How often have you been in a situation where you are 100% sure about something, but it turned out not to be the right thing?
Whether it was a major in college, a career path, or the future of a relationship with someone?
You were sure of your decision, all signs pointed to it, but it turns out that it’s not the right college for you, you didn’t get the job, or the person you thought loved you broke up with you.
So, what should you do when you realize that the choice you made was wrong? Firstly, accept the situation, stand behind your mistakes, not be too harsh on yourself, and most importantly, learn from your mistakes.
All of this makes sense, but that feeling when you look back and realize you made the wrong choice can be overwhelming.
Although it may seem that everything is falling apart and that you have made a mistake that ruined your life, know that it is not so.
This article aims to show you that mistakes are an integral part of life. What matters is how you accept them and what you learn from them.
What Should You Do When You Realize That You Made A Wrong Choice? 7 Best Tips
“In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices”– Dr. Kathleen Hall
This sounds scary and overwhelming. You have one life ahead of you. Of course, you want to make the most of it and make the best possible decisions, but that is impossible because life is also made up of bad decisions. It is important how you learn to deal with them.
Whether you’ve already made that choice that turned out to be wrong or you’re generally afraid to make bad decisions, the tips we’ll list can help you. And those are:
1. Accept Your Wrong Choices
Everything starts with acceptance, and the first step towards dealing with a wrong choice is acceptance.
Don’t try desperately to find excuses for your failure. Especially don’t accuse others.
It is not good to have a holier-than-thou attitude of a person who never makes mistakes.
This may come from a deep belief that you are better than others and do not make mistakes like others.
You have to stand behind the fact that your choice was not right and turned out wrong.
But it would be best if you didn’t beat yourself up because of that. Mistakes happen to everyone, and even the big ones that seem to us to be unfixable can be part of a bigger picture in the development of your personality.
Regret can be overwhelming, but regret is also part of the process.
So, accept and allow yourself to move on because what you choose to focus on will grow.
2. Take Responsibility For Your Actions
When you have accepted your wrong choice, you need to take responsibility for it.
Every action has a reaction; you can’t expect that there won’t be consequences for your acts.
Let’s say you had a “great thought” of how you can solve your financial problems by gambling. Of course, that turned out not to be a good idea.
When you realize that that choice was completely wrong, what you do about it matters. Instead of sitting and talking about how you ruined your life with gambling, it’s much smarter to look for an extra job until you get back on your feet.
Even those bad choices can seem reasonable in desperate times.
Most people would say that the decision to solve your financial problems by gambling is not wise, but for you, it seemed like a good choice at that time.
Owning up to your mistake and taking responsibility for it is essential.
3. Review Your Wrong Choice
Once you’ve accepted your wrong choice and taken responsibility, it’s time to analyze what happened.
Although some situations are sometimes inexplicable, most can be explained and analyzed in detail.
For example, why did that happen if you started a new job but quit very quickly? What did you not take into account before you started working?
Or if you had significant financial losses because you made bad business choices, where did you go wrong with your calculations?
Ask yourself why you chose it, what went wrong, and what you could have done differently.
If you approach the problem like this, you will undoubtedly have different outcomes the next time because you have learned from your mistake.
4. Recognize Ongoing Patterns in Your Life
Sometimes when the same wrong choices happen to us repeatedly, we must stop and think, what are we doing wrong?
Although bad choices and mistakes happen to everyone, when the same thing happens to you over and over again, there must be something you’re doing wrong.
For example, you can’t have genuine friendships. Every new friendship you make is doomed because, after a while, it fails.
You can’t blame all those people you tried to be friends with, but you should ask yourself if you are the one who is ruining your friendships.
It’s the same with the fact that you can’t be in a long-term relationship. Before you accuse your ex-partners of this, consider your relationship behavior.
When you are honest and recognize these ongoing patterns that lead you to make wrong choices, you can change them.
5. Don’t Dwell On The Past
Have you ever wished you could go back in time and change some of your bad choices? You certainly are, and who isn’t really.
Every decision you made in the past brought you to where you are now.
Sometimes you may think your life is terrible because of something from the past but focus on the good things instead.
For example, you didn’t go to college in another country, and maybe your education wasn’t what you expected, but that’s why you met the love of your life in that boring town you live in.
That fateful meeting would not have happened if you had gone as planned.
Have you heard of the term “The butterfly effect?”
That expression refers to small insignificant events that can lead to significant results over time.
If this interests you, we recommend two movies dealing with this topic: “The Butterfly Effect” and “Donnie Darko.”
And if you’re looking for a slightly more relaxed movie with a similar theme, we recommend the all-time classic “Back to The Future,” which, if you haven’t seen yet, we don’t know what you’re waiting for.
In any case, the point is that all our choices lead us to where we are now. Don’t dwell on the past or beat yourself up over your mistake. Instead, focus on the present and the future.
Don’t hate your past self because that is also a part of you that made you who you are today.
“Sometimes you simply made the wrong choice, and you had to live with it. You could only change the future”– Kristin Hannah
6. Do Not Depend on The Opinions of Others
First, to avoid confusion, we must emphasize that if your wrong choice has hurt others or caused them any harm, you must compensate them.
But that all falls under the part where we discussed taking responsibility for our bad choices. And compensating others is an aspect of it.
However, here we are talking about the fact that in today’s society, mistakes are not allowed.
Everyone seems to know what they are doing, make no mistakes, and are ready to condemn anyone who makes a wrong choice.
Precisely because of those judgments, your wrong choice can seem worse than it actually is.
For example, you quit your job due to various circumstances and are now in a tough situation.
Although your decision was justified, the opinions of others made you feel scared because you quit the job.
You are now sabotaging yourself because you are doubting your decision because of the opinions of others instead of focusing on finding a new job where you will be happy and satisfied.
“You and only you are responsible for your life choices and decisions” – Robert T. Kiyosaki
7. Improve Your Decision-Making Skills
Although some bad choices are beyond our control, we will advise you on approaching those that can be influenced.
Here are some ways you can improve your decision-making skills:
- Make a Plan – Although sometimes you want to jump into a decision, it would be best to have a plan first. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have any spontaneity in life, but major choices and decisions require at least some plan.
- Implement everything you’ve learned from previous mistakes – Mistakes are there to learn from, so be sure to use everything you’ve learned from them.
- Ask for help – The decision is ultimately yours, but if you are unsure, you can always turn to those you trust to give you the best advice.
- Trust your instinct – There are many names for that unique gut feeling. Whether you call it intuition or the sixth sense, you should listen to it if it sends you strong signals before making a decision.
All Things Considered,
Although some of our mistakes may seem unfixable, changing the perspective with the right approach is possible.
By accepting mistakes as part of life and the learning process, it is possible to achieve different outcomes. You won’t achieve anything if you’re being hard on yourself and thinking about past mistakes.
The simplest saying, “It’s no use crying over spilled milk,” is the most accurate.