Why Do We Make Bad Decisions? (And How to Stop!)
Hindsight is always 20/20. Have you ever looked back on a poor decision and thought, “what was I thinking?”
We’ve all been there!
Bad decisions don’t happen by chance. There is almost always a driving force influencing your decision, and it’s usually not a good one.
Whether you call them reasons, excuses or habits, here are a few of the most pervasive influencers for bad decisions.
The unknown is a scary place — it’s unchartered territory which can either turn out really great or really poorly. When we become paralyzed rather than inspired by the uncertainty, we either make a poor decision or no decision at all.
Fix it: The beauty of uncertainty is that it is full of possibilities; anything could happen, and you have the power to influence the outcome. Turn uncertainty on its head and make it work for you.
What are the potential consequences of making a bad decision? What about a good decision? There’s two sides to every coin; anticipating the worst, simply because you feel uncertain is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever found yourself basing a decision on the outcome of another person, event or scenario?
It’s like a row of dominoes, except you’re waiting for someone to push the first tile. Over-dependence or lack of independence can be an endless waiting game, where the fear lies in where blame will be placed should things go sour.
Fix it: Business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders, in general, understand the importance of independent decision-making when necessary. You know the phrase, “too many cooks in the kitchen?” The same principle applies.
Too many opinions, perspectives, ifs, ands, or buts can over-complicate your decision. Consider how you would make a decision, if you had no outside input, and weigh the pros and cons based on your judgment.
We are all products of our experiences. Every little encounter, conversation, success, and failure makes up the fabric of who you are. Our experiences are the predominant influencer of how we make decisions.
Yet, this mindset doesn’t always work to our advantage; it can lead to overconfidence that something good will happen, as well as fear that something bad will happen.
Fix it: Instead of looking at how the things are similar, look at how the situations are different. You’ll likely find bits and pieces of commonalities, but it’s the differences which will profoundly impact your decision.
Applying old processes or assumptions to new situations stifles innovation and is often destined for poor outcomes.
Regardless of why you made a bad decision, the only way you can make amends is to do better next time. Mistakes are no mistake — they happen for a reason!
Bad decisions happen so we can learn and grow; they challenge us. It’s your choice to either rise to the occasion or cower in fear. What will you choose?
Are you serious about making better decisions for your life, family, career and future? I can help!
Tell me about your resolutions for a better YOU — I can’t wait to hear about it!