54 Regret Quotes: A Timeless Guide to a Happier Life

This is a collection of the best regret quotes of all time.

So if you want to learn how to…

  • Deal with regret in a healthier way.
  • Overcome your regret and even use it to your advantage.

…then you're in the right place.

These thoughts from the past 2000 years will help you to not be held back by your past but create a better today and a happier and more successful future.

And if you want more timeless advice for when you're having a tough time then have a look at this post with Wednesday quotes to help you power through the rest of the week and this one filled with quotes on inner peace.

Helpful, Motivating and Thought-Provoking Quotes About Regret

54 Regret Quotes: A Timeless Guide to a Happier Life

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
Shannon L. Alder

“I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.”
Lucille Ball

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
Jim Rohn

“Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
Don Miguel Ruiz

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”
Henry David Thoreau

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”
Barbara Bush

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell

“There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”
Sabaa Tahir

“First, imagine taking the potentially regret – producing path of inaction. Then imagine what the very best outcome would be were you to take this risk. By picturing both scenarios in advance, you can avoid the regret of what might have been.”
Wayne Dyer

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”
Bill Clinton

“I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.”
Publilius Syrus

“Regret is an odd emotion because it comes only upon reflection. Regret lacks immediacy, and so its power seldom influences events when it could do some good.”
William O'Rourke

“If you aren't in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.”
Jim Carrey

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.”
Steve Maraboli

“We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery

“Remorse is the poison of life.”
Charlotte Bronte

“A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps.”
Charles Goodyear

“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.”
Swami Sivananda

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”
John Barrymore

“I put my career in second place throughout both my marriages and it suffered. I don't regret it. You make choices. If you want a good marriage, you must pay attention to that. If you want to be independent, go ahead. You can't have it all.”
Lauren Bacall

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many-not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Charles Dickens

“It's better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.”
Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“If I'm sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?”
José Saramago

“Often regret is very false and displaced, and imagines the past to be totally other than it was.”
John O'Donohue

“Don't regret your mistakes. You'll always make mistakes. The better you are, the less mistakes you make. The only way to get better is to thoroughly analyze your mistakes.”
James Altucher

“Regret is mostly caused by not having done anything.”
Charles Bukowski

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”
Arthur Miller

“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
Sydney J. Harris

“Don't allow yourself to become one who, nearing death, regrets what you might have done if only you had taken a few risks. We each have a purpose in life.”
Gillian Stokes

“Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.”
Ann Landers

You may also want to have a look at these thought-provoking quotes about empathy.

Quotes About Living with Regret

“I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I'm human, not perfect, like anybody else.”
Queen Latifah

“Living with regrets was like driving a car that only moved in reverse.”
Jodi Picoult

“Regret is the worst human emotion. If you took another road, you might have fallen off a cliff. I'm content.”
William Shatner

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.”
Katherine Mansfield

“Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.”
Victoria Holt

“Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.”
Basil Rathbone

“The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either.”
Mick Jagger

“Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been.”
Hillary Clinton

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
Fernando Pessoa

“Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.”
Ray Stannard Baker

“When we grow old, there can only be one regret – not to have given enough of ourselves.”
Eleonora Duse

“They say you should not suffer through the past. You should be able to wear it like a loose garment, take it off and let it drop.”
Eva Jessye

“I don't regret what I've been through. I've had ups and downs, super highs and some really low lows. I've been so blessed that I could never say, ‘I wish this didn't happen.' It's part of who I am. There's nothing in my life that's so ugh.”
Jennifer Lopez

“Heartbreak could be lived with if it weren't accompanied by regret.”
Laura Kasischke

“One doesn't recognize the really important moments in one's life until it's too late.”
Agatha Christie

“We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it's like chasing clouds.”
Libba Bray

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”
Stephen Hawking

“Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.”
David Grayson

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”
Ted Hughes

“Regrets only apply when we don't learn from a situation. No sense looking back, look forward with new knowledge and no regret.”
Catherine Pulsifer

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

“I always try to do as much as I can do. I'm never a person that does not enough, because I'd regret not doing enough and think I probably could have done more. I probably go too far and have to reel myself back in, which works in some things, and other things it doesn't work.”
Tom Brady

“I'm living with every step. I can't live with regret. The past is the past. I'm not worried about it. I can't change it. I can't fix it. It is what it is. I'm just living.”
Ryan Sheckler

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2 comments… add one
  • Marilyn A. Pabilona

    I like it and I share it to my friends ..sending messages with them..and to my facebook and instagram..thank you..

  • One of the ways I cope with regret is thinking about gratitude. If I am gracious and take advantage of opportunities I am presented with, it makes being vulnerable a little less scary. Creating a gratitude list is a great way to practice this concept. I wrote one at my blog, http://oliviaccohen.com/2021/02/10/these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things/

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