Not Making Decisions Is Worse Than Making Mistakes

If we don't make decisions, there will be someone who will do it for us and we lose control over our lives. We should steer the rudder towards our own happiness.
Not Making Decisions Is Worse Than Making Mistakes
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

We all make decisions every day: what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, what brand of cosmetics to buy and what movie to watch at the cinema.

All of these small daily actions define part of our personalities. However, what really defines us are the big decisions that determine the direction of our lives.

We should be clear: those who do not decide for themselves leave their destiny in the hands of others and leave to chance the control over their own lives.

While it’s true that any decision comes with some aspect of fear or uncertainty, it’s always better to make mistakes and learn than to do nothing and wait.

Today, we invite you to reflect on this and learn the basic strategies for making better and more effective decisions.

Decisions that lead to harmony

More than reaching some ideal happiness and achieving all of our dreams, what we most desire on a daily basis is to live in harmony.

  • Living in harmony means acting according to our values and having respect for others.
  • Maintaining personal relationships based on mutual reciprocity and recognition.
  • Harmony is also inner peace, without fear, insecurity or anxiety.

Now we’ll look at what steps to follow to achieve the personal courage that will allow us to be capable of making decisions.

Illustration of blond woman in white flowery dress wedding day make decisions

Learning to distinguish

Distinguishing is a psychological ability that we all possess and that we should learn to practice.

  • People often tend to let routine guide us, and fall into psychological monotony in which we no longer make decisions and act.
  • This apathy makes our thoughts more rigid to the point in which any change or alteration seems dangerous.
  • Getting out of our comfort zone scares us and makes us feel insecure.
  • When we find ourselves in these situations, we have to learn to recognize it.
  • Distinguishing means becoming aware of something and discovering the truth. That is precisely what we must do: discover this very unpleasant reality that we are stuck in.
  • Before making the right decision, it’s best to recognize where we find ourselves in life. We’ll need to ask ourselves some questions that will show us our reality before we act.
  • Here are some examples:
    • Do I feel in control of my decisions?
    • When I get up in the morning, do I feel like I’m going to do what I really want to do?
    • Do I want the future to be like how I live now?
    • Are the people around me concerned about my happiness?
Airplane illustration things in life failing plane crashing make decisions

To make decisions, we need to know where we want to be

When we plainly realize that we need to change, we need to know where we want to go and what we want to achieve.

Changing for change’s sake without a clear purpose is meaningless.

  • We need to be responsible for every one of our actions, which means we need goals.
  • Before making a big decision, it’s best to start making “little decisions” that reflect simple goals that we can achieve day by day.
  • An example of a goal would be: starting today, I will be more assertive and say “no” when I really feel like it and “yes” only when I really want to.

Small changes also help improve self-esteemThis way we “build up” strength and courage to make bigger decisions, like finding a new job or moving.

Do not be afraid of mistakes

Do not be afraid of making mistakes but rather a life not lived. To do this, we need to understand a few things:

  • Sometimes we blame others for the unhappiness that strangles us when it’s us who lets situations go on when they should have “burned out” on their own.
  • We are all responsible for what happens in our own minds. If we understand that a mistake is something to feel bad about, we’ll never let ourselves grow.
  • A mistake is a learning opportunity. Whoever doesn’t make a decision, based on the simple fear of making another mistake, is creating obstacles to achieving happiness.
Pulling strings of kites of giant stone hearts make decisions don't be stagnant

We need to be able to follow our natural intuition. We all have this internal compass that tells us when something should end or when we should start over again.

Dare to live the life that your heart truly whispers to you, rationalize your fears, strengthen your self-esteem and learn from every stone you find on your path.

It’s important to learn to make decisions and be confident in them. Deciding is living.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lorena, M., Salazar, S., Mar, H., & Gómez, R. (2011). TOMA DE DECISIONES. Deval Sim Web.

  • Simón-Lorda, P. (2010). La capacidad de los pacientes para tomar decisiones: una tarea todavía pendiente. Revista de La Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría.

  • Karen, D. (2015). La toma de decisiones de la empresa. Sistema de Información Para La Toma de Decisiones.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.