Hey Big Sis: How Do I Make Better Decisions?

How to overcome impulsivity and make more thoughtful choices
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Created by uplabdhipandey

Published on Mar 26, 2024
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I’m an adult, but I still feel like a child. According to a recent sentiment that I’ve seen floating around on the internet, I’m a one-year-old adult, which is basically a child. Now, I don’t know how children make their decisions but I’m pretty sure most of it is impulsive. As a one year old adult, I’ve made some impulsive decisions that I’ve come to regret and that are a stark reminder of my failure to sit down and anticipate the consequences. 

Funny, right? A person who is supposedly great at advice cannot interpret her own mind and is constantly making mistakes that she comes to regret. When you think about it like I do, I’m just trying to be a child again. I want to be in a crisis for as long as I live. Live and breathe in the fight or flight mode. Chase the spontaneity of life, which, for me (like many), is part of my trauma. 

Maybe, I am making these impulsive decisions as a way to harm myself. Because I know that if I were to wait, I would choose against it. I would choose to protect myself, and why would I do that when I know how much fun pain is? Recently, I ended a lovely relationship with someone because being in a relationship became too much for me. I wanted to be able to cherish this person, but all I could think about was how I felt that I was not enough and how I felt that I have failed as a person. I felt the best thing to do for me was to break it off. And I did. I did break it off. But boy, does it hurt knowing that I didn’t think enough about the break-up before I did it. We’re still friends. In my head, it was all mutual. But at the end of the day, both of us know that the decision I made was self-destructive. 

Maybe that’s the beauty of impulsivity. It protects us from thought. A lovely treat for the people who overthink. But impulsiveness makes us incapable of thought because our senses are heightened, and our anxiety is at its peak, and there’s so much noise and so much light and so much of everything that when the world eventually cuts to black, there’s nothing but regret. 

Here’s what I say. You want to make better decisions. Good. Take three days. Every single time you sit down to make a drastic decision, take three days to think about it. If you can, cut away all the noise. Sit in a quiet place. Listen to the music that makes you calm. And just think. Think about life. Think about what you want from it. Think about what will help you take control of your life. If three days are too much for you, sit down and take down all your thoughts in a notebook. I want you to think really hard and as much as possible before you make a decision. It is natural that at some point you will overthink and that is okay, at least now, you’re not making decisions that are actively harming you. 

When you start overthinking, breathe. Breathe loud and clear. Don’t focus on the what, why, where, how, and when. Just focus on ‘who’. Who does this affect? You and maybe one other person. Is the impact of the action going to harm you in the long term? Yes or no. If yes, don’t do it. Every time you start overthinking, limit yourself to these two questions and I guarantee you, you will be okay. 

It is also okay if you make one bad decision after making a good decision. After all, it is a journey. Doing something bad once in a while doesn’t make you a villain. Just a grey character in a grey world. 

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