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  • Writer's pictureDiana Fletcher

Why Did I Do That? The Value of a BAD Decision

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

So many feelings...

You know you made a mistake. You made a bad decision.   

You feel so many feelings. Embarrassment. Shame. Defensiveness. Fear. You could have one of these reactions, all of them or many more. It’s ok. We have all been there.

The problem comes when you don’t deal with the mistake.

Sometimes we spend so much time beating ourselves up about a mistake,that we stay frozen in this icy block of shame and discouragement.   

To ask ourselves what we could have done differently is a good question.  

To berate ourselves over and over about a bad decision, is a discouraging waste of time. 

This is how it can go. We go over and over the mistake we made and search for exactly where we went wrong.  

When we settle on the spot where we went wrong, we stay in that place, looking closely at it over and over, analyzing, discussing, obsessing. This is not healthy.

Here are three actions you can take that will help you recover from a bad decision in a way that is healthy and kind. Yes, kind. It is necessary that you show yourself kindness.

  1. Honest Assessment

  2. Forgiveness

  3. Gratitude

The Honest Assessment (These questions can be difficult to answer, but can give you some real insight about yourself.)

  • What were my reasons at the time?

  • Were my reasons selfish?

  • Were my reasons made because I didn’t have enough information?

  • Did I choose to ignore obvious signals that warned me of the danger?

  • Did I choose to close my eyes to possible outcomes and want it so badly that I ignored basic truths?

  • Was I tired?

  • Was I so busy that I didn’t give this decision proper attention?

  • What was going on in my life that may have kept me from focusing as well as I needed to?

  • Do I need to make amends in some way? What can I learn from this to avoid making bad decisions in the future?

After you answer these questions with honesty and gentleness, it’s time to forgive yourself.  

Forgive Yourself


Of course if you have hurt someone, make the effort to correct that.  

DO NOT refer to yourself as stupid or foolish, and do not continue to berate yourself. 

Treat yourself as you would a good friend, with a loving and caring attitude.

As you take care of damage control, be strong and honest with yourself. 

Make a list of corrections you may need to make:

  • Are there financial situations that now need to be addressed?

  • Do I need to call someone and apologize?

  • How has this affected other parts of my life/business that I now need to address?

Recognizing that you have been hurt emotionally or financially by your “bad” decision is not the same as dwelling on it.  

Do not wallow in your pain. You need to throw back your shoulders, move on, and look forward to all the good decisions you will make in the future. 


Be grateful that you now have more knowledge about yourself and be grateful that you have this useful knowledge for future decision-making.  

Be grateful for good decisions you have made in the past, and that you will make in the future. 

After all, you make good ones, too!

There is value in making a bad decision.

You realize you are human and that in itself can be a helpful and necessary reminder that you aren’t perfect, and realizing this yet again, will give you more insight into yourself and other people.

It was a bad decision. It isn’t the end of the world.

For more on forgiveness, click here

For more information on making your own Vision Board, click here.

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