Why Good People Make Bad Decisions (How to Survive the Consequences)

It’s a relentless cycle that, if uninterrupted, locks you into a life of things you swore you would never do, ways you insisted you would never live, and relationships designed to keep you stuck on the wrong side of destiny. It’s not that you are bad-to-the-bone. It’s just a case of being what I call stuck-on-stupid with a bad case of the “cain’t-help-its.”

Poor confidence. Low self-esteem. Being a people-pleaser. Thinking that I wasn’t good enough. That I wasn’t pretty enough. Led me to make a decision repeatedly over and over and over.

Dr. Yolanda Flournah-Perkins

So, What is the Major Malfunction?

Whether you are, as I was, stuck in a cycle of toxic and non-affirming romantic relationships, on your second or third incarceration, or doing damage control from an ill-informed leadership decision, the core causes are almost always a distorted view of self. We come into this world fully and powerfully equipped to execute purpose. Over time, life twists us up into almost unrecognizable versions of who we really are.

The strategy is to weaken our original power enough to make us ineffective where our purpose is concerned. This is why so many are in unfulfilling jobs we don t like, why we are still trying to figure out our life-fit, and why we are meandering through unfulfilling lives with no direction.

Mindset Matters

How we processed, compartmentalized, intellectualized, or cloaked in denial, what we’ve endured affects our worldview. It affects how we experience our lives, careers, and relationships. But, the Joshua dynamic is covert. It works undercover and subconsciously. It draws more of the same drama and trauma into our lives. It is why the Law of Attractions is working against us.

I had to own up to my mistakes.. . I wasn’t a bad person. I just made a simple mistake.

Dr. Yolanda Flournah-Perkins

what now?

We now have to see our past in a different light by rooting out false beliefs and perspectives, re-framing them, and moving forward based on the lessons learned in the process. Here are a few considerations in that regard.

First things first. We have to own where we made mistakes and we have to rightfully separate our responsibility form the responsibilities others have to bare for their own mistakes. Here’s how this played out for me.

Own What’s Yours and Trash the Rest

I stuffed and refused to talk about a traumatizing assault. For well over 30-years it had an invisible, yet indelible, grip on my self-perception because of the shame and self-loathing that resulted from my thinking I deserved what I got. I had internalized this rape as being all my fault for even allowing this man into my life. It was while writing a book that I was forced to face the incident from a more realistic viewpoint. Finally, I told my story to someone who said to me,

“Linda, you talk as if you deserved what happened. You didn’t ask for that. You didn’t deserve it. They have to own what they did to you.”

Dr. Linda F. Williams, DSW

Whose Apple is it, Anyway!
Empowering Purpose to Achieve Your God-Ordained Destiny
Pages 61-62

Eventually I figured out that I had internalized the experience as if I deserved to be raped. Until that moment, I had not seen that I didn’t deserve to be raped just because I made a poor decision.

From the beginning of the event until he let me go, I was at his mercy.  Once it was over, I failed to separate the evil done to me, from who I am. Consequently, the experience and I became one and he may as well have kept me in his unrelenting grip for the next thirty years.

Dr. Linda F. Williams, DSW

Whose Apple is it, Anyway!
Empowering Purpose to Achieve Your God-Ordained Destiny
Page 62

I got free the day I saw this truth and it broke a weeks-long writers block that stood between me and finally finishing the book that took me 7-years and 6-days to complete. That book was my destiny is so many ways

Reclaim Your You-Factor

This is not about creating a “new you.” This is about finding the “true you.” This is the foundation of personal power that drive the positive change you desire. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

In her Tedx Talk, Putting Out the Fire, Dr. Yolanda Flournah-Perkins supported behavioral research regarding how formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reintegrate without returning to prison. As a 23-year-old on track to graduate from undergraduate school that semester, she was sentenced to 37-months in federal prison because of an ill-advised and life-altering decision.

[I] re-framed myself . . . realizing that the mistakes I made, I didn’t have to. I had to think about how I perceived me. Who was Yolanda?

Dr. Yolanda Flournah-Perkins

And, therein lies the awesome sauce. The way to take revenge on a painful past and start making better life, career, and relationship decisions is to embrace the lessons learned from the past, own your own responsibility in what led to self-defeating decisions, and take the lessons-learned forward into a better future.

Do not dwell on what you cannot change. Focus where you have control – yourself. So, let’s take steps to re-frame your self-perspective.

Do this to reclaim and re-frame

  1. Re-evaluate your mindset. How do you see yourself.
  2. Do a little digging around and also ask others who know you:
    a) How do you see me?
    b) How do you think I see myself?
    c) What do I not see about myself?
  3. Take that information and review your life for traumatic events such as loss, abuse, neglect, anything that may have been emotionally difficult.
  4. Identify patterns of toxic relationships, poor decision-making, and determine how they are tied to negative and painful life events.

This takes well-placed time, but at the end you will be much closer to the powerful Your-Factor that leads to destiny-driven decisions and the life you deserve to live.

Dr. Yolanda Flournah-Perkins’ TEDX TALK

An author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and empowerment coach who has presented talks at public schools, churches, and community events for women and children. But her life was not always inspirational.

A Special Word to Abuse and Trauma Survivors

Trauma and abuse tend to negatively alter an individual’s ability to precieve reality and truth. The triggers can be so pervasive that they become background noise as we gear up to survival mode just to function on a daily basis. It can be tiring. Its easy to want to give up, especially since you don’t know who to trust with your story.

As a survivor, myself, I’ve been there and know the courage it takes to face down the past. Its encouraging to know that a lifetime of change is empowered by a single act of courage. I wish you all the courage you need to do more than survive – it’s time for you to thrive! Here are some resources to take that courage to the next level.

Maximize Your Emotional Intelligence

Those with high levels of emotional intelligence have a higher degree of mastery over themselves and enjoy more success. But, for survivors of abuse and trauma, traditional training misses the mark. As survivors, we face challenges that tradition Emotional Intelligence trainings don’t provide. Sharpen your emotional power with this useful tool.

A Safe Place with a Trusted Friend

Because I’ve survived sexual assault, domestic violence, and divorce, I know where you’ve been. Let’s talk.

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