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What to Do When You Make a Bad Decision

Create a decision-making process

... for future big decisions:

  1. Identify the decision/problem. Be as clear as possible.
  2. Collect information that will assist in your decision-making.
  3. Consider various solutions.
  4. Weigh the evidence for each potential solution.
  5. Make your decision.
  6. Take action on that decision.
  7. Review the decision once an action has been taken.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What to Do When You Make a Bad Decision

What to Do When You Make a Bad Decision

https://www.success.com/what-to-do-when-you-make-a-bad-decision/

success.com

5

Key Ideas

Accept your emotions

Recognize what happened and how you feel. Suppressing your emotions will get you nowhere. It’s important to first focus on how you feel.

You can also journal your emotions or speak with a close confidante. Or you can go to therapy, of you think it's right for you.

Focus on the facts

Take a step out of the emotions and stress to really look at the facts of the situation. Try to look at the situation objectively and seek ways to work productively toward solving it.

Get an outside perspective, if you struggle with getting the facts in an objective manner.

Don't let it consume you

Once we’ve made what we’d call a bad decision, we give it a lot of meaning it does not inherently have.

So try to mentally separate yourself from the decision. Doing so can help you strip it of its power.

Forgive yourself

Use failures of your bad decisions as leverage for future success. You will make mistakes in life, but what determines your future success is how you respond.

Also, accept your regret. It can help you remember the things you want to avoid in life and actually help you make better decisions.

Create a decision-making process

... for future big decisions:

  1. Identify the decision/problem. Be as clear as possible.
  2. Collect information that will assist in your decision-making.
  3. Consider various solutions.
  4. Weigh the evidence for each potential solution.
  5. Make your decision.
  6. Take action on that decision.
  7. Review the decision once an action has been taken.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

3 decision-making mistakes that you must avoid
  1. Impulsivity. Thorough decisions combine all three senses – seeing, hearing and feeling. Impulsive decisions always lack one of these elements.
  2. Allowing yourself to be pe...
Life doesn’t happen to us; we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose.”
Mike Whitaker
All Decisions Are Not Created Equal

  • Small decisions: Impact you for a day, such as what you wear and what you eat.
  • Medium decisions: Impact your life for a year or so, such as deciding to go back to school or take on a roommate.
  • Big decisions: These are made once or twice a year, and successful people use their goals to navigate to the right choice.

Decision making using goals

Successful people have 4 strategies that help them clearly define what they want:

  • They keep 5 prime goals and stay focused on them.
  • They identify the top priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions.
  • They look for goal and decision overlap, treating this decision with more care.
  • They appreciate momentum, identifying the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.

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Rushing to conclusions

It’s sometimes necessary to make decisions quickly. But if you’re frequently skipping steps, you could be misdiagnosing problems and making decisions that don’t solve anything.

Take th...

Dodging the decision

Sticking your head in the sand and just hoping it will go away isn't wise. Procrastination only causes problems to fester and possibly grow bigger. 

For example, if you have two feuding employees, you may avoid confronting the issue in the hope they will work it out on their own. If they don’t, the conflict may grow and boil over.

Over-analyzing information

To overthink a decision may cause you to miss time-sensitive opportunities.

Whether it’s due to fear or perfectionism, being indecisive and taking too much time to gather information not only affects the productivity of your business, but it also damages your employees’ confidence in you as a leader.

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Anchoring Bias

A common occurrence of heuristics in which we use an initial starting point as an anchor that is then adjusted to yield a final estimate or value.

Example: estimating the value of an o...

Being Too Optimistic

People who are told that the risk of something bad happening is lower than they expected, tend to adjust their predictions to match the new information. But they ignore the new information when the risk is higher.

Part of this overly optimistic outlook stems from our natural tendency to believe that bad things happen to other people, but not to us. 

You Often Make Poor Comparisons

Sometimes we make poor comparisons or the compared items are not representative or equal.

We often decide based on rapid comparisons without really thinking about our options. In order to avoid bad decisions, relying on logic and thoughtful examination of the options can sometimes be more important than relying on your immediate "gut reaction."

