They say that the more mistakes you make, the more successful you become. That might be true, but you must deal with your bad decisions effectively before you can move forward. There’s a process to making the most of your poor decisions.
If you can benefit from your good decisions and your poor decisions, life is easy! Unfortunately, our natural instincts make it challenging to benefit from poor choices. We become upset, distract ourselves, withdraw, feel embarrassed, or give up altogether.
When you can benefit from poor decisions, there are no poor decisions!
Consider these strategies:
1. Learn the lesson. Every bad decision has a lesson to teach. It can be painful to examine your poor choices. Do you know what’s even more painful? Making the same mistake again. Take a little time to figure out what you can learn from your unwise decision.
2. Move on. There’s nothing to be gained by dwelling on your mistakes. A poor decision that you’ve never made before isn’t a bad thing. It’s just life.
3. Take responsibility. You were part of the problem. There’s no getting around it. Taking responsibility allows you to retain control of the situation. You made the mess, so you can fix it.
4. Talk it out. If you can’t let go of your mistake, spend some time talking with a loyal friend. An outsider often has a more reasonable perspective. Pick up the phone and give someone a call.
5. Stay present. It’s easy to let your mind run wild after making a poor choice. There’s nothing to see there. It’s hard to stay in the present moment when things are going wrong all around you. Allowing your mind to wander is just a form of distraction. Pay attention to what is happening right now.
6. Take preventative measures in the future. How can you prevent a similar occurrence in the future? Did you put yourself into a situation where no good option existed? Or did you merely make the wrong call?
7. Remember what you still have. You may have lost your business or your partner, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Take a moment to remind yourself of the wonderful things you still have.
8. Forgive yourself. Everyone makes more than a few mistakes. Accept the consequences of your choice and move forward. It’s impossible to always make perfect decisions.
9. Remember that your next good decision will feel that much better. A vacation only feels good because you contrast it with work. Spend six months in a Florida condo and see how excited you still are. Your bad decisions make your good decisions that much more enjoyable.
10. You are not your decisions. You are separate from the choices you make. Bad choices don’t make you bad any more than good decisions make you good. Your decisions don’t define you.
Bad decisions aren’t all that bad after all. In fact, you can benefit from all your previous bad choices right now. Make a list of every poor decision you’ve ever made. Now, go through the process of learning from each of them. What are the lessons you can learn? Imagine if you had done this same process after each mistake was made. Your life would be very different.
Everyone makes bad decisions. The key is to make the most of them. Spend a few minutes each week reviewing your bad choices and learn from them. Most importantly, avoid repeating them. Move on from your bad decisions and benefit from them.
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
I’m very fortunate in that I haven’t made any life altering bad decisions – there have been lots of small ones along the way, but nothing earth shattering. I recently upset my adult daughter and she decided to be offended for several months – so much pain and for such a small thing. Life is teaching me to accept things and move on – choosing to let the bad stuff get to us, or taking offence at small slights is such a waste of energy.
Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
I like your common-sense approach and agree it’s less painful to examine a mistake than repeat it!
I like what you said about bad decisions making good decisions seem so much better so true. But like most I tend to beat myself up when I make a bad decision and it takes me awhile to put it behind me.
Very good advice. Sometimes it helps if I think about what I would say if it were may best friend examining a bad decision. I would be more compassionate and objective for sure. I like your suggestion to look at some bad choices from the past, now that hopefully the emotional intensity has lessened, and analyze what you’ve learned. It could definitely help with future decisions, but also help you to realize a bad decision is not the end of the world. You survived! I found your post on #MLSTL.
Thanks for the reassuring and timely post. I’m currently in the process of reversing a bad decision I made almost four years ago. I appreciate being reminded that there’s much to gain from reviewing any decision, but particularly the bad ones, and then moving on. #MLSTL