Why do we choose when we’re afraid to lose?
Decisions VS Reaction
We are all confronted by crossroads in life.
Paths we can take that could either alter our lives in mundane, minuscule ways or alter them completely, forever.
But although similar, there is a big important distinction between proactive decisions and reactions to stimuli set upon us.
A decision sets up for the future - what to invest in, which muscles to train, what book to read, leaves a lot of positive room to breathe, grow and compromise if a crisis erupts.
On the other hand, deciding to scrap plans, what to eat when you’re short on cash, and other sudden, unplanned, quick decisions we have to make are often stressful and don’t play completely to our advantage.
Taking all of this into account, planning for the future or at the very least, practicing for scenarios we could really find ourselves in, become great tools to deal with this paradigm.
How Emotions Influence Decision Making
Be it intentional or not, emotions can seriously affect our rational decision-making ability.
Ever been in a relationship that didn’t work out, and you’ve got yourself asking questions like “oh God, why did I spend so much on such stupid stuff?”
The more extreme the emotion, the easier it is to cloud our judgment.
Not only does this work with our attention, goading our look towards pretty girls, outrageous news, or content making fun of idiots.
The same sequence works with our decisions as well.
Playing on insecurities, for example, is the easiest and fastest way to get someone to purchase your product:
You don’t want to look ugly, do you? Buy our cosmetics.
You want to protect your family, don’t you? Buy our security systems.
You want to impress that special someone, right? Buy our clothes etc.
At the end of the day, knowing this very simple yet powerful technique used on us subconsciously can lead to a better understanding of how to avoid it.
In short - the next time you want to make a big decision, take a deep breath and analyze if it’s playing on your emotions first.
Others’ Impact On Decisions
As with the previous point, our friends can greatly impact our choices.
However, as good as they may mean, we should still seek second opinions or look inwards to see our own reasons for choosing a certain option.
Just because someone really wants to help, unfortunately, doesn’t mean they’re always qualified to help.
On the other side, just because people we dislike do something, doesn’t automatically mean it is associated with them.
This is another way in which hate, fear, or anger can manipulate us, even if only inside our heads.
After all, just because serial killers drink water doesn’t mean you should stop doing that, does it?
The Role Of Intuition and Experience
Finally, intuition and experience can be formed over years of practice, correct and successful decisions that have yielded positive results, and knowledge obtained from others’ mistakes.
The takeaway from this is that, while attaining an inner sense of right and wrong paths to choose takes thousands of decisions before it’s smart to trust it, it gets easier and easier with every choice.
Explain how most people react automatically in many situations, and then go on to the fact that a decision is "an action/conclusion reached after consideration."
So what's the takeaway from all of this? It's that decision-making is a complex process, and it depends on many different factors.
The next time you're trying to make a tough decision, take some time to consider all of the variables involved!