“I could have done it, but didn’t”.
Self-flagellation at its best. One of the most common ways we choose to kick ourselves. Unless this is an objective statement referring to conscious decision making, I do not buy it for a second.
“I could have trained in the last few weeks, but I didn’t”.
“I could have said no to the extra serving of roasted marshmallows dipped in happiness, but I didn’t”.
“I could have not had the wine, not skipped the workout”.
Not. Not. Not.
Could have. Should have.
What if… you could not have? What you now call “excuses” are very possibly actual legitimate reasons – jet lag, migraine, kid getting sick.
“I am frustrated that I did not” is not the same as “I could have done it”.
If you could have done it, you would have.
But you haven’t.
So, you couldn’t have.
Or… could you?
The ultimate truth is that you do not know. You do not know if you could have or could not have. And you never will know. In fact, the only evidence you currently have is strongly pointing to the fact that you could not have.
And as Seth Godin recently pointed out: “Beating yourself up is a dumb hobby”.