Lucas Brenner » Articles » Why We Doubt Our Decisions

When it comes to just about any decision, we have more choices these days than ever before. You can choose between thousands of shows available on countless streaming services. You have to choose between more career options today than you did a few hundred years ago. Supermarkets, restaurants and delivery services offer more dishes than you could ever eat …

Young people, who have yet to gain life experience before making intuitive decisions, are particularly affected. We often become paralyzed by the many choices and feel overwhelmed.

In my article “How to Find Your Passion,” I have already described how to make important decisions. In this article, I want to write down some thoughts that might help you be more satisfied with your past decisions.

Why We Doubt Ourselves

The fact that you are thinking about your past decisions shows that you care about your own life and your future. That's positive, because when you care about something, you automatically are more responsible.

Nevertheless, at some point it is time to make a decision. If it is reversible, you can always think about it again and possibly adjust your path. But if the decision is irreversible, you should no longer doubt it, but accept the choice you made.

Not making a decision – or wanting to make a decision – is also a decision; and the worst one. When you choose inactivity, you no longer have any control over what happens to you and your future. Consequently, it is better to have made the wrong decision in retrospect than to have done nothing and learned nothing from your decision.

Mistakes and misjudgments are human. If you learn from them and make an effort not to make them again, you will have gotten better and were able to gain something positive from the situation.

You should not aim to make as many right decisions as possible, because that would be presumptuous. No one can know whether a decision is “right” or “wrong” or even what those categories mean in the first place, because most of the consequences of a decision remain hidden. Instead, you should do your best to learn as much as you can from your decisions.

There Are No Wrong Decisions

If no one can know whether a decision is right or wrong, one might as well assume that this concept does not actually exist. Objectively, there are simply decisions with more or less obvious consequences.

If you act to the best of your knowledge and conscience at the moment of the decision, you have done your best. More is not possible, because you cannot look into the future.

If you look back and see a decision as “wrong,” it doesn't prove that your choice at the moment of decision was stupid (because you didn't know any better), but that you have learned and now know more than before. With the Kaizen process, you can plan and adjust your decisions.

What We Can Learn from This

In summary, it is perfectly normal to doubt your choices. Anything else would mean that we either don't care about our future or we don't learn anything.

Of course, we should still make decisions in the best possible way, but we shouldn't drive ourselves crazy either. It's okay to doubt your decisions, but you should never doubt yourself!