Healthy decisions vs. unhealthy decisions.
Making important decisions can be challenging. Should I start or end that relationship or not? Should I quit my 9–5 and start my business or not? Should I move away or stay closer to my family?
I remember I used to get caught up in the analysis-paralysis mode a lot when making decisions. I was an incredible postponer when it came to making more significant decisions.
Then I found one simple principle that makes decision-making easier and enables me to make those decisions confidently.
It is the idea that healthy decisions serve out higher self and others, but unhealthy decisions don’t. So we always want to make healthy decisions and avoid unhealthy ones.
Let me explain a little bit further what exactly that means and how to tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy decision. This simple principle will help you when you feel confused about making the right decision.
Foundation of Decision-Making
If we could always make rational, smart decisions would be great, but we can’t. It is tough to entirely refrain from the way we see the world — our belief systems, paradigms, habitual ways of thinking.
The truth is that we make decisions based on mental processes that are influenced by biases and memories. Our emotions, feelings, moods, and, more importantly, our paradigm impact our decisions more than we think.
Everyone has cognitive biases. Cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. It affects the decisions and judgments that they make.
For example, negativity bias is based on previous negative experiences. And people with negativity biases assume the worst possible scenario when making a decision. They might avoid taking a beneficial risk that could get them closer to their goals because they fear the worst outcome.
Memories impact our present interpretations also. Emotional traumas (either a severe emotional trauma or simply a small event such as critical words from an important person) cause distortions in the way we interpret present reality.
We may experience fear, anxiety, expect the worst, start generalizing people (“all men/women are the same”) or develop negative self-talk (“good things never happen to me”). These beliefs will continue to create our realities because we make decisions based on these beliefs.
Mental programming we have received in childhood, either in family or school or elsewhere, shapes our paradigm.
People who have heard in their childhood, “money is never enough,” “rich people are evil,” “money doesn’t grow on trees,” it is harder for them to attract money. Their limiting beliefs repel them from taking up and using opportunities.
What is Your Higher Self?
Before we dive into the difference between healthy and unhealthy decisions, let’s explore what exactly means “higher self.”
Our higher self is the person who has already achieved what we are pursuing. Either it is more peace of mind and happiness or a million-dollar lifestyle business traveling worldwide. It is the best version of ourselves that we aim for and work for.
It is also the most mentally healthy version of us — healed from past hurts, disappointments, bitterness, free from judging others. A version of us that is loving and kind towards ourselves and others. It is a version of us that is bold, courageous, confident, and full of hope and faith for the best outcome.
And what separates our higher self from the current self?
Of course, a physical result. But not only that. More importantly, the character, beliefs, attitude, mindset.
Often people think that when they have achieved X result, they will feel and act that way. But the reality is that we need first to embody the person who achieves X result.
We need to start thinking and feeling like the person who already has achieved what we desire. It will be mindset + actions that will bring us to that outcome.
It is common knowledge that to form a loving, committed relationship, you need to become a loving and committed person first. And then you can develop such a relationship.
However, the same principle applies to other areas where we set goals, for example, finances. Suppose your goal is to have a six-figure business. In that case, you need to study what qualities characterize such a person and embody those characteristics, habits, behavior, etc.
You need to start thinking, feeling, and acting like the type of person who has such a business. Not — “when I will have such business, then I will…”.
Healthy Decision vs. Unhealthy Decision
Since our decisions are subject to our previous experiences — memories, belief systems from the environment we've been in, paradigms we have formed, and different cognitive biases, we can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy choices.
The criteria are the results. What will be the result of this decision?
The results we want always are the ones that serve our higher self. And our higher self will always aim to reach our biggest goals, live in happiness, and help others.
So your criteria for whether it is a healthy or unhealthy decision is whether it serves your highest self which works out of love to help others.
In other words, a healthy decision is a decision made out of love but unhealthy — made out of fear.
Why does this matter so much?
As we previously discussed, we don’t always see the objective truth. Our lenses are often clouded by past trauma, negative experience, unfulfilled expectations, betrayal of close people, failures, etc.
It is quite possible that if we make a future decision while our lenses are still clouded, it will be an unhealthy decision.
Unhealthy decisions lead us to more negativity, failure, fear, worry, loss of connection with others, pain, hurt, etc. Whatever you focus on, multiplies.
For example, because you were previously hurt in a relationship, you decide to close yourself to deep, meaningful connections in the future.
This decision only leads to more pain and hurt because you cut yourself off from the possibility to experience what you truly desire — love, trust, deep connection.
Or, let’s say, you have failed in business miserably previously. You really would like to be a successful business owner, but you feel like a failure and fear that you might fail again. So you avoid taking additional risks.
That only leads to more failure because you don’t even give yourself a chance. You have failed, even before you have started.
As you see in these two examples, you can make a decision based on fear or love.
Fear — “I have had this negative experience; it might happen again, so I won’t even try.”
Love — “I love myself and others, so I believe the best about myself, other people, and positive outcomes.”
We listen to fear when our lives are run by limiting beliefs, past negative experiences, a lack of hope and faith. But we don’t need to listen to the voice of fear; we can choose love.
Can you see how our decisions can be either healthy or unhealthy?
Make decisions that your future self — your higher self will appreciate.
You can either reach your higher self through the shortest distance possible, or you can take extra loops by making unhealthy decisions on the way there.
The thing that will help you in this decision-making process will be a clear vision. Once you have a clear vision of the best version of yourself — your higher self (values, character), the lifestyle, and the impact you want to make, making decisions becomes way easier.
A healthy decision will be the one that will bring you towards your vision.