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Our emotions are short-term biased

Our emotions are obsessed with the present moment because it’s difficult to look past our immediate fears and anxieties. And this prevents good decision-making.

The sweet spot in de...

“Risky” behavior you should consider
  • Propose “moonshot” ideas, knowing that 90% of them will get shot down, but that if one of them gets accepted, it will be a huge boost to your career.
  • Be excessively bold in your dating life, stating exactly who and what you want.
  • Buy difficult books expecting that most of them won’t be useful to you, but also that, occasionally, one will completely change your life.
  • Say yes to every invitation knowing that most of the events/people will be boring, but that occasionally you’ll meet someone really interesting.
Optimizing life for fewer regrets

Most of us are afraid of messing thing up. But we rarely ask, “Would I regret that failure?” If the answer is “no,” then that is absolutely a risk you should pursue.

Sometimes, the right decision becomes crystal clear when put into these terms.

one more idea

Pretend You're Advising a Friend

Think outside yourself a little and pretend like you're offering advice. 

The reasoning here is really simple: your short-term emotions get in the way of decisions, and that clouds yo...

Limit The Information You Take In

We usually believe that the more information you have, the better decisions we can make. However, at some point, we cross a threshold where we have too much information. That's when we start to fill in gaps and add weight to information that doesn't matter. 

This makes decision making way more difficult.

Reverse Your Assumptions

You're so prone to continue making the same kind of choices throughout your life that challenging yourself and doing the exact opposite is often the best way to get around this problem. 

The idea here is to confront your default behavior, step outside your comfort zone, and use your imagination to test some completely new ideas.

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How To Make Better Decisions
How To Make Better Decisions
  • Analyze objectively your assumptions, feelings and expectations
  • Focusing only on the problem limits options for a solution and leads to energy depletion and decisi...
Situations That Lead To Bad Choices
  • You expect the worst: We focus only on the negative outcomes without giving attention to the possibility of an unexpected positive outcome.
  • You act on impulse: We act quickly, without considering the ramifications of our actions.
  • You cling to fear: The greater fear of failure or loss outweighs the likelihood of great reward.
  • You play victim: False pride comes between higher thought and an empowering choice.
  • You obsess over being in control: The need to be in control, which comes from a deeper feeling of being out of control, directs powerless choices.
  • You ignore good advice: Ego or the identification with a false self-image limits us from receiving help from encouraging input.
  • You overlook your hidden intentions: A deeper intention of wanting to fail keeps us from having to take to take full responsibility.
The Freedom of Choice

The freedom of choice is generally perceived to be good, but studies show that too much choice can be a hindrance and can impede the decision.

On the contrary, having fewer choices has shown ...

Fear of Better Options

... or Maximization, is a behavioral trait that makes us look for all possible options before we decide so that we don't miss out on the best option and regret later, after making the decision.

We take into consideration all available options to minimize our frustration and stress.

Maximizers vs Satisficers
  • Maximizers feel less satisfied even if they make better decisions, since they had so much choice, and choosing the best comes down to some sort of compromise.
  • Satisficers: They are the people that make quick decisions with fewer options and that tend to be more satisfied.

one more idea

Decide What You Want

Waiting around often means you’re not happy with any of the options, because they’re not right for who you are. So, when you find yourself stuck between possibilities, think about what you rea...

Being “Supposed To" Choose Something

If you’re feeling pressured into making the decision that looks good, step back and examine your reasoning.

If you can’t come up with a good answer, you know it’s not for you.

Do Something

Remember that doing something trumps doing nothing.

For example, instead of being afraid of choosing the wrong job and suffering through the same job you have been hating for years, imagine taking a job that is not the ideal, but giving your all and building on it. This will help you advance, lead projects and develop your skills and resume. You'll be more at ease to change jobs at that point.

one more idea

2,000 decisions per waking hour

Research has shown that the typical person makes about 2,000 decisions every waking hour. Most are minor ones and we make them automatically. But many have serious consequences.

That's why...

Decision fatigue

Our ability to perform mental tasks and make decisions wears thin when it’s repeatedly used.

Identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, as often as possible, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.

A steady state of distraction

Our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Thus, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus. 

To counter this, find time each day to unplug and step back from email, social media and news.

4 more ideas