, that I doom my new marriage from the start. P certainly doesn’t deserve that, and neither do I. I’m not sure how to stop beating myself up about it when those feelings surface, but just changing my views about it would be an improvement.

Nor do I want to continue to sit on the sidelines because I’m afraid of XYZ – I need to be able to live a little more fearlessly – to be able to take a deep breath and experience the things that might be scary. Everyone is going to have regrets, it happens. But now that I’m in my 30s, and feel a little more comfortable in my own skin, I’d like to be a little more of a risk taker. Big risks can = big rewards.

Short story: I don’t want to let fear of failure to rob me of any more experiences or cause more regrets. This year, I want to work on being brave.

When I was in Kindergarten, I had a poster hanging on my closet that had the very famous logo of “Just Do It” – I can distinctly remember a time when it made me try something I didn’t want to do – have a playdate with a student that no one really liked – I was uncomfortable, but I did it anyway.

I think I’ll try living by those words… (after I think through all the pros and cons, of course ;-))

Answer me this: What’s a regret you have?

~ Brittany xo

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2 responses to “Fears, Regrets, and Becoming Brave

  1. Taryn says:

    I try not to regret anything for exactly the reason you said.. if whatever negative thing it is hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I think, even if it’s hard to actually think that way, just telling yourself that it’s not worth regretting because it helped mold you helps put you in the right mindset (that whole “fake it til you make it” thing).

    Isn’t it crazy how one sentence can bring up all these thoughts/emotions?

    • Brittany says:

      Taryn, it IS crazy that one sentence can bring up so much — I guess that’s why we all really like inspirational quotes!! And you’re right, the right mindset, even if you’re faking it, can definitely put you in the right direction!!

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