“Why not change the world?”
This was the first slide of the presentation as we began the college tour. With each slide the university showcased it’s long history of how by creating of a curriculum and environment of innovation and excellence their students had, indeed, changed the world.
When I graduated from high school, I never went on a college tour. I was lucky to get accepted into a community college where no one was talking about changing anything, let alone changing the world.
As the presentation continued, I found myself wondering if the students in the tour group understood how huge of an opportunity this was. I know I surely saw it, wishing silently I was a high school senior and all this was right in front of me.
I’ve had an interesting relationship with opportunity. Yes, I’ve had many academic and professional opportunities, but I can’t say I’ve ever really taken full advantage of many of them. And when you get older you sometimes look back and think of what could have been if you had done more than simply shown up in life.
I’m not a big fan of regret. Certainly you can’t un-live your life. And you’ll almost never get a second chance to revisit the opportunities you never quite took full advantage of. Regret can leave you bitter and unforgivingly angry at yourself, especially when life gets challenging and you’re looking for someone to blame. Regret, though, can be one of life’s most impactful teachers.
A few years back I found myself firmly in the grasp of “what could have been”. Regret had settled in along with the aforementioned bitterness and anger. Changing the past was never an option, so I needed to understand what I could change to avoid any new regrets in the future.
It’s not about understanding what you regret; it’s about understanding what got you there in the first place.
Until you know why, you can always expect more to regret going forward.
Much of what held me back, and a great many back, was a limiting belief of unworthiness. We all self-regulate in regard to what we allow to be possible for ourselves. When we are presented with opportunities for prosperity and growth, the vision we have for what we believe is possible for us governs just how much prosperity and growth we will allow ourselves to achieve. Our self-imposed limits become the expectations we will instinctively live up to or even down to. What we subconsciously expect to show up in our life usually does.
I never lacked the intelligence needed to make the most of my opportunities. I just needed to see myself worthy of taking full advantage of them.
Self-doubt and unworthiness are the #1 killers of hopes and dreams, turning unlimited human potential into a lifetime of shortage, settling, and what could have been. I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly where my doubts and fears came from, but I know they were the source of the regrets I once angrily possessed. Moving forward the focus needs to be on the rest of my life – and yours – and understanding and accepting all life is worthy of fully expressing itself.
Weeds flourish in the cracks of my concrete sidewalk, nourished by the same sun and the rain giving life to the flowers only a few inches away.
The Universe sees all as worthy.
And if all are worthy, so, too, are you.
Life is short and it gets shorter with each passing day. And each of those passing days are full of opportunities waiting for you to make the most of.
What will you choose not to do today that you will regret not doing come tomorrow?
It’s a great day to be you!