How does regret affect us? Regret can be a painful experience because it involves an emotional state that often includes blaming oneself for the outcome of an incident. Consider the circumstances involved in the event. Perhaps you were under extreme pressure to complete a task in a short amount of time, you were shorthanded because a coworker had called in sick that day, or you were training a new employee. Regardless, you were put in a situation of performing a job in an unfavorable condition, having to make a quick decision under a multitude of stresses, when something unforeseen was about to happen. Maybe you were on your way out the door and you forgot your sunglasses that you had left on your workbench. You knew it would only take a few seconds to go back for them, and you thought, surely, you wouldn’t need your hardhat or safety glasses.

Discussion Points:
• How does regret affect us?
• Workplace accidents
• Embrace the decision-making process
• Use as a learning experience
• Do your best with no regrets

During a normal workday, hundreds of decisions are made. These decisions are based on the best information available at any given moment. Decision making is not always perfect, and sometimes the decision made is not the best. Mistakes happen! This doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a negative impact or negative consequences. Often an incident can be used as a learning experience. Do not hold on to any regrets. “Regret is the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past because the consequences of the decision were
unfavorable.” (Wikipedia). If the outcome of the mishap cannot be changed, let it go! Blaming yourself and regretting past actions is not healthy, can hurt your self-esteem, and lead to depression. Find a way to forgive yourself, find something positive and meaningful from the experience, set new goals, and move on. Given the number of decisions made while performing your job, there is no shortage of what-ifs. What if I had done this? What if I had done that? It’s human nature to consider other outcomes. You need to realize that decisions are made based on the knowledge and experience you bring to the job. You were hired to do the job. Embrace the decision-making process and do your best. Mistakes happen, lessons learned, no regrets!

As always, stay safe out there!