Decision making can be a difficult process for practical reasons. For example, lack of financial resources, emotional charge, interests of stakeholders, etc. But it can also be influenced by some perceptions that we have adopted and create a wrong frame of mind, hindering rational decision making.
In this article I will introduce you to the three most common misconceptions that affect decision making and turn it into a difficult process that can lead to indecision, frustration and guilt.
- We believe that there are good and bad decisions
It is very easy to be deceived into believing that we have to choose between good and bad decisions. By adopting this practice, we turn the decision-making process into a search for the good and the bad, the right and the wrong alternative. While it is true that decisions have good or bad results, what really happens is that decisions are completely connected to the current context in which they are made. In short, decisions are made now and their results are judged in the future.
- We believe that choice limits us
It is very common nowadays to drown in the plethora of choices that make us believe we can have them and do them all. The social pressure that arises through social media to participate everywhere, makes us feel fear and anxiety, if the decision we make will be the right one and will not exclude us from some other more “good” choices for our lives. The fear that I will be limited, lose something or be isolated if I make the wrong decision, makes us postpone making decisions and feel trapped among the alternatives we have.
- We believe that choice is our personal matter
In the western world, freedom of choice is synonymous with the very concept of freedom. Thus, we tend to believe that decision-making is a proof of individual freedom and a purely personal matter.
Consider the COVID-19 vaccination issue. While it is a decision that needs to be made on a personal level, however, on a second look at the issue, we understand that whether or not we decide to get vaccinated is not based on our own knowledge, our own experience, or our own determination nor in our own ability to set an example for others, etc.
Reality is more relational: decision making, especially in public health, work, etc. it is often a collective or group affair.
The role of self-awareness
Now take a few minutes to think about how these or some of these perceptions appear in your daily life. Maybe in the form of procrastination.
You may again be scared or stressed at the idea that if you make a decision and reject other options you will be left behind. Think of a team that you either live with or work with. How easy is it for you to make a decision or to express an opposite opinion to the majority?
What factors influence your decision making?
The decision-making process is directly related to how well we can understand the way we act individually and in groups and how well we can feel about the uncertainty, ambiguity and the possibility of overturning a situation.
It is important to understand the perceptions that affect us without realizing it many times and with a fresh look to open ourselves to the possibility of experimenting and feel calm how we decided as best we could and knew.
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