Can't be my head screams ... I'm looking at 60 in just a few years. Wow, where does it all go ... so much done ... MORE left undone. Regrets are hard. Regrets turn into all those what ifs. IF I had said yes to this opportunity or said no to that invitation what would life look like.
In 1980 I was working in campaign politics and living in Washington DC. My position entitled me to a presidential inaugural ball ticket. I've been socially anxious all of my life and have never felt comfortable at parties with small talk and awkward silences. My parents were very strict and so I never had many opportunities to learn the skills of socializing. I've always seen myself as the fat, immigrant kid from the farm who is forever the outsider.
So, I get this great opportunity to go to this ball and George, my brain, started buzzing hard and fast. "Rosemary, you won't have the right clothes, you'll look out of place, nobody really wants you there," and on & on droned George. Sadly, I turned down the ticket and made up some lame excuse.
I've long since stepped away from the world of politics and seriously doubt I will ever be invited to another such event. DO I REGRET NOT GOING? YES, YES, YES. Was it a life changing decision probably not but ... a regret that I carry with me. Had I said yes, it would have added to life's rich memories, helped enhance my social skills and helped boost my confidence about saying yes to other things.
Clearly, the point is if you are saying no because your brain is sending messages of fear and inadequacy - these are not good reasons to say no to things. GO, DO, EXPERIENCE -- we seldom regret the things we tried - its the ones that got away that leave us wondering and regretting.