Chapter 3. Let Go of What Might Have Been

You are no doubt familiar with phrases like

• I would have...

• I could have...

• I should have...

• I might have...

• I wish that...

• If only...

Phrases like these have their own special ring. They’re a way to absolve yourself from your original planning and expectations, and at the same time they are a form of self-sabotage that prevents you from moving forward in a productive way.

There is a difference between learning constructive lessons from your experiences and dwelling on the past. Focusing on “what might have been” can be an unproductive and painful process. The use of this sort of thinking is revealing in that it shows we are (1) critiquing ourselves after the fact, (2) expressing discomfort ...

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