• Aya

Making the wrong decision

If you are facing a big decision such as international relocation, you do not want to make the wrong decision.


Nobody wants to make the wrong decision. Nobody is willing to regret in the future.


It’s so common, and it is understandable. You would like to measure your risk before making a decision. And as you get older, you become more wise, more knowledgeable, and more cautious. It is good. Especially if you have a family, you have to be even more careful.


However, I’d like to ask you to think about the following questions if you worry about making the wrong decisions.


>What is “the wrong decision”?

>How do you know if your decision is “right” or “wrong”?

>Who decides if it is “right” or “wrong”?

>What would be the worst-case scenario if you make THE wrong decision?


Many of us don’t like uncertainty. And it is normal. Our brains are developed not to like uncertainty. Also, we don’t like unfamiliarity either. And it is common as well. We have evolved to learn to survive. We learned to avoid risks and reckless challenges, instead, we learned routine and familiarity that is often strongly connected with safety. So people feel safer and more comfortable with routine and familiarity.


When we are in a situation where we have to make a big decision, our brains tell us “Don’t take the offer! You don’t know what will happen!! You will regret!!!” or “Don’t go to the place, you’ve never been there before! A lot of terrible things will happen if you go there!!”. Those messages warn us strongly, urgingly and repeatedly.


Of course, you don’t want to go ahead if there is a big possibility of failure!


However, how true is it?


Let me ask you the same questions again.


>What is “the wrong decision”?

→ If you face difficulty to communicate with local people, how “wrong” is it? If you miss your family and friends, would it be a failure?


>How do you know if your decision is “right” or “wrong”?

→ We make decisions based on our past experience, our belief systems, and our values. We might not have enough information to feel certain, but how could you do better?


>Who decides if it is the “right” decision or “wrong” decision?

→ If someone says it is the “wrong” decision, how do you know it is true? It is you who decide it is “right’ or “wrong”. Even if people around you say it is the “wrong” decision, it doesn’t have to be “wrong” as long as you believe it is the “right” decision for you.


>What would be the worst-case scenario if you make THE wrong decision?

→If you decide to relocate to a foreign country but don’t like it, what would be the absolute worst-case scenario? Probably you go have to pack your stuff and go back to your home country. Yes, it’s not wonderful, but how terrible is it? Or you might not be able to adjust to the host country at all. Your daily life can be super miserable until the end of your assignment. And yes, it’s not ideal. However, how likely does it happen? Isn’t the assignment worth trying?


It is always important to consider all the risks and not jump into opportunities all the time. However, if you worry and concern way much and it limits your opportunity, probably it is also important to be aware that you might lose the opportunity. It is not easy to measure risks and opportunities and judge the two. But there are many ways to measure them.

For example, you can make a chart like below, and jot down everything that comes up in your mind.



Once you create a chart and make the situation visible, it becomes easier to compare the two choices. You can post the chart somewhere you can see for a few days, and add your ideas every time you have something in your mind.


This process gives you an opportunity to think deeper and broader as well as clearer. If someone is involved in this decision (probably your spouse), it is a great idea to work on the activity together.


If you can believe you have discussed and thought thoroughly, you won’t feel you have made a wrong decision even if you face challenges after the relocation.


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