Regret is Shame Disguised As Maturity

June 9, 2022

The feeling of regret can weigh us down for life. People often spend a lifetime wishing they could turn back time and make a different decision about something in the past. But I came across a quote recently about regret and it hit me like a freight train: 

“When we are living authentically, there is no regret. Regret is just shame disguised as maturity. Don’t apologize for lessons learned or look down on past behaviours. Of course you don’t do the same things anymore. You’re evolving. You were exactly who you were supposed to be then just as you are now.” (-Thee Moe Ari). 

Oof. The ‘shame disguised as maturity’ part got me.

Regret fools us into thinking we “learned from our mistakes.” But learning is only theory…unless you do something with that knowledge.

I made a choice at a young age to live totally free of regret. To me, there’s only reflection – looking back and learning from the challenging times or decisions we made that didn’t turn out. Reflecting on things that happened – emotional as they may be – is where growth happens.

If you feel like you struggle with regret, I’m about to totally change your perspective. 

In this episode, we’re talking about:

  • Why people feel regret
  • How to stop regretting things and reflect instead
  • Why we should never avoid digging into our past
  • What to do when strong emotions come up during reflection
  • How to create space for emotions to flow properly
  • Why it’s important to try and see the best in everyone, especially yourself

Have a listen and let me know what you think – even if you disagree on regret vs. reflection.


Thee Moe Ari on Instagram @loveoutproud

“Regret is just shame disguised as maturity” quote: 

Episode 291 | “Confident Detachment & Radical Honesty In Relationships With Dr. Jade Teta”

Episode 286 | The Magic That Happens When You Believe & Assume The Best About People


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Episode Transcript:

Hey, Hey, welcome back to the room to grow a podcast, Emily here and today we’re going to be talking about reflection over regret, and I’ve, I’ve maybe briefly touched on this a couple of times over, over the years, I guess on the podcast about the fact that I try to make it an active practice to not really do regret,

like to make that choice to not do regret, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t enormous value in looking back over our past actions, our past relationships, our past mistakes and gaining valuable lessons from those things. There’s such a significant difference and regret to me. People people can get stuck in regret and, and be just so filled with regrets that is difficult to even progress forward and to sort of be drenched in shame in a lot of ways,

because of those past results, those, those past mistakes. And this is why I have chosen. I actually chose this from a very young age that I didn’t want to do regret. I wanted to gain as much wisdom as I possibly could without the act of regret. And I saw a quote on Instagram the other day, that summed up how I feel about regret so beautifully that I,

I have to share it with you. It was just so well done. This is written by the Mo airy, who is over at love out proud on Instagram. I’ve referenced it all in the show notes, so you can go check them out. And the quote is when we are living authentically, there was no regret. Regret is just shame disguised as maturity.

Don’t apologize for lessons learned or look down on past behaviors. Of course you don’t do the same things anymore. You’re evolving. You were exactly who you were supposed to be then just as you are now and quote Hoof, Can we talk about the line specifically? That is all pure gold, but the, the lion specifically of regret is just shamed, disguised as maturity.

That is a mic drop line right there. And as soon as I saw it, I was like, yes, this is, so this, this sums up how I have felt about regret and have always felt as though I did a very poor job at articulating why, and this is why reflection is so important, but over regret reflection over regret, Dr.

Jade Teta. And I actually touched on, on this super briefly in, in episode 2 91 about confidence attachment. We talked about how we actively choose to not do regret and that that’s partly why it’s so important to show up in a genuine way to wear your heart on your sleeve a little bit, you know, to, to let people know how you really feel about them.

