The Effects Of Bad Decisions

Define bad

In order to understand the effects of bad decisions, it's important to first establish what we mean by bad decisions.

The definition used here is this. A bad decision is one in which you override your senses and choose an option that, at some level, you know you should not.

So one very important aspect of decision making is paying attention to your own senses.


What it's not...

Let me clarify this a little more. Some people consider that if things go horribly wrong after they have made a decision they evaluate the decision as a bad one.

Understand that there will be consequences to any decision. Sometimes these can be unpredictable and unexpected. The universe has its own plans, as they say. After such events it easy to say that you would have made a different decision.

However, at the time, you didn't have all the information you now have. You made the decision at the time with the information available to you. If your decision actually achieved the desired outcome, it was actually an effective decision. It's just that you may not have liked the consequences. This is not the same as suffering the effects of bad decisions. And hey, it's just not possible to know all the potential consequences of any particular choice before you actually make it.

Updating vs changing the past

Having made this decision (which worked) and survived all the consequences, you are now in a different position. You have more experience and more information. This may certainly influence any future decisions. It doesn't in any way change the fact that you made the decision that you already made. Nor does it make it a bad decision.


Not good...

And it's useful to add this important piece in. Sometimes people make decisions without having adequate information. Much of the time, though, they are aware at some level that they don't have the information they need.

Making a decision in this case would make it a bad decision. It is much more appropriate to gather information so that you can make an informed decision. Read more about this particular idea here.


The ill effects

When a person ignores the signals in their own system and makes bad decisions (by the definition here) they will generate the consequences of bad decisions. There will be misery and disappointment. Guaranteed. It's only a question of when, and how much.

The effects of bad decisions consists of some or all of the following:

  • The individual compromises themselves
  • they don't get what they actually want
  • they do get what they want but at the expense of others, which damages the relationship
  • anxiety, distress and guilt etc., etc., etc.
  • physical symptoms, aches and pains etc
  • having to learn lessons the hard way
  • time wasted, either having to go back and cleanup, or doing unnecessary things
  • financial cost
  • and the most insidious and damaging effect is a wasted life!


Recurrent bad decisions

Unfortunately not all bad decisions are major ones. People compromise themselves in a myriad of ways every single day.

  • saying yes when you'd rather say no
  • doing things that you don't want to be doing
  • making decisions so other people think well of you
  • spending time with people you don't want to be with

All these things are examples of bad decision making:

  • making decisions so others can feel ok but you have to sacrifice in some way
  • doing things you know have generated the effects of bad decisions in the past!
  • allowing others to treat you poorly
  • letting others make decisions so you're living the life they want you to live

And all of them are associated with the effects of bad decisions. How many of these have you done yourself in the last week? Today even?

The good news is you can always learn a new model of decision making!

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