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If someone has realized that he made a wrong decision in life or has had the wrong beliefs for a long time, he might say I lived the wrong way. What are alternative ways of phrasing this?

It doesn't need to be religious.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

How about:

I need to turn over a new leaf.

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Since this is a common sentiment within Christianity (and you did mention belief) here's some synonymous phrases you might hear in that context:

I was blind but now I see.
I was lost but now am found.
I strayed from the straight and narrow.
I strayed from the path of righteousness.
I am a prodigal son, returning home.

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Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...

That's a very common line, haha :)

But normally, I would just say, "I made a wrong move" if I felt I made a bad decision.

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People often say that they have reformed from something; e.g. "I am a reformed alcoholic".

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