A bad hangover: When you wake up and you get that tight feeling in your stomach as you fatefully ‘remember’.
A bad break up: When you realise you can no longer listen to Adele without abruptly leaving the room as she warbles ‘Someone liiiike yooooou’, causing you to silently cry into your sofa.
A bad interview: When you make small talk with your ‘never to be’ employer and comment on the photo of their son- who is in fact their daughter.
A bad gym session: When you spend ten minutes on the treadmill before leaving to order a Dominoes-treat yo self!
We’ve all experienced bad things but that’s entirely different to actually making a bad ‘life’ choice. Having said that, you may argue that marching to the bar and ordering 4 double tequilas, classifies as a very bad choice- but I’m not referring to those choices per say- I’m referring to ‘life’choices that will make a significant change to your day-to-day life.
So, unless you’re an absolute saint, the chances are you have made some bad life choices. The life choices that determine what you may be doing in the next 3 to 6 months or longer and can either help or hinder your identity capital. Those life choices that act as a fork in the road, as you contemplate whether to pursue your dreams or to play it safe.
In making a choice, you have started the domino effect that will determine the outcome. The fact that you made the leap away from ‘playing it safe’ is commendable in itself.
Was it the right choice? Perhaps not.
Did it pay off? It doesn’t appear that way at present.
Can you truthfully say you regret it?…
Whilst it would be too easy to say yes, deep down you can’t whole heartedly regret making a choice that felt right at the time. You can’t regret going for something, despite the risk because otherwise you would always have wondered ‘what if’, if you’d never made it. The choices we make can attribute to our character and just because it was an initial knock to the confidence at first, long term you will have benefited in other ways. When you make what you consider to be a bad life choice, you have to somehow see how through making that decision to do X, Y or Z, what life experience you gained from it.
If you had been too trusting when going into business with someone, only to find you had been cheated out of part of what was rightfully yours, next time you will be more cautious. As well as that you may take the steps to find mentors, who can perhaps steer you in the right direction or who may in fact red flag anyone whose integrity they question.
If you moved to a new country, after telling just about everyone, only to find you loathe every moment of it, you didn’t necessarily make a bad choice, despite what you think and despite how you feel. You made a decision to change your life and for whatever reason that country of choice didn’t work out for you. That’s not to say you must stay restricted to the confines of the UK, never to embark on any expat adventure ever again.
As much as we don’t like to hear it, sometimes it’s good to be reminded that it’s the things that don’t always go to plan, that allow us to learn the most. We are human and we make mistakes and we’re going to make so many more and that doesn’t make us failures. That doesn’t mean you can’t try again and that definitely doesn’t mean the world is over. Would you prefer to get advice from someone who always got it right or would you prefer to get advice from someone who screwed up a couple of times, only to finally get it right? Who do you think would have the most tips? The better life experiences? Who do you think would instil faith into you that it is possible if you try and try again? Whilst it would be rather ideal to be the person who got it right the first-time round, it isn’t always so.
Sometimes making what we deem to be bad life choices, make the best long-term outcomes. You may have decided as a result of that outcome to reach out to someone you never considered and it is their help that opens the door you always wanted opened. It’s just a case of getting back up and trying again.
We are all the familiar with the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ That quote comes up time and time again because it holds a lot of truth. That isn’t to say that the quote shouldn’t contain in small print somewhere, that it will still ‘hurt like hell as you lick your wounds’. In being stronger, you will also be wiser, as well as have a better grasp of experience and a better understanding of perhaps where it went wrong last time. You’ll know yourself that little bit more and aspects or your life could even seem clearer, as a result of getting it wrong.
As the saying goes folks, ‘sometimes it’s good to be bad’… however instead of talking about this in relation to sex, drugs and rock and roll (whoop-whoop!), it might be more constructive to channel this into the life experiences that didn’t go according to plan-good luck!