And we don’t want to shy away from the reflection part of this because it’s highly necessary part of, of growth. And it’s what you do with the observations that you notice about yourself and the lessons that you’ve learned that matters the most. Anyone can learn the theory of something, it’s what you actually do with it. That makes a difference and integrating the wisdom,

integrating it. When I look back at my university education, I feel like a lot of it was just me trying to memorize things. And, and ultimately that, that is to some degree, a lot of how our education system in general is built around is, is you can get by with memorization in most subjects. Anyway, you, you can kind of just as long as you can memorize enough stuff,

you can probably do. Okay, but that’s not real wisdom. That’s, that’s not actually integrating the learning. That’s not the application of it. And when we’re, we’re integrating things like this, like don’t sidestep the emotions that come up when you are reflecting, because there may very well be, be heavy emotions, including potentially shame that can be brought to the surface.

And sometimes the discomfort of those moments in our lives, where we look back on, on behavior or the way we treated someone is so cringe-worthy, we’d rather avoid it at all completely and never think of it again, but we don’t need to dwell on it. Now that’s easier said than done. I realize like sometimes when we start to go down the road of reflection,

it can feel like opening Pandora’s box, especially if you’re prone to overthinking, which I know that many people can be an ice, certainly relate to that. Sometimes we, we also require some to briefly take our minds off of things. It can be a very legitimate survival tactic reaching for your phone, having some Netflix and chill nights. You know, those,

those types of things. Sometimes those things are actually necessary because we can’t live in doing the work. We can’t live in growth 100% of the time, because that’s a really fast road to burnout. You will be exhausted. No one, no one can sustain that every second of the day, sometimes we have to take our minds off of things and do other things get out there and do different activities that will take our minds off of it.

And, and if, if, you know, we want to refer to that as escapism, sometimes it might be, but it allows us enough space and breathing room to be able to process, and then hopefully end up integrating some of the things that we’re learning as we come across memories of past behaviors, or perhaps a new perspective as presented to us that makes us look at something in a different light there’s compassion that has to be brought into this,

this conversation. You know, the different perspectives that we have on past behaviors of our own and potentially of others. As we grow ourselves, like we will gain new perspectives on other people or maybe other people will present us with perspectives that we never considered before. Life experience wisdom. All of these things will contribute to the reflection process and the way that that can support our growth.

And when we’re having these moments of reflection, when, when we’re maybe going down memory lane a little bit and processing things, can we hold space for the messy parts of ourselves? Can we have compassion for that past version of us who was doing the best that they could with the knowledge and wisdom they had at the time, and in those particular sets of circumstances,

I truly believe that most people are doing the best that they can including us like including ourselves. And I also really believe that we’ll get more of what we choose to look for in the world. I went into that more in episode 2 86, about the magic that happens when you believe in assume the festival people. And I’d love it. If you would give that one a listen,

because there’s, there’s something that shifts when you start to believe the best about people. When you start to believe the best about yourself, Something changes. And if that’s a relatively new concept to you, it may be a practice to integrate that belief. You may have to catch yourself again and again and again, and go, okay, let me take a lens of compassion here that I talk about a lot.

If I take a of compassion here and I, and I assume the best about this person who wronged me, or who did something shitty or who showed up in a way that I didn’t like if I take a lens of compassion when I’m viewing this situation and I believe the best about them, I give them the benefit of the doubt. How would that change?

How you look at people? How would that change the way you reflect on others, the way you reflect on yourself, how would that change? Things reflection over regrets, reflection, over regret. It is going to serve you. In my opinion, there are people who will disagree with me on this, but in my opinion, that is a far,

it’s a far more compassionate approach and, and a much more positively reinforcing approach, or at least it gives us more of an opportunity to create a sense of positive reinforcement that will support us moving forward and support who we are becoming rather than looking back on our past selves and being filled with shame. Shame is not going to serve us. And this is where we have to make a decision about what it is that we want.

I’d love to know your thoughts on that. So let me know what you think. Let me know if, if you prefer regrets, if you disagree with me, I’d love to hear it. If you agree with me, let me know. I’d love to hear your opinions on this one. And just that, that quote from, from the mower Erie regret is just shamed,

disguised as maturity. Well, Please, please go check them out on Instagram. Just awesome, awesome work. Beautiful writings and, and perspectives are highly recommended. So go take a look and thank you so much for listening.


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