Let's face it, we all think that we make mistakes, and living with regret can impact on a fear of the future, because of course, you can never change the past, but you can make sure you don't leap again. I ask my clients and my students, what is the absolute worst case scenario that can happen. If we didn't make 'mistakes', we would probably not be where we are now and how can we even know that the other option was better?
Can you notice all that you have now? Perhaps you chose travel over career (me too) - how much more enriched is your life; think about what you saw, who you met, experiences you had. What about the other way round, career over travel? How good did it feel to have that promotion, to be able to afford your own home, to start a family? It is never too late to pursue the one you didn't do now. Remember, whatever you did was perfect for you at the time.
Exploring worst case scenarios of facing fears, one client said she might stand up in the middle of her office and shout that she has quit (very Jerry McGuire!), so we explored what would happen next, and actually, she painted a nice picture of finding other work and spending time at home, whilst her supportive husband continued being supportive to a much less stressed wife. Hmm..not a bad worst case scenario really.
I also worked with an 18 year old girl, whose worst case scenario was failing her A level in Biology (she meant getting a D again). Together we explored what would happen if she did. She wanted to be a nurse, she needed the Biology A level, yet without it she was done studying and would travel, perhaps volunteer overseas, in a hospital in fact, and perhaps later in life, would reapply to study as a mature student (with valuable experience). Her face lit up as she talked about the overseas experience, she was excited by her worst case scenario and suddenly she was able to switch her focus and feel relaxed about her studies (a much more resourceful place to be).
Sometimes facing your fear is all you need to do to realize there can be happy endings in mistakes, I mean, look at Snow White!