Thankful Thursday – “Stop scratching your wounds- Ditch Vain Regrets!!”

Dear Friends,

I am thankful this Thursday for some counsel I came across that gave a powerful analogy to a core concept I teach and know deep in my bones.  I am so grateful for the new language it gave me to enlighten those I work with. 🙂

If you are a past client of mine, and especially if you’ve done my Body Love Program, you have heard me say over and over again, “You can’t hate yourself thin” and “You can’t hate yourself into any lasting change.”  The truth of this statement has been proven over and over again, yet as humans, our first instinct is to beat ourselves up when we mess up or fail to reach our goal.  

As I was studying this past week, I came across an analogy from Theodore Burton.  

“Just as it takes time for a wound of the body to heal, so it takes time for wounds of the soul to heal. If I cut myself, for example, the wound will gradually heal.  But as it heals, it may begin to itch, and if I scratch it, it may open up again and take longer to heal.  But there is greater danger.  If I scratch the wound, it may become infected from the bacteria on my fingers.  I may poison the wound and lose that part of my body or even my life! We must allow injuries to follow their prescribed healing course. So it is with injuries to the soul.  Allow the injury to follow its prescribed healing course without ‘scratching’ it through VAIN REGRETS.

In this analogy, the wound to the soul is the failure.  This mistake causes us discomfort, pain and grief much like a physical wound.  “Vain Regrets” is such a powerful way to describe the process of beating ourselves up and focusing on our failures.  

When we indulge in “vain regrets” we essentially scratch the wound: 

  • delaying healing, 
  • making it more likely to scar, and 
  • opening it up to infection. 

Truly, as we condemn ourselves for our mess ups we make them worse!!  Believing that if we just hate ourselves enough, it might finally give us the motivation to permanently change, is a deceitful lie that only keeps us stuck and suffering longer.

The 1928 Webster’s dictionary defines vain as: empty, worthless, having no substance, value or importance; fruitless, ineffectual, unreal; showy, ostentatious; unsatisfying, deceitful, not genuine; having no efficacy.  That is exactly what regret and hating ourself is—> totally ineffective and worthless.  Don’t fall for it!!

Remember the universal truth, “That which you focus on expands”.  When you are striving to change behavior, but you are focusing on all the ways you messed up it’s like trying to stop a car by stepping on the gas pedal.  Thinking about how you didn’t do it right and the many things about the situation you regret, channels all your attention to the mistakes and this will expand them.  Ironically, the vain regrets make it all the more likely you will mess up in the exact same way again.  

Vain regrets, or hating yourself for a mistake, is a strategy of the natural man.  If you fall for it, letting your lower brain take over, it will sabotage you every single time.

So, what do you do when you mess up?  What if you mess up royally

The best, quickest and most long-term way to change behavior or fix something that went wrong is to use transformational love. “I love me anyway.” This love is not earned, and is often not deserved.  However, this genuine unconditional love is magical in its power to soften hearts and elicit permanent change.  

Actively forgive yourself.  I love the mantra, “Face it, Embrace it, Grace it”. Face it, you messed up.  Embrace it.  It is totally understandable that you did what you did.  You are human.  Then Grace it, by loving yourself anyway.

I truly am thankful for the powerful words “Vain Regrets” as they relate to our tendency to hate ourself into a change. I am grateful for the analogy of vain regrets being compared to scratching a wound. I love how this further deepens the meaning, driving home even harder the importance of ditching the shame, regret, self-condemnation and hating on ourselves when we screw up.

What are you thankful for this week? Do you have any insights on this topic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

YOU ARE DESIGNED FOR GREATNESS!! Never tell yourself otherwise!

Rooting for you always,

Candice Noss

Physical Therapist, Life Coach

The Mind, Body, Spirit


I am thrilled to be opening the doors again to my Powerful Parenting Course!!  I’ve been super thoughtful as to the right timing for this course and feel impressed it is NOW!!  Click here to sign up.  Start date is November 1.  Here is what a past client said about this course:

“The Powerful Parenting class was amazing! I’ve been parenting teenagers for almost a decade and everything Candice shared was like a revelation. I feel more equipped and confident to move forward with my current teenagers. I also loved talking with the other moms on the weekly call. We had so many similar experiences it was comforting to know I’m not alone. One of my favorite things to learn is that I get to choose what being a successful mom looks like and then act accordingly. I highly recommend this course to anyone with teenagers!”