Antsy? Look at what you’re not doing.

How are you feeling today? Are you antsy? Then there is something you’re not doing. Address it and you’ll remove the feeling of regret.

It’s oh so common to feel regret. At the end of the day we recount our actions and, once again, realize we haven’t followed through with something. And it’s an important something. We can tell because when thinking about it our face flushes or our ears turn red. Nervous energy reboots our system and our hands and feet want action. If we aren’t careful, the regret we feel can lead us to further regret.

Unchecked, regret from our own inability to follow through with what is important leads us to dismiss those around us or to treat them badly simply because we are responding to our own frustration. These actions, which are in response to our own guilt, make us appear as though we have problems with those around us, but in truth, the problem we have is with ourselves.

What tends to upset us are the actions we didn’t take. Learn from this and save further regret.

For instance, the actions we didn’t take could be a conversation we wish to have. Unsure about the outcome, we put it off, telling ourselves we must adequately prepare for the conversation. Don’t do this. How much time can adequate preparation take? If we have the information we need, it can take no more than a good 10 minutes to think it through. Focus on the importance of it, how it relates to the other person and keep it simple.

The longer we put off the conversation, the greater the chance we won’t have it because we’ll convince ourselves that what is important to us doesn’t matter.

We may say the conversation needs to happen in person – and if that is possible, it is best. But what if it’s not possible for several days? Then a phone call is vital. Not an email, not a text. A phone call is a sign that time is important, and so is the matter for our conversation. So if the conversation can’t happen in person but it’s still an important conversation to have in a timely manner, call that person. Connection is more important than face time that isn’t going to happen soon.

Are you antsy? You’re experiencing regret. Get at the heart of what’s causing it. Usually it’s tied to actions we aren’t taking as well as our thinking around those actions. Get out of your own way and get into action.

See Tips on Speaking Up for more motivation on this topic. Or contact Merri.

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