Indecision and Regret: The Inner Monologue

Wresting with regret and indecisionAlmost everyone has an inner dialogue. This conversation that goes on inside our heads replays a lot of indecision and regret. When we don’t do things that our gut tells us we should, we are left with these two things.

Much of the friction in this inner dialogue is due to only focusing on the macro-moments of life. These are the milestones and big-picture happenings in life. It would seem that most of us give more emphasis to the macro versus the micro. Unfortunately, it creates an environment where we ignore the present and obsess about the future.

My inner dialogues were filled with stressful lamentations centering around indecision and regret. Why didn’t I do this or say that? It wasn’t until I had time to reflect and reset my identity that I began to give the macro its due. My story of this realization is in my book The In-Between: Life in the Micro.

Why Are Indecision and Regret Such Constants in Life?

I would not characterize myself as indecisive. I’ve made plenty of well-thought-out and quick decisions personally and professionally. Were they always right? Of course not. However, there were many moments of indecisiveness. I just didn’t see them as such because they seemed trivial and insignificant in terms of the macro.

Regret has also been in the pattern. I’ve found the deepest regrets are those you don’t realize for some time. Then you can replay them in your mind a million times, wishing things would be different. But they aren’t, and you have to accept things for what they are.

I did not want to live a life of regret or indecisiveness regarding the micro. So, I embraced the in-between and all I could learn from it. I had to make a change, including my inner dialogue.

Inner Dialogues and the In-Between

Before I decided to evolve my focus and priorities, my inner dialogue at in-between moments was often about inconvenience or impatience. I would easily disconnect from the experiences if they weren’t what I wanted in terms of the macro.

Those thought patterns had to change if I wanted to live a happier, fuller life in the micro. I started doing things like setting informed intentions. An intention is an expectation, but when informed, it’s more flexible and allows you to adapt to the circumstances.

I also began to see the value in interactions with others. There was more to life than reaching some big goal or crossing a finish line. When those were my obsessions, my inner dialogue was stern and unyielding.

I needed to be more aware of myself and others to do this. I had to address the dialogue to move myself into a serving state, which also meant taking my ego out of the equation. It was hard work and not for the faint of heart. It was absolutely worth it.

Maybe it’s time for you to make similar changes so indecision and regret don’t consume your thoughts. Hopefully, my book can be a guide.