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Why do we make bad decisions?

Recently I had the chance to sit down and chat with Martiza Barone on TheGoodTV: The Good Health report to talk about what is going on when we make bad decisions…

She asked some good questions and here are my thoughts:

  • Why do we sometimes make poor decisions? Decision making is habitual so we tend to make calls based upon what we have done in the past and what we think has worked well for us… coming from a resilience approach one would suggest that such decisions are influenced by our Explanatory Style and the actual stories we tell ourselves through such explanatory filters. Quick reference for explanatory styles can be found here.

  • What situations of contracted awareness lead to bad choices? i.e. stress, fear, expecting the worst? Contracted awareness is a state where we are absorbed by our problems so that negative thought patterns dominate leaving us entirely focussed inwards around the issues and how they make us feel… One of things that I can guarantee as a shrink is that we are programmed to prove ourselves right - so think something and you will gather evidence to prove that thought to be true… this is not to say we should not have cognitive awareness that bad things could happen within in a situation, more should we ignore those and think only happy thoughts but we must take a position of realistic optimism to get the best out of a situation.

  • It is sometimes best to throw caution to the wind and make decisions on a whim? Of course, go with our gut - don’t be shy to just run with what you feel to be correct in the moment (we can deal with the yuck later if there is any from it…) But most importantly we are a relaxed brain tends to be more flexible which means we can look at things from a more objective angle.

  • Can poor decision making be linked to low self-esteem or self-confidence? It certainly helps to reaffirm ones’ low self-esteem or poor levels of confidence, I it is hard to conclusively link the two as people who have low-esteem or poor confidence can often be very cautious so in being so will think through decisions deeply before acting upon them.

  • Can you shift mindset to make better decisions? You certainly can - the mind is not a fixed entity it is designed to be stimulated and grown so change is possible, provided you are brave enough to go into a flexible mindset to begin with!

Take a look at the interview below….

First published on My Rambles at Shane Warren Coaching & Counselling Services


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