Could’a. Would’a. Should’a.

Do you have regrets? We make choices from the standpoint of who we are at the time we make decisions. (And we’re always at the point of a new decision.) Maybe you spent money on some “must have” material thing, only to decide it wasn’t as “must have” as you thought. Or, having dinner-out before the movie—after the vacation.

Regret is okay. It means we acknowledge we’re now making new choices. Here’s the difference between healthy and non-healthy regret: If it’s healthy, you’ll examine the situation, and realize it’s something you wish you hadn’t done, or had done a different way. There’s no bashing yourself, no deer-in-headlights paralysis of moving forward. You’ll want to make a change and you will make it. If the regret isn’t healthy, it doesn’t do any good. It’s heavy, and non-productive. You feel like a loser, you bad mouth yourself, and you’re stuck in the Could’a, Would’a, Should’a club. It not only doesn’t move you forward, it holds you back. There’s a gentle balance between, “Wow, that doesn’t feel good. I wish I hadn’t done that. I won’t repeat it!” And, “Oh, I could kick myself. I wish I hadn’t done that. I hate it when I do things like this.” The latter holds you in the feeling of muck, and gets you nowhere. It also tends to repeat over and over in you mind.

So, let’s say you’ve over spent, under saved, and now you see the light. Great! What’s your plan? Are you making necessary payments? Are you putting some aside for savings? Have you changed your habits – including self talk?

Try talking to yourself as you would to someone you love and respect. “Today, I’m making new, wise choices!” Here’s a link to Kathryn Schulz’s 17 minute talk, “Don’t regret regret.”


2 thoughts on “Could’a. Would’a. Should’a.

  1. This is a great post! When working with clients, the first order of business is to get rid of the “Could’a. Would’a. Should’a.” mentality because it can tremendously hinder progress. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sounds like you’re guiding your clients to a future of not only financial security, but also as a mentor for their strong emotional foundation. Like the shopping mall sign with the big red X, we are here, now. We can’t change the past. You are serving them well.

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