Many of us will at some point or another regret a mistake we have made, convinced that we could have done better than we did. Some of us hang on to that regret and become anxious when having to make another decision, as we worry we will make another bad one.
This guide can’t help you tackle that anxiety, but it can give you a few tips on how to make better decisions and thereby build up your confidence levels once again.
Listen To Your Gut
When you’re not sure about a decision you’re about to make, you’ll often be told to simply listen to what your “gut,” your instinct, is telling you. If something feels right to you, just do it without overthinking it too much. On the flip side, if something seems like a bad idea, no matter how good it looks on the outside, do not do it.
Our instincts have been serving us since we decided to stand on our hind legs so we could get a better view of the African savanna and our brains just trailed after it, so let your own sense of preservation protect you. There is one problem, though; at times it may go into overdrive and protect you too much, and that’s when you’ll have to stay calm and get an overview of the situation so you can find a middle ground between mind and instinct.
Don’t Be Too Hasty
It’s very important to remember that your gut will always kick in, regardless of the situation. That’s great if it is life or death and you need a decision to heed immediately; however, most situations you encounter will not end in death and should probably be taken slower.
Though agonizing over choice is not what you should be doing, you shouldn’t be jumping the proverbial gun, either. The main thing is to sit back, breathe deep and think carefully about what middle ground you can find between thinking too much and your gut feeling. By finding a quiet moment, often through meditation, you can avoid making hasty decisions you end up regretting.
But to find that middle ground is hard when the mind is ill informed and is screaming to make or not make a decision and drowning out your instincts in the process. Especially with big decisions (Should I quit my job? Do I stay in this relationship?), when you need to make a decision the most, the confusion can drive you crazy.
Sometimes your sense of preservation is not what you need right then and there, especially in situations that require a sacrifice of some kind or another. In these cases, it’s best to create a relative calm for you and inform yourself of the consequences of your decision. Quitting your job would be a great idea if there were enough jobs in your field, but there aren’t any in your town, for example. By going slow and getting more information you can make sure that you aren’t giving in to your survival instinct too soon.
Another great way to gain knowledge is by looking back and thinking if you’ve experienced something similar before, and then trying to gauge if your decision now will play out the same way as it did then. If you yourself haven’t had anything like this happen before, you could always enlist the help of a friend or family member who has and talk with them about it. You’ll find that if you broach the subject carefully, you can talk to the people around you regarding just about anything and they’ll be willing to help you reach the right decision.