105+ Best Regret Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Regret isto feel sorry about a situation, especially something sad or wrong or a mistake that you have made. Inspirational regret quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

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Powerful Collection of Most Famous Regret Quotes

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

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future. – Fulton Oursler

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

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

Regret of neglected opportunity is the worst hell that a living soul can inhabit. – Rafael Sabatini

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

Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can’t build on it – it’s only good for wallowing in. – Katherine Mansfield

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

It’s not what your are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts. – Oscar Levant

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

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. – George Halas

One doesn’t recognize the really important moments in one’s life until it’s too late. – Agatha Christie

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

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

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

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

Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently. – Charles Dudley Warner

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. – Jonathan Larson

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been! – John Greenleaf Whittier

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

Something you need most might be something you turn away from, something you turn away from might be something you regret, and something you regret, in the end, might cost you the one chance you ever had. – Brian Judge

Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. – Victoria Holt

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

We have to let go of all blame, all attacking, all judging, to free our inner selves to attract what we say we want. – Joe Vitale

Regret is … an unavoidable result of any loss, for in loss we lose the tomorrow that we needed to make right our yesterday or today. – Gerald Lawson Sittser

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

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

Remorse is the poison of life. – Charlotte Bronte

In history as in human life, regret does not bring back a lost moment and a thousand years will not recover something lost in a single hour. – Stefan Zweig

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

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

I have always found that each step we take in life is to be regretted-if we once begin to wonder how many other steps might have been possible. – John Oliver Hobbes

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

Let the dead Past bury its dead! – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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

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

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

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

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. – Voltaire

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

I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person. – Rita Mero

Never look back and regret, look back and smile at what you have learned. – Michelle C. Ustaszeski

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

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

When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. – Maurice Maeterlinck

Consider mistakes nothing more than detours on the way to success. Learn from them, and then go on. – Cindy Francis

Do not spend your youth, wandering, lost in your field of daydreams; you may wake up-spending the rest of your life-stranded on the path of regretful nightmares. – Lucas Hunter

Regrets are the tears of choices not made and of good deeds left undone. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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

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.

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

It is human nature to want to go back and fix things or change things that we regret. – John Gray

Only in your imagination can you revise. – Fay Wray

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. – Katherine Mansfield

Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either, I wish I had, or I’m glad I did. – Zig Ziglar

It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret. – Jacki Joyner-Kersee

Regret for wasted time is more wasted time. – Mason Cooley

If we spend our time with regrets over yesterday, and worries over what might happen tomorrow, we have no today in which to live. – Thomas Sowell

I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing. – D. D. Barant

Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven’t done. – Chad Michael Murray

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

Regretting the moments I took for granted, / Moments when I was eaten by pride and hatred. / What if I had told you what I feel? / Would it change my life’s wheel? – Melanie Dawn Batac


I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not. – Lucille Ball

Live in the present tense, facing the duty at hand without regret for the past or worry over the future. – William De Witt Hyde

Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives. – Richard Bach

Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains, if we will only stop the waste and the idle, useless regretting. – Arthur Brisbane

Remorse is virtue’s root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness. – William Cullen Bryant

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

Remorse. Never yield to remorse, but at once tell yourself: remorse would simply mean adding to the first act of stupidity a second. – Friedrich Nietzsche

At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. – Steve Maraboli

I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live. – Jonathan Safran Foer

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. – Jim Rohn

I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself. – Brittany Ren_e

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 Smith

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 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

Is it really so difficult to tell a good action from a bad one? I think one usually knows right away or a moment afterward, in a horrid flash of regret. – Mary Mccarthy

The What-ifs and the should-have’s will eat your brain. – John O’ Callaghan

Don’t let the past steal your present. – Terri Guillemets

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Will Rogers

I think I don’t regret a single ‘excess’ of my responsive youth–I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace. – Henry James

To feel today what one felt yesterday isn’t to feel – it’s to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today’s living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost. – Fernando Pessoa

Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. – Thomas Stearns Eliot

I do not regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do. – Rory Cochrane

Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. – Audrey Hepburn

Never regret anything that has happened in your life. It cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten. So take it as a lesson learned, and move on. – unknown

Never regret anything that makes you smile. – Audrey Hepburn

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

Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment. Under any circumstances, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret. – Miguel Angel Ruiz

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations – one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both. – Soren Kierkegaard

Regret for wasted time can become a power for good in the time that remains, if we will only stop the waste and the idle, useless regretting. – Arthur Brisbane

I have no regrets. I wouldn’t have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say. – Ingrid Bergman

He who has regrets cannot look at himself in the mirror. – Eric Cantona

Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs. – Charles Dickens

Regrets and recriminations only hurt your soul. – Armand Hammer

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

Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help 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

You can have immediate regrets, but if you look at stuff and say, ‘Things happen for a reason’, there’s a fatalistic thing about it. Something will happen that will justify it in some way. – Martin Landau

Regrets are the tears of good deeds left undone. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The regrets and resentments etched in a heart remain until they are cleansed away with love. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Be too busy to have time for regrets. – Angela Wright

Speak when you are angry–and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret. – Laurence J. Peter

You’ll regret opening your mouth. You’ll rarely regret keeping it shut. – Max Lucado

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