Why You Need To Think Before You Act- 10 Eye Opening Reasons

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Our actions are essential parts of us that when made, are almost impossible to reverse. This is why the significance of making decisions carefully before implementing them can not be overemphasized.

A crucial aspect of decision-making is thinking and this is why the question, why is it important to think before you act? continues to gain modern prominence.

The importance of thinking before you act is depicted in our daily lives. At one point or another, we see people around whose lives suffer as a result of their impulsive actions. From potentials for success, avoidance of regrets to better opportunities, there are numerous reasons why it’s important to think before you act.

To begin with, weighing your thoughts carefully is equally as important as the process of implementing the actions you’ve decided on.

When weighed though, there must be a considerable number of logical reasons supporting the actions you have taken. Follow us as we take you on a journey of these reasons in the rest of this article.


Why Should You Think Before You Act?

In a world where everything moves quite fast, the need to make quick decisions can’t be overemphasized. As a result of how everything runs around you, there’s a great need to think at a quick pace and make instant decisions.

The downside of this is that people end up making strings of wrong decisions as they have less time to remain calm and think about their actions properly.

Thinking before you act might come off as crucial and its importance feels overhyped but the reasons behind this account for how beneficial this habit can be in our lives in the long run.

In some cases, when trying to arrive at solutions for a problem, there might be more viable solutions that can be lost when you don’t run your actions through several thought processes first.

Furthermore, this art of proper thinking has been practiced by quite a lot of successful people. Different books capitalize on this practice to pass across diverse lessons. These and more support the fact that thinking before you act is not only important to your overall welfare, but also to that of others.

If you need extra conviction as to the necessity of engaging in deliberate thinking before making decisions and how adopting this habit can impact your life and those of people around you, here are some reasons to consider.


1.  Prevention Of Extreme Consequences

Impulsivity comes with its large share of regrets and unwanted consequences are a huge part of them. Let’s use a cooking activity as an example to demonstrate this.

When you plan to fry some fish and you don’t think before dipping them into a pan of oil, you face the risks of hot oil splashing on you if the fish is still wet or your fish getting burnt if the oil is very hot. All these could have averted if certain thoughts have been made before jumping right into the action.

This is just a half of different instances that could blow up into something of a much bigger proportion. From accidents to irreparable damages, several severe consequences could occur if you don’t give a few thoughts before doing some things. It’s vivid here to see the relevance of thinking before acting on certain things.

You can avoid regrets, accidents, and damages too. The power of thinking prepares you for some of the worst that could happen and more, how to tackle them when they do.

But even then, the chances of them happening at all is brought to the barest minimum as proper thinking helps you avoid them altogether. With this, you can protect both yourself and your loved ones.

Although some actions might give you less time to think, but before doing anything, remember what a calm mind can do. An example is angry outbursts.

Acting on anger sometimes comes up as impulsive. But before you act with this motivation, think of things that could be lost or destroyed in the process.

You could lose a wonderful friendship or relationship, you could lose your dignity and respect, and worse, lives could be lost.

When you consider all these within a short time, you can practice the art of self-control and find better ways to solve the root cause of the problem. This is only possible if you work on the art of thinking before you act.


2.  Helps Create Proper Plans

Plans are a result of critical thinking that provides you with the power to achieve success. But to make certain plans alive and viable, thinking is important.

When you compare and contrast several thoughts, you can make conclusive deductions that can in turn form viable plans to help you achieve your desired intentions.

Think about a game of football for example. Do you think goals can be scored or a winning team can emerge if a detailed plan wasn’t made? Of course not.

The successful coach or manager must have spent hours thinking of the right strategy to adopt, the right formation to set his places, and the right areas to attack.

He must have passed his ideas to his players with authority and confidence because he is certain of his plans. And the players must have capitalized on the perfect plan they were given to turn out victorious.

Thinking before you act gives you opportunities to create plans which in turn can create successful assurances in different activities you embark on.


3.  Respect

Respect is something we want from people. It’s a good feeling to be the recipient of that feeling from people. But as great as this feels, it’s also equally important to understand respect is earned and not an element of demand.

No one owes anyone respect. So if you want to be respected, you have to earn it and one of the best ways to achieve this is to prove yourself worthy of it.

One is the best ways to earn respect from people around you – your work colleagues, family, friends, or study colleagues – is making good decisions, showing commitment, being reliable, trustworthy, and kind too. When you express the fact people can confide in you and prove that your word is everything, you get to garner their respect.

