Made a bad decision – give yourself a break

We’ve all asked the question “now why did I do that”?

The fact of the matter is that if you make decisions then you are going to get some of them wrong

There is however a pretty big problem with this. It’s what I call the Facebook effect.

The Facebook effect

Have you ever noticed how when you go on Facebook everyone is having a much better time than you?

Everyone is better looking, doing great in their job, partying hard and have a fantastic family.

They are always out mountain biking with their friends or having a wonderful meal on the banks of the Seine.

Except they are not. In fact most people are just busy doing stuff and all you are seeing is the edited highlights.

The problem with decision making is that you are seeing the edited lowlights.

Yup that’s right. We all focus on the decision we get wrong and not on the ones we get right.

I bet if you think about the decisions you’ve made you can recall loads where you had a poor outcome.

But you can’t remember the time you made a great investment choice, or went the right way round a traffic jam or chose exactly the right clothes for that occasion.

So what are bad decisions?

People don’t generally make ‘bad’ decisions. In general we don’t choose to do a thing that will have a negative effect on us, so the first tip is to stop categorising your decisions as ‘bad’ or ‘good’.

And stop beating yourself up. Remember the Facebook effect. We ALL make choices that turn out to be negative but we do it for the right reasons.

A BAD decision as far as I am concerned is one where you make the choice based on information you know to be faulty, or make it purely on gut instinct (although sometimes you have to do this), or where you make it based on your prejudices and preconceived ideas.

Instead of feeling bad about your decisions, why not change your point of view?

View the ‘bad’ decision as a learning opportunity.

Take a look at your decision making process

Could you have got more information?

Did you give more weight to someone else’s opinion than you should?

Did you base your choice on anecdotal evidence?

Did circumstances change after you made your decision?

And the golden egg here is – Could you do it differently next time?

Here’s the key takeaway – if you make a ‘bad’ decision but it leads to you making better decisions in the future then actually it was a good decision after all!

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