“Repent” is a Bible word meaning a change of mind that results in a change of action. Imagine that you are driving west and halfway to your destination, you remember that you left your wallet at home. You must have it for what you are about to do. So as soon as possible, you find a turnaround and head in the opposite direction. You were heading west, thinking everything was fine. But something changed. You gained sudden understanding that caused you to make an abrupt change and head east. There may be detours and flat tires, but you are still headed in the right direction.
That is a picture of repentance.
When we come to the understanding that God is holy and we are not, we realize we have a big problem. We cannot keep going the way we are going and end up where we want to be. We must repent. We must have a change of mind about who is right and who should run our lives. It used to be Self. But when we repent, we agree with God about our sin and His right to be in charge of our lives. That change of mind results in a change of action. We cannot repent and continue to follow the same sin path we were on before, just as you cannot go east and west at the same time. Repentance changes our direction.