Freedom From Regrets

Have you ever regretted a decision that you made? Did you wish you could have a “re-do” to something you said or did. Since I consider myself to be a perfectionist (yes, I’m working on this!), I use to live a life full of regrets from behaviors or decisions that I did not think was… well, perfect! I quickly learned that no one is perfect and to try to be perfect will set you up for failure. However, a bigger lesson that I learned was to let go of regrets. When someone asks me if I regret making a certain decision or could change something about my past, I say “No!” You may think I am ridiculous, but this has actually been the most freeing feeling. You see, without all the twists, turns, ups and downs of life, we would not be the person we are today. There are great parts of my life that I wish I could re-live in a second! There are also moments in my life that were not my finest. Although there are times in my life that I am not proud of, I have been able to learn valuable life lessons from them.

For example, I will never forget my junior year of high school. I was on the basketball team and was one of the starting 5 players. Since I am competitive, I always took the game very seriously and wanted to perform at my best with my team. During one game, there was a girl that did everything in her power to make sure I could not dribble, pass, or shoot. More than that, she was obnoxious and being inappropriately aggressive on the court. By the 3rd quarter, I was fed up! So when she had the ball and was going in for a lay-up, I pushed her really hard, to where she fell and twisted her ankle. I got a technical foul (my first and only my entire basketball career). Although that situation would typically be put under my “Regret List”, I used that as a teaching moment. In that moment, I allowed someone to control my emotions so much so that I behaved in a way that was uncharacteristic of me. Although I know that I can’t be perfect, I have done my best to never let something like that happen again.

It would have been easy to have taken my basketball situation and turn it into a regrettable moment. Instead, I chose to learn from it. In the same way, I encourage each of you to think about the times that you wish you could erase. Instead of being ashamed or discouraged by them, think of the lessons you can learn from it. Instead of thinking “I wish I had never done that” ask yourself “What could I do differently next time?” Having freedom from your regrets will take such a weight off your shoulder. You can learn so much from your past to make your future even better!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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