But understand that when you run into actions without thinking about the consequences that abound in them or the possible outcomes, you lose face in the eyes of these people as you might be regarded as a reckless and irresponsible person. Also, in future situations, they will not have full trust in you because the respect lost is difficult to regain.

Taking these into consideration, you can understand that thinking before you act is important as it not only helps you make the right decisions but also determines the layers of respect other people place on you.


4.  Reflection Of Your Image

Understanding your actions is a mirror for your image, it helps in seeing the reason for thinking before breathing life into actions.

When you put some thoughts into what you want to embark on, you weigh several options on it and look for several paths towards making it a success.

That expresses how much of a brilliant person you are. It also goes on to show people you’re composed and patient; that you are willing to take your time if it will help you make proper decisions.

Your reputation will no doubt suffer a hit if you are known for taking impulsive actions that backfire more times than they work out.

It portrays you as a reckless and irresponsible person and takes away certain positive values from you. This can even affect you in the future by taking opportunities that can change your life away from you.

So consider how thinking before acting can pave the ways for people to let themselves into your life and see how much of an asset you can be for them, anytime, any day, anywhere. Talking about opportunities…


5.  Opportunities

Thinking before you act also helps you calculate different risks and also opens your eyes to the opportunities an action can create for you. Imagine a tailor who has to create wonderful, fitting designs for their clients.

Unless a client comes with their preferred design to make the thinking process easier for you, you would have to engage in a series of critical thoughts.

Before sewing the attire, you would think of several styles you can create and processes you can adopt to create an adorable outfit.

This won’t be possible if you just get down to cutting the material. Your head will be all over the place and you might not get yourself settled for a style. So you’re at the mercy of your hands which isn’t one of the most reliable things to do.

Thinking opens you to an array of ways to make an action easier, better, and comfortable to arrive at. It opens you to several opportunities and puts you right there at the top.


6.   The Power Of Actions

Actions possess the power to create things that might not be irreversible and more also set a course going. Knowing the path of your actions can also make you understand why you should think before you act.

Facing an action head-on without thinking can cause you to create something that’ll stand for a while. And how you go about it determines if it’ll carry a positive or negative impact on those around it.

The actions you carry out also have the potential to affect the actions of others around you too, either positively or negatively. Seeing the influence this power carries also serves as a reason

Ultimately, knowing the height of the power your actions possess will help you understand better why you should think before you act.


7.   Self-Control

Thinking before you act also teaches you the habit of self-control, an important feature to carry in the course of one’s life.

The ability to regulate and alter your responses to avert undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and clarify the success of long-term goals.

Thinking before you act affords you the chance to channel yourself to face certain things that are bound to happen.

When you restrain yourself from getting on certain things, you assist your actions in reaching a successful place too. A place devoid of any animosity or tension.

If you are currently struggling with how to effectively control your emotions, I have outlined 6 strategies to try out in this blog post so your emotions don’t control you into making lifelong mistakes and so you don’t become a slave to your emotions.


8.   Success Of Your Actions

Browsing through different pros and cons when you think allows you to find the best possible ways to make your actions reach a successful goal.

When you remember how certain people have done the same action you want to carry out in the past and how they’ve dealt with it, it helps to connect these dots with yours and find a line that leads you to success at the end of the day. When you think before you act, it provides you with chances of success when that action is finally carried out.


9.   Disruption Of Past Achievements

In the building of a house, only one misstep can make everything come crashing down. The same goes for some of the milestones you’ve made in your time.

It can take one action to neutralize all these hence the need for thinking before some actions.

Seeing all you’ve sacrificed and how you’ve toiled to reach some places in your life, won’t it be very sad to see all these go to waste? To save yourself from this sorrow, give some thoughts before you act.


10.   Makes For A Brighter Future

Our actions are one of the major determinants of how our future will pan out. In any way you see yourself in the future, what you do now gives you the power to influence your future and create your path.

Thinking plays a huge role in how your actions play out which in turn influences how your future will look. This is why it is important to think actively and weigh existing pros and cons before making decisions on important matters in your life.


What Does It Mean When You Act Before You Think?

Acting before thinking connotes a lot of things. Like if you blurt out something, purchase something you did not make plans for, or run across a road without looking, the tendency to act before you think is known as impulsivity.

To a degree, this is quite a common behavior, especially in children or teenagers. But as adults, it’s not as frequent as there’s a higher rate of intelligence.

But in children or teenagers, it doesn’t necessarily mean a sign of trouble. As their brains are still in development, it’s normal for them to act this way.

On another note, there are a few unusual meanings given to acting before you think. Some believe acting before you think is a sign of strength and experience.

They feel masters who have spent a lot of time perfecting their craft don’t go through thinking before they go head-on with their actions.

Their actions come naturally and freely from instincts and do not go through any thinking process. To them, a person who travels in their thoughts too much endangers their own touch of reality. They feel thinking makes us disconnect from our senses.

They also feel that thinking is a sign of weakness. They have the assumption that thinking is proof that perfection is not achievable; that there’s a need for more practice to be done.

The thinker isn’t open to their true potential. But then as you should know, opinions will differ and these are just ideas some people hold about acting before you think.

Studies have shown that there are negative implications for people who act before they think. For starters, people will view you as an irresponsible and reckless person. They believe you don’t see the consequences of an action and it defines you as a person that isn’t smart.

Regrets are something most people frown at so when they see you as a person who always makes regrettable decisions, it might ruin your reputation as a trustworthy or intelligent person.


How Do You Think Before You Act?

The diverse implications of acting before you think have been widely discussed here. As such, it is easy to see the reason why it is important to think before you act.

But then, how can you think before you act? Well, here are a few things that can help you in that course.


1.   Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation can go a long way in helping you think before you act. The more you meditate, the easier it will become for you to find unhealthy emotions and restrain yourself from acting thoughtlessly.

Meditation might be seen as an unnecessary task but it’s also quite simple and very important in finding your core. Noting how this can help your thinking in the long run, you get to understand how beneficial meditation goes in your actions too.

By sitting in silence for five to ten minutes daily and listening to your own body and brain, you can significantly improve your awareness. In time, you will learn to recognize your body and mind’s signals and be able to prevent intense emotions that characterize thoughtless acting.


2.   Practicing Silence

When excitement fills us, words find their way out of our mouths like water out of a tap. The problem here is that we get used to our speed of speech and keep talking very quickly, even if our brain hasn’t had the time to process the information and think about what we are going to say next. That’s how you say and possibly act on things that you regret later.

To help yourself avoid these implications, practice silence. When you are in a conversation and you observe it’s getting heated, make yourself silent for a while to just get a hold of what’s happening around you and how this began in the first place.

Reduce your speech speed. Give yourself time before you reply to any questions. Create pauses and take breaths in between sentences.

This will not only keep you from creating thoughtless mistakes but also give you a chance to tackle things without an aloof feeling.

You’ll also find yourself getting back to how you were when you started. Composed, concise, and unhurried speech is also often seen as a confidence and ability signal which is also important in making great decisions for good actions.

The next time you feel something is slipping off your hands, take some breaths a couple of times or count backward from ten. If you need to, excuse yourself with a quick “Please don’t be annoyed, but can we take some time and then continue? I feel like this is getting out of my hands and I’d rather not do something I regret later.” I, for one, practice this quite often to get a hold of myself when I’m confused so as not to act rashly or without thinking.


3.  Learning To Observe

Emotional excitement not only creates an opportunity for us to be quick in our speech, but it also makes us compelled to instantly react to anything we get. The impulse to react to certain things as they’re thrown at us can be quite overwhelming.

Learn to breathe and observe first before acting on things you get from people. Practice not being sucked into impulsive actions, and two simple ways of doing this include:

  • Become an observer instead of an actor
  • Delay your responses

With this, you get to ease into thinking before action and more, make better thoughts that are capable of leading to actions with little or no consequences.


4.   Good Listening

When someone is trying to explain something to you that’s capable of setting you off, the temptation to interrupt them or put together an equal or even stronger comeback can be quite consuming. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Instead, let them finish their statements.

Don’t make conclusions, think about their voids or an answer in your head. Channeled the listener in you, then let your thoughts rummage through what they said, and finally, find a way to reply to them.

If you let them finish talking, you have more time to calm yourself and also grasp everything they have to say. This way, you can also avoid giving back a reply without all of the stories.

For some, being a listener isn’t one of their strongest suits which requires them to practice on working on that side of them. A great source of learning is your daily conversations.

Adopt the habit of listening to people until they’re done with what they have to say. Ask them to repeat themselves to get a full grasp of what they’ve said and to