"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2Cor. 7:10)
The only participation we have in repentance is agreeing with and confessing the convictions the Holy Spirit brings upon us. It is useless for us to decide that we're going to straighten up and become a better person. Our knowledge of right and wrong by itself can not accomplish holiness apart from the heart breaking work of the one Jesus sent to abide in us.
When the Spirit of God touches the deprivation of one's mind, a conviction of ungodliness wells up from within. Not having a reason or knowledge for the turmoil of their thoughts, they still search for an answer to the call God has placed on their soul. Right and wrong take on a new face that was once defined by the ability to manipulate those choices into something that would benefit them as long as they could get away with it. Being caught and judged by the law only begets worldly sorrow. But through the encounter with Jesus, right becomes associated with God's holiness and wrong becomes known as rebellion against their creator. As they experience God's grace upon sinfulness, the heart becomes broken with thanksgiving and ultimately leads it to repentence out of love for the Lover.
"See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter." (2Cor. 7:8)
"When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life." (Acts 11:18)