Make Better Decisions by Avoiding These Big Mistakes

Life is full of decisions. Some big, some small. Some easy, some not. And sometimes it's easy to make simple mistakes that make things more complicated than they need to be.

So if it feels like you could sometimes make better decisions, make sure you're avoiding these three big mistakes.

1. Putting it off

Perhaps the biggest decision-making mistake is to not make one at all.

When those big choices come along—like whether to take that job, whether to leave that relationship, or whether to stand up for yourself—we sometimes prefer to put it off and even pretend there isn't a choice at all.

Of course, not making a decision is still a choice. It's a choice not to engage. It's a choice to bury your head in the sand. And it's a choice to ignore possibility.

And the choice to put it off has a cost.

A better decision is to be open and curious about what's out there and what might happen. To own where you are and what kind of experience you want to have. To own your choices, not deny them.

2. Making a choice based on what's easiest

It's tempting to take the easy route. To make a choice based on what's easiest, least disruptive or most comfortable.

Sometimes that's okay. Not every choice you make will involve big change or upheaval. Sometimes it serves you well to choose something that allows you to rest or to heal or to think.

Other times, making an easy choice sells you short.

An easy choice is one that forgets all about how far you've come, how much you can grow or what kind of life you want for yourself and those you care about. An easy choice is just that, easy.

Instead, a better decision is one that honors what matters to you. Even if it presents some disruption, or gives you a problem to solve, or takes you into the unknown, a decision that's founded on what truly matters will always be a good, solid decision.

3. Piling on the pressure

When faced with a tough choice, the pressure to get it right is huge. What if you screw it up? What if you didn't think it through enough? What if you're not up to it?

Thinking through different scenarios and ways things could go is sometimes entirely appropriate. But when that scenario planning just piles on more and more pressure to "get it right", you're doing yourself a disservice.

You don't need to create more pressure for yourself. You don't need to avoid failure at any cost. You don't need to have it all be "perfect". Piling on the pressure won't help you make better decisions.

A better way is to let yourself off the hook for needing to be perfect, to be seen as perfect or to prove yourself as worthy. Those things just get in your way and create more self-doubt and second-guessing.

You'll make better decisions when you're in a space based on what you're like when you're at your best, not your worst.

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