How to survive a bad decision

How to survive a bad decision One day an employee meets his boss, a successful person who had built a large company from scratch. The employee then asks him: - How did he manage to be so successful?

- I'll sum it up in two words - said the boss - Good decisions.

The clerk was not satisfied with such a vague answer, so in order to get the secret from him he asked him again:

- And how did he manage to make the right decisions?

- I summarize in one word: experience.

The employee did not give up and asked once again:

- How did he go about getting this experience?

At that point the boss smiled and replied: - I can sum it up in two words: bad decisions.

Who has never made a mistake, cast the first stone. When we look back and examine our past, it is virtually impossible not to glimpse at least one bad decision. In fact, it's easy to get carried away, act impulsively and make a bad decision or just let others decide for us. The fact is that bad decisions are part of the life process and even bring us closer to our goal because they help us understand what the way forward is, albeit through a process of exclusion.

However, this is purely rational. The truth is that when bad decisions break the veil of the past and assail us, emotions take over and the so-called "hangover" stage arrives. This is the stage where we regret what we have done, feel guilty and become anxious. If we are unable to move forward and become trapped in thinking about these bad decisions we risk falling into stagnation by suffering needlessly and complaining about something we cannot change.

Cosa possiamo fare?

1. Manage the emotional avalanche. It is normal to feel bad when you realize you have made a bad decision and it has had a significant impact on your life or the lives of others. It is possible to experience different emotions, from anger to sadness. However, torturing yourself or blaming yourself is as useless as an Indian dance to attract rain. Don't try to hide these emotions, but don't feed them with recriminating thoughts. Just don't allow it to take control and cloud your emotions. To achieve this, imagine that you are an outside observer looking into you. Discover the emotions you are experiencing, give them a name and don't be afraid to experience them. If you do not resist them and observe them even with a little curiosity, you will see that little by little the negative effect will vanish.

2. Stop the conflicting voices that arise in our mind. When we make a wrong decision and we realize it, a recriminatory thought is immediately activated. This inner voice intensifies negative emotions and makes you feel worse. But the funny thing is that often this is not our inner voice, but the voice of someone we regard as our own and punishing us, rooted as it is somewhere in our past. Therefore, do not suppress this inner thought, on the contrary, give it free rein and listen to what it tells you. At some point in the speech you may hear some phrases that are not yours but belong to another person, which could be a parent, teacher or even a former partner. When you unmask that inner voice that does not belong to you, it will immediately lose its strength.

3. Assess the extent of the damage. Once you have achieved a certain emotional balance, it is time to think coldly. Evaluate the extent to which this decision has damaged you. Are the consequences as dire as they seem or are you exaggerating? In the situation you were in and with the knowledge and experience you had, could you have made a different decision? To what extent are you really responsible for the damage caused? It is worth remembering that it is not about escaping your responsibilities, but we often exaggerate the consequences of our actions just because they make us feel bad. Sometimes we think that we are in control of everything and that the responsibility is ours alone, when in reality it is not. For this reason, when it comes to assimilating bad decisions, it is always important to look at them in perspective to give them the importance they really have, no more and no less.

4. Learn from the mistake. A negative decision is only truly negative if we learn nothing from it. Therefore, analyze what were the steps that led you to that point. Have you been influenced by external factors? Didn't you have enough experience? Did you hurry to make the decision? Did you get carried away by your emotions or instinct and did this play a bad joke on you? Were you afraid and let others decide for you? This exercise is not intended to make you feel guilty, but to spot mistakes and help you avoid making them again in the future. Therefore, remember that sincerity is essential and that self-sabotage mechanisms are not worth it. Remember that the real mistake is not the wrong decision but the fact that you have not learned anything from it.

5. Repair and continue. If you can fix some of the damage, do it. Think if there is anything that can be done to change what happened and the consequences. Sometimes it is not possible to undo the mistake, but apologizing can be enough for the wounds to begin to heal. Other times, the wrong decision has turned into a snowball which, descending like an avalanche, invests everything and everyone in its path. If so, think about the current negative effects and how to limit them. If the damage cannot be repaired, don't sink into frustration, carry on. Forgiving yourself is probably the most complicated step, but it is essential to be able to free yourself from the sense of guilt. Mistakes do not make us weaker, on the contrary, they transform us into more resistant people, but only if we are able to overcome them and move forward. Take the good part, treasure what you have learned and move on.

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