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Regret Quotes On The Things We Didn’t Do

Our latest collection of regret quotes that will help you move forward.

We hear the thought often that people are more disappointed with the things they did not do, than the things they did not do well when they reflect upon their lives. I think nothing could be truer.

While we may not be successful at everything we try, while we may fail miserably, at least we will never have to ask ourselves the question, “What if??” When we look back on our lives what will we remember?

Will we remember the times we stumbled, but picked ourselves back up, or will we fixate on the things that we failed out, and never tried again.

15 Regret Quotes On The Things We Didn’t Do

There is a great deal to be learned from failure, and there is nothing to learn from avoiding doing something completely, except that we did not have the courage to try.

Some people learned this lesson and learned it with grace. Let me share some of what they discovered.

Below you’ll find our collection of inspirational, wise, and encouraging regret quotes, regret sayings, and regret proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Also, check out our collection of hypocrite quotes for insights.

Regret Quotes And The Things We Didn’t Do

1. Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.— Eliza Tabor

2. “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”– Henry David Thoreau

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

4. “The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and trial with humility.” Thomas S. Monson

5. “There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.” Michael J. Fox

6. “Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock, is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives.” William Throsby Bridges

7. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
―  Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

Regret Quotes And How To Move Forward

8. “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida

9. “It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn’t have something in the first place. I guess that’s what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”
 Deb Caletti, The Nature of Jade

10. “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” 
 Henry David Thoreau, I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau

11. “Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.” 
― Eric Hoffer

12. “There’s an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine — “Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.”
 Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead

13. “Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.”
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

14. “You really didn’t see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn’t it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.” 
 Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

15. “The strength of a love is always misjudged if we evaluate it by its immediate cause and not the stress that went before it, the dark and hollow space full of disappointment and loneliness that precedes all the great events in the heart’s history.”
 Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories

You might also like these disappointment quotes about life and friends.

Other regret quotes and sayings

16. “Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.” – Roy T. Bennett

17. “It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

18. “Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

19. “If I’m sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?” – José Saramago

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

21. “There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.” – Charles Dickens

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

23. “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” – Mercedes Lackey

24. “The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

25. “You might be looking for reasons but there are no reasons.” – Nina LaCour

Which regret quote was your favorite? Why?

The reason that we are so much more disappointed with the things we never did than the things that we did poorly, is that at least we can answer the question for ourselves, this is how this would have gone. This is what would have happened had I tried to accomplish this, good or bad.

You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.

Which of these regret quotes resonated with you best? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add? Tell us in the comment section below.

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