If you suffer from paralysis by analysis, this story is certainly meant for you. If you only occasionally fret over decision making, this story is very much meant for you. Really, unless you’re 100% decisive there’s an important message in this story for you. If you second guess yourself, you should probably stop. It sounds easier said than done, trust me, I understand.
A study published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics studied the impact of trusting our first instinctive decision making, to decisions made once we’ve second-guessed ourselves. The study was actually conducted of sports gamblers in particular but is cited as being credible for any decision that’s based on our perception/predication about likely outcomes.
In the study of 57,000 decisions, the first decisions, before second-guessing, produced 17% better results. What’s also interesting is that the longer people wait to change a decision, the worse the outcomes generally are. In other words, it’s best to be decisive but if you’re going to second guess yourself – do it quickly and then be decisive. Odds are your change still won’t be better than your initial decision but it’s likely to be better than whatever you’d come up with next.