I often find my attention shifting from a task at hand, to a scenario that usually didn't go in my favor. I start playing it over and over again thinking about everything I did that led to the end result of the situation. I start to insert "what if" into the scenario and immediately start to doubt every decision I have made.
Spending your time focusing on the "what if" scenarios are only going to cause you more pain. These "what if" scenarios are never going to come true and the end result of your actions has already taken place, so instead of fantasizing about apologizing, dating/not dating someone, or changing a defining moment in your life, start focusing on how to grow from your life experiences.
I spent years wishing I had apologized to my Father before he passed away. This was one of my biggest "what if" scenarios. "What if I had apologized to my Dad and we had become closer before he passed?" "What if he hadn't passed away? Would we be close now?" It was hard not to become wrapped up in questions like those and imagine how my life would have turned out had I done one thing differently.
A big one from females after they experience a break up is "What if I had never dated him?" "What if I had never met him?" The idea of having never met the person who caused you pain does sound ideal but think five to ten years from now when you do ultimately meet the right person. You realize what you want from a relationship by experience and pain. I know this is true of myself. I have learned from every relationship I have had. Whether it be a romantic relationship or a friendship, a lot of times these end and taking a step back to realize that the experience you are having right now will only aid you in your future.This is going to be the most beneficial thing you can do.
Growth is something that takes time and being determined to let yourself grow from all of your experiences is necessary. Most people choose to only take the good in their life, focus on it, and grow from there. Using your low points as a lesson will help you grow the most. "What if my dad was still here"? Well, I wouldn't be as compassionate, independent, and strong as I am today. I have to look at my growth from the moments in life that have knocked me down. I've realized that putting this into practice in my life has caused me to own up to my mistakes and pray that I can only do better in the future.