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What is The Risk of Doing Nothing?

May 31, 2021
• Updated
August 25, 2023
Read time —
3 Minutes
The view across the bay betrays the fact the person is doing nothing.

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In this Article

What is the risk of doing nothing?

Let’s be clear; not deciding is a decision. Given the importance of decision making, you would think we should know this, but we don't. Of course, we don’t and it leads us to this fatal error. We assume doing nothing risks nothing. And that is the devil of confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is the mind trick we like to play on ourselves.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values (Source – Wikipedia).

Humans have a flaw – well, several to be fair. Our minds have hundreds of inbuilt biases. Sometimes, they can be extremely helpful, but they can also lead us astray. One such bias is confirmation bias.

When we are faced with a decision we don’t want to make, we stutter, stumble, and produce excuses. Often this means seeking – and finding information that supports our desire not to change. And we will seize it – and use it to not decide.

What is the Risk of Doing Nothing?

Our central argument: the one confirmation bias latches onto is that nothing changes. We assume doing nothing risks nothing.

Of course, this isn’t the case.

The world changes. We change. Events far beyond our control change people and situations all the time.

Asking what is the risk of doing nothing is a question to push your thoughts beyond what your confirmation bias is telling you. It is asking you to consider the what-ifs. Of course, you can’t prevent the forces of entropy – of uncertainty and serendipity doing what they do but you can consider what they might do.  

With these thoughts, you begin to consider the downsides – or upsides of doing nothing. That’s the kicker; the thought about how you can evade both confirmation bias – and entropy.

Critical Thinking

This question is another critical thinking question. It is part of the guide to using critical thinking questions to improve your decisions.

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