Silence the Naysayers: Ringleader Regret 

Ringleader Regret is a master entertainer who lives to fill your mind with reruns of his show, "Mistakes of Your Life." He thrives on throwing every mistake, missed opportunity, or failure into your face to keep your attention focused on the past. 

Regret's goal is to preoccupy you with either the painful past or the missed-potential future. To this end, he employs a gang of miscreants named Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda to create an endless highlight reel of your worst moments.

Striving to keep you from reaching your actual potential or moving forward into your future, Ringleader Regret works hard to keep you from seeing that mistakes are a doorway into growth, and failure is an opportunity to change the future in a positive way.


Turn off the Reruns

Like Comparison & Colonel Criticism, the Ringleader's 💩only works if you listen to it. YOU GET TO CHOOSE! You get to choose which voice to listen to and which mindset to cultivate. Your mind is vital to your creativity and you need to be proactive to protect your thoughts.

Choose to look away from Regret's never-ending reruns. He doesn't have anything new to say, you've already heard it all. If it comes up again, you can either ignore it or say, "So what?" So what if you've made mistakes in the past - we all have - what matters is how you choose to live now. 

Don't "should" on yourself, rather than living in the merry-go-round of Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda, start doing the best you can with the tools in your hands. That's all any of us really have to work with and it is good enough for you to start now. 

Open the Door to Hope

Regret’s nemesis is Hope. Hope works to show you the possibilities that lie on the other side of your shortcomings. Hope destroys the hypnotic power of Regret by replacing his endless reruns with the bright potential of your creative future.

Hope reframes your past as the experiences that have helped make you who you are today, good and bad, bitter and sweet. Contrast is required to make anything beautiful, and you wouldn't be who you are without all of your experiences. Hope gives you permission to be wholeheartedly alive in your life right now.

Dare to Dream Again!

Dare to dream again. Regret kept you locked in his horrific, pseudo-reality of the past so that you won't dare to dream. What a jerk! Prove him wrong. Do it anyway! Who said that Regret gets to tell you what to do, how to live, or not to dream? He's not the boss of you. Tell him to shut up (go ahead), and then start dreaming! 

The world is waiting for your unique creative expression to shine! We need exactly who you are to bring exactly what you carry to the world. I can't wait to see what you bring!

"The world is waiting for your unique creative expression to shine! We need exactly who you are to bring exactly what you carry to the world." @brightideasco

Click to Tweet

10 Tips for 10 Days

I participated in a LinkedIn challenge called 10 Tips for 10 Days and recorded ten quick videos on a variety of topics, including Ringleader Regret & Hope.


  • Turn off the reruns. You get to choose the thoughts in your head. Your thoughts do not rule you, you rule them. If Ringleader Regret is trying to run Season 25 of Regrets of Your Life - change the channel.

  • Don't "Should" on Yourself.  Ringleader Regret's background singers are "Shoulda," "Coulda," and "Woulda." Their melodies are all melancholy. Don't listen to their moans. If you find yourself berating your mind with things you "should" have done, or be doing, give yourself a break. Don't should on yourself. Instead, choose what you are going to do now. You can't change the past but you can impact the future.

  • Surround Yourself with Hope-talkers.  The people we surround ourselves with will influence our mindsets and thoughts. Do not spend time with people who constantly throw past faults or old ways of behavior back in your face. Be intentional to fill your time with people who speak hope and life into you and your creativity. 

  • Listen to Hope. Hope requires courage. It is a brave act to believe that our lives can be different and to make choices that lead to change, but you can do it! Let hope lead you toward a better future.

Learn More about Regret & Hope

Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity. If you'd like to learn more about Ringleader Regret, Hope, the rest of the naysayers, and expressing your creativity, grab a copy of our book, Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity from our shop or Amazon.

Emily Lewin

Emily Lewin is the founder of The Bright Ideas Collective, co-author of "Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity", host of the Bright Ideas Collective Podcast, speaker, musician, artist, and all-around lover of creativity. She loves long beach days, exploring new cities, drinking good coffee, and being with her people. Emily is passionate about helping other people discover, explore, and express their creativity and building creative communities.