The 6 Worst Decisions You Can Make In Your Life, According To Experts

We make big and small decisions every day. Some lead to success, and others to regret.

Woman not being authentic to herself Ron Lach, marekuliasz | Canva

Regret can come after making a poor decision or failing to decide and missing out on something. Regret is an odd creature, as we tend to regret the things we haven't done, and no one escapes this life without regretting some of their actions or inactions.

Either way, regret is a sense of loss, a sense of something missing that can not be gained or replaced. Regret grows from a lost or wasted opportunity from a poor decision.


To ease the strain of regret, we asked our experts about the worst decisions a person can make. By identifying the problems to come, we can cut regret off at the intersection before it overtakes us and our lives.

RELATED: Why We Make Decisions We Regret Later — And How To Start Making Good Choices


Here, Yourtango experts reveal six of the worst decisions you can make in your life:

1. Aligning with someone else instead of yourself

We often focus too much on what others think and too little on what we think. We care more about what others want than what we want. This leaves us drained and ungrounded. Aligning with yourself replenishes and helps keep you on the path to a fulfilling life.

Suzanne Manser, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist

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2. Deciding to stop learning

We all have challenges when we get busy or have too many other responsibilities—family, work, friendships—but we can't lose the habit of learning new things that interest us. When we stop seeking new input and information, our senses become dull to the possibilities of life and make us a bit boring! Actively pursuing topics that interest us keeps us vibrant and expansive. If you find yourself feeling flat, pick something you've always wondered about and research it. This can build a learning habit that supports your whole well-being.


Amy Bracht, Coach

RELATED: How To Start Saying 'No' More Often When The World Expects A 'Yes'

3. Making a decision from fear or anxiety

Here's a question to ask yourself when making any important decision: Am I choosing an action based primarily on fear or anxiety? If so, that will distort your clear thinking and probably even the healthy outcome you want. Instead, you can explore what you truly want, why, and how to encourage a long-term, beneficial result. Challenging? Yes, but it is a better worthwhile investment.

Ruth Schimel, Ph.D., Career & Life Management Consultant, Author

RELATED: How To Know If You Should Follow Your Heart (Or Ignore It!)


4. Not communicating authentically and openly

One of the worst decisions you can make is not to share your dreams with people you care about and who care about you (if they are supportive). Or hire a coach to support and guide you.

If you want to avoid conflict at all costs and have a misunderstanding with someone important (spouse/partner, colleague, boss, child, parent, friend) and you don't know what to say, tell them you aren't sure how to set this right. You don't want to ignore something has changed, and your relationship with them is valuable.

When someone is angry at you, DO NOT DEFEND YOURSELF. Have empathy for them. Try to understand why they are so upset - are they venting to you or angry with you? When you listen, people feel you care and are more likely to calm down. Ask questions. Don't make promises. Listen from love.

Marilyn Sutherland, Communication and Relationship Coach


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5. Betraying yourself or others

The worst decision a person can make is betrayal. Cheating on a spouse, on exams, or a friendship destroys another person's life and leaves you with a negative memory.

Reta Faye Walker, Ph.D. Relationship Coach

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6. Not making a decision at all

Not making a decision is one of the worst mistakes people make in life. We can become paralyzed by fear of making certain decisions, so we hold off making the decisions we need to make. In my experience, that decision that isn’t made that ruins people's lives is NOT ENDING RELATIONSHIPS that need to end.


Jennifer Hargrave, JD, Attorney

It is OK if you regret making decisions from your past. This is how we learn and grow. Regretting bad decisions becomes the motivation for making better decisions.

Whether the decision is the best or the worst, as long as we keep learning, growing, and deciding, we are living, and that is nothing to regret!

RELATED: Decisions Are Tough — But Here Are 4 Ways To Always Make The Right One For Yourself

Will Curtis is an associate editor at Yourtango.