We all made bad decisions.
Tiredness, discouragement, and fear can influence how you make bad decisions.
I hit a parked delivery truck on Sept 11, 2019, and damaged my vehicle. I am a careful driver and never had an accident before this date.
I was drained because of the previous night’s engagement and had no business driving the following morning. But, I did, and had an accident because of my terrible decision fueled by an anxious mind and exhausted body.
I remember the accident as if it was yesterday.
I turned left onto a busy road, and I saw in front of me, a yellow/blue delivery truck parked in my lane. And with my exhausted body and wrong frame of mind, I misread the right side mirror when I overtook the parked delivery truck.
I hit the truck with my passenger side of the vehicle and damaged my vehicle — the taxpayers foot the bill.
After the accident, I was more tired, felt guilty of wasting taxpayers’ money, and struggled with the emotional toll of driving cautiously for many months.
When was the last time you made a bad decision?
Never allow a bad decision to define your self-worth.
Things That Drive Bad Decisions and How to Avoid Them.
3. When You’re Tired:
When you’re worn-out, your stress level escalates, and you are likely to react impulsively. This happened to me the time I had the accident.
You did everything to escape nagging from people. For example, you were exhausted to find out more information from your friends’ demands, and you gave in on unreasonable requests.
Thinking takes time, and a tired mind is irrational. A worn-out mind and body thrive on fixing a problem fast, not reflecting on the best way to solve an issue.
I had a choice of taking a bus or train the morning of the accident, but I opted out to drive. Because driving was comfortable and a safe choice and I did not have to think about it.
How to Avoid This:
When you are tired — wait and rest.
For me, the waiting time is to examine my feelings and reality. Sometimes, my feeling is like the weather; it changes every day. I learned my lesson, and I use public transportation more often since the accident.
Suspend making decisions when you are mentally or physically exhausted. Don’t make a decision when you are tired, even if it’s a request from your family member or a best friend. Choose not to drive as I did.
The wrong frame of mind often helps us make bad decisions.
2. When You’re Afraid of Others’ Opinion:
When I am stressed or fearful, I am likely to make a wrong decision as I did on the day of the accident.
Are you fearful of what others think of you or your lifestyle?
Do you make a decision solely based on the input from your family members and friends?
There is nothing wrong with asking others for advice when making an important decision in your life. But always remember you are an expert in your own life.
My daughter asked me for my advice on her new client’s invoice. When I looked over the invoice and the amount, I suggested that she add taxes to the invoice reflecting her client’s city’s tax rate.
The next day she texted that she wrote off the taxes and learned a lesson. She rested before making the decision. I think she made the best decision because she did not discuss the hefty taxes with her new client during the consultation.
You can make a bad decision because of the fear of others’ opinions.
How to Avoid This:
First, be aware and honest about how others influence your decision making. Then use the awareness to help you understand yourself better and where to draw the line.
I often think of what I want to do before asking for my family's opinion or my true friend’s suggestion.
Drop the fear and pressure from others and live your own life. At the end of the day, you bear the direct consequences of your decision, not your friends or family.
If there is any decision you want to make, but you feel anxious, rushed by others' approval, become afraid, or somewhat sick, just postpone it.
Fear may be a tell-tale sign of making a bad decision. This may include going out on a date with someone, accepting a marriage proposal in the sports stadium full of fans, buying a car, or buying a house.
Sometimes, fear can help us make a good decision too,
My personal and professional experience shows that good decision-makers are respected, free, and relaxed with what they want to do with their lives. These people seem to be happy and rarely move with what others think of them or their way of life.
Good decision-makers are experts and leaders in their own life. I think they know themselves, their needs, and what they want and ask for help as needed.
You’re the master of your own life.
1. When You’re Discouraged:
I get disappointed and rejected often. As I’m editing this article, I got a rejection emailed from a publisher.
Have you been rejected or disappointed recently?
The time of rejection or disappointment is not the time to make decisions. Alicia reported dating a man immediately after she divorced her third husband. And her relationship with a medium build, handsome 6'2" boyfriend was a terrible decision because he was her first husband.
The time of rejection or disappointment is not the time to make a decision as Alicia did.
How to Avoid This:
I often say two words, instant gratification, as a reminder to delay making stupid decisions. I like to sleep over important things, including what I eat.
Yes, I did not reflect on my mental alertness the day I had the accident.
As a human being, take your time to mourn your disappointment if it’s something like losing a loved one, job, health, relationship, and/or business.
Delay making important decisions during the time of mourning. Give yourself some time and space for self-reflection. Ask for help as needed, and finally, use your experiences of bad decisions for good ones.
Tidiness, discouragement, and fear are some of the reasons that influence you to make bad decisions. A wrong frame of mind is not the right time to make a decision, and an exhausted body can promote and execute a terrible decision.
A steady mind and relaxed body bring joy, rarely regret.
Help yourself grow.