Peter sat in the cafeteria playing with his mashed potatoes as his boisterous friends rambled on about their dates for the weekend. His best friend Leo couldn’t help but notice his friend moping, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it. He believed his moping had to do with his recent breakup with his girlfriend, Rachel.
Rachel had found a new love interest after dating Peter for two years. She called him up and told him it was over. What Leo didn’t know is that Peter was relieved. He had grown tired of the relationship, and he actually had fallen in love with someone else.
Ella had started at Riverdale High School after Peter started dating Rachel. As he got to know the two girls better, he realized that he longed to be around Ella and couldn’t wait to get away from Rachel. His father had taught him to be faithful and not let a girl down, so he continued to date Rachel. He didn’t know how to break up with Rachel without hurting her.
Peter realized how much damage he had caused after Rachel broke up with him. He knew that Rachel was just waiting for him to end it, but finally had to take the matter into her own hands. They were both emotionally involved with other people, and they were happy to be out of the relationship.
Unfortunately, now there was a strain between Ella and Peter. They had played cat and mouse for two years and neither of them knew how to deal with the situation.
Suddenly, the door slammed behind Peter and woke him up out of his thoughts. A group of students walked in and the door slammed behind them making Peter jump. As he turned around, he realized that Ella was one of the students who walked through the door. Ella didn’t notice him sitting at the table, because she was talking to her best friend Jessica.
Peter longed to walk up to her and blurt out how he felt, but he was scared of her reaction. When Peter turned back around, all his friends, who were once talking, sat silently staring at him.
“Are you okay, buddy?” Asked Leo. “You know there are other girls who would be happy to go out with you. Why don’t you go out with us on Friday night? I’ll fix you up with someone, so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“That’s okay,” replied Peter solemnly. “I am really not interested in going out with just anyone.”
Peter got up and threw his food in the trash. He didn’t know what to do. Should he actually go over and talk to Ella, or should he just wait until later. He decided to wait until she was away from her friends and his friends prying eyes weren’t watching every move he made.
Leo suddenly realized there was something else going on with his best friend. He wasn’t pining over Rachel. There was someone else on Peter’s mind. Who?
Leo followed his friend out of the cafeteria. He ran up behind Peter and put his hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Who is it?” Leo asked.
Peter looked frightened. Leo stepped closer and asked his friend in a whisper, “Who is it?”
Peter could hardly get the words out, but finally he answered his friend with a whisper. “It’s Ella.”
Leo stepped back with his mouth gapping open. “Oh, I knew you were friends with Ella, but I didn’t know you…”
Peter sat down on one of the hallway benches and looked up at his friend with tears in his eyes.
“I’ve loved her for a long time, but I’ve been frozen with fear. I didn’t want to hurt Rachel, and I was scared Ella didn’t feel the same about me. Now, I have an opportunity, but I don’t know how to approach Ella. I also don’t want to ruin our friendship.”
“Bull!” Leo sternly looked at Peter. “You are scared, plain and simple. Don’t let this opportunity pass by. If you like Ella, then go and tell her.”
Everyone lives with a regret or two. For some it is very few, but for others it is a boat load of regrets that is hard to get over. We listen to our negative thoughts that are usually from fear. Those who succeed and keep regret at bay are the ones that don’t respond to fear. They just take action even when they are fearful.
Peter had feelings for Ella, but he kept it to himself for two years. At this point in his life, he had the biggest regret. He is young, but this could start a life of regrets. If he starts as a young teen not following his dreams or desires, then he may continue the pattern.
Later on, Peter may not take the fabulous job or even apply for the job, because he is afraid of the outcome. These fears continue until he is living a life of misery caused by regret. This leads to depression and increased anxiety.
This is, of course, a little extreme. This young crush may not lead to much regret, but the potential is there. Whether a person takes action and succeeds or fails. It is all in the actual trying. If we don’t try, then we are going to have regrets. The truth is we don’t know if we would have failed or not.
In my own life, I have regretted not taking action on a dream. My regrets started young, because I feared failure. One of my first regrets occurred when I had the chance to try out for cheerleading. This was a desire I had, but I became overtaken with fear and never tried out. At this time in my life, I realize that it wouldn’t be the failure of not making the team, but it was the regret of never knowing whether I would have make the team.
Fortunately, Peter does have a conversation with Ella. He tells her how he feels, and she admits that she feels the same way. She is happy that he talked to her and agreed to go out with him. They start going out on a regular basis.
They don’t know how it is going to work out in the future, but they are both glad that Peter ignored his fear and decided to talk to her anyway. From now on, Peter decided to take chances and not live with regrets. Even when he is sure something is going to fail, Peter takes action. Whether it is another relationship, trying out for a sports team, joining the debate team, or applying for a job.
This story could go a totally different direction. If Peter decides to keep his feelings to himself, then he will never know how Ella feels. This could lead to not trying anything. He might not try out for teams, apply to his college of choice, or pursue a career in a particular field due to fear. Ultimately, his life may not be as fulfilling due to the lack of action. He will always question whether his sad, lonely life could have turned out differently. Not only will his education and career be affected, but also his relationships. Friends and family may change due to his inability to interact. It is never too late for Peter to change his life of regret. He can start pursuing passions at any time. The one thing that Peter has to do is take action even when he is scared of what might happen, and he needs to keep in the back of his mind the feeling of regret that he does not want to feel for the rest of his life.
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