Join me on the podcast today where I’ll talk about some of the areas of the mission experience I am seeing regret. We’ll learn why we feel regret, what it creates when we feel it (not usually our best action) and what to do about it.
What You’ll Learn:
- Why we feel regret, what it creates when we feel it (not usually our best action) and what to do about it.
0:00 Hey, what’s up everybody? It’s Jennie, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number five, post mission regret. I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach and whether you are preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a return missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things than let’s go? I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the podcast. We are having record breaking temperatures here. It’s so crazy. Couple of days ago, our air conditioning went out. So we all just had a little slumber party on the couches downstairs. So that was super fun. Getting excited for my second son to come home from his mission. He’s gonna come home in about six weeks, he served in the Australia Melbourne mission. And he served there for seven months. And then when COVID happened came home, and like many missionaries did, and he was home for five months. So that might be a lot longer than some of you. And then he was reassigned to the New Hampshire Manchester mission. And he has been serving there since last August. And he is coming home mid August. So super excited about that I had the awesome opportunity to speak at a steak girls camp, I taught them all about the formula to create your amazing life. That was super fun. It was a group of about 200 young women and their leaders, which was super fun. That was before this heatwave. So that’s good. We are like over 102 to 108 supposed to be for the next 10 days. But luckily, our air conditioning is fixed now. So that’s a bonus. So hope you are staying nice and cool. And beating the heat in whatever way that you can. One of the things I’ve been noticing lately is the pattern that I’m seeing with my clients as well as people and missionaries that I interact with online is that around two months to six weeks or so before missionaries start coming home about the stage that my son is in. Missionaries start to question everything they did on the mission, they start to ask themselves questions like did I do enough? Could I have been better? Could I have helped more people? Could I have converted more people? Could I have served more diligently or faithfully? I think it’s normal and natural for us to question ourselves like this, especially, I’ve noticed as it comes to like a closing of a chapter. Maybe like when we are graduating from high school. Maybe when we’re headed out on the mission. Maybe when we get home from the mission, stuff like that. This is just our lower brain. And I’ve talked about it on the podcast before this is our lower brain kicking in, it wants us to question ourselves wonder if we’ve done a good enough job. And if we are good enough. So remember, your lower brains job is to keep you safe, protected and small and in the cave. But this lower brain and the way that it behaves during these closing of chapters and different transitional times in our lives can often lead to regret. I’ve actually seen this quite a lot recently. Here’s a couple examples. There’s the preparing missionary who wish they would have paid more attention in seminary, or read their scriptures more, or made better choices in high school, or worked out more. I
4:35 mean, there’s so many things that I hear from these preparing missionaries. There’s the missionary who’s currently serving and is in a really good groove right now, but kind of looks back at themselves earlier in the mission and questions themselves, even to the point that they wonder if somehow early in the mission because they weren’t as diligent that somehow they let God down. There’s the returning missionary, like I’ve mentioned here already that gets home in the next six weeks or so. And they start to think that maybe they could have done it a better way that maybe there was more they could have done. There’s also the return missionary that has been home for a little while, I actually worked with RMS who’ve been home as long as three to four years. Sometimes these returned, missionaries feel like if they’d only done it differently and kept up their spiritual habits, continued on the trajectory that their mission gave them, that they would be in a totally different place right now. Now, here’s the thing about all of these examples. We are using our current self, basically where we are right now, to judge our past self. And when we do this, we start to believe a thought like I should have known better, or we should have known better, but when we think we should have known better, that creates regret. Now listen, most of the time, we don’t even buy into this mentality for other people that they should have known better. For instance, let’s say you’re teaching someone on the mission, and maybe they aren’t obeying the word of wisdom at that moment, we don’t look at them and say, Gosh, you really should have known better before. Now. We don’t judge them, we actually shower them with compassion and love. And we say something like, You know what, that’s okay. You did the best you could with the information you had, we take them where they are right now. We meet them where they are right now. And then we look to the future for what they want to create differently. In the future, we focus on where we want to go from here, or where they want to go from here. Judging a past version of yourself is normal. This is what our brain does, right? But it’s not useful. It’s actually kind of funny, our brains are so tricky at keeping us safe, and stuck and spinning, that sometimes even if we’re being really good at not judging other people, we go back to a past version of ourselves, and judge that our brains kind of tell us that if I done more, or showed up better in the past, that I wouldn’t be feeling regret right now. But listen, the feeling of regret never comes from outside of you the things that you’ve done, and it doesn’t come from your past. The feeling of regret comes from what we are thinking. And this is kind of crazy to think about. But listen, the past does not exist, except for the way that we think about it in our minds. Isn’t that weird. So what we’ve done in the past, has no power over us, except for what we choose to think about it. But this is the best news because we can always choose our circumstance or the things outside of us. And we certainly can’t change our past. But we can always choose intentionally, what we want to think I should have known better, or I should have done better, or I should have showed up better is just a thought that we’re thinking. It’s not true. It is just a thought that our brain is offering us. Now if we had an entire platter of thoughts to choose from, it’s interesting that we would choose a thought that makes us feel regret. Now if you get super aware of what that thought is something like I could have done better. Maybe you wouldn’t choose it. Because when we think I should have done better, or I showed up better, then we have to feel the emotion of regret. And regret doesn’t feel super amazing. It’s not our most favorite emotion to feel.
9:14 I like to think of our emotions as gas in a car. Depending on what kind of emotion we put into our car. It will drive a certain set of actions. So when we fuel our actions with regret, we get an entirely different result. It’s usually the results that our brain is seeking when it offers us this thought in the first place. It usually keeps us stuck in the past. It keeps us small, it keeps us safe, instead of showing up powerfully in the present and moving towards your future. On the other hand, when we fuel our actions with a different emotion, like under Standing, or love, or compassion, we’re gonna get a totally different result. When we fuel our actions with these types of emotions, which are fruits of the Spirit, by the way, we are going to show up more powerfully, these are emotions that help us feel feel more open, and more confident. So if all of this is true, that we get to intentionally choose our thoughts, which create our emotions, which drive our actions, and I want to offer to you that it is true. What’s a good emotion that we want to feel when we’re thinking about our past self? I personally love to go to gratitude. You see, there’s kind of this continuum and the way that our brain thinks about it. On the one end of the spectrum, we have, I totally did the best that I could and clear on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have, I didn’t do the best that I could. But what’s crazy about this thought that our brain offers us is there’s no way to know the answer. And in fact, there’s no way to change it, even if we didn’t know the answer of what the best could have been. The past is in the past. So what I suggest is we just come somewhere to the middle of this continuum, we don’t think in all or nothing like either I did the best I could or I didn’t do the best I could, I love to go to a thought like thanks me for getting it right sometimes and getting it wrong sometimes to thanks me for sticking with me all the way. What’s totally crazy to think about is, you really wouldn’t be able to be who you are now, without the experiences that you had, then. And I’m even talking about the experiences where you didn’t show up as your best. Those experiences are the ones that create the transformation, the change and the growth, I kind of like to think about it like a road trip, just in a few weeks, our family is going to the Oregon coast. And I want you to think about it like this, if we had a map, or let’s say a navigation that showed the blue line from where I live, or from where you live to the Oregon coast, when we look back to the past and think I should have done better. What we’re kind of saying is we want to get to the Oregon coast with skipping part of that blue light part of the journey, we just want to x out part of the journey that got us to the Oregon coast in the first place, we know that that doesn’t make sense, we have to drive the whole way, we have to take the entire journey, the highs and the lows, and everything in between because my friends, it’s on the journey where the growth and change happens. It’s actually when we get some of it wrong, that we really learned the most. Now, that piece or that content meant that we’re seeking in regards to our past doesn’t just automatically happen. Remember, our brains are always looking for what’s wrong, and what it can fix, and what might be dangerous. So if we just let our brains run on autopilot, it is going to want to go to the past and find all of those things. So what it comes down to is you intentionally thinking what you want to think on purpose. If we’ve completed a marathon, or really long and challenging race, we wouldn’t look back at our training and judge our past self. We’d be super grateful to that past version of us who trained and who worked and who sacrificed to get us where we are today. We could even be grateful to the version of us that missed some some of the days of training and didn’t get it right sometimes. Because those days of Miss training taught us how to persevere and believe and what we wanted in the future, regardless of the way that we behaved in the past. Now listen, could we have prepped better for our missions, served better for our missions, done more on our missions been better on our missions, and when we came home from our missions, could we have transitioned smoother? Maybe. But again, the truth is, we’ll never know. There’s no upside to believing that we could have done it better. It only creates regret. So just a side decide that whether you’re preparing to leave currently sir Being just about to head home from your mission are heading home earlier than you expected. Or maybe you’ve been home for a little while, decide and get intentional stop letting your brain run off to the past, we can change it. So bring your brain to right now to this present moment you can choose to believe anything you want about your past. So choose thoughts that create gratitude, compassion, and love rather than regret. Because regret
15:34 is not really a useful fuel. I’ll keep you stuck and spinning and not moving forward. You could just choose to believe that you had the exact experiences that you are meant to have. Those were the experiences that got you where you are today. You can tell yourself thanks me. Thanks for getting me through the highs and the lows and everything in between. Thank you so much me, because I’ve learned so much along the way. And those experiences, all of them are what made me who I am today. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to learn more about what I do, you can go to Jennie dildine.com. Or just come hang out with me on Instagram at Jennie dot the LDS mission coach and Jennie is spelled with an I II and remember no matter which part of the mission experience that you are involved in. Just know that Jennie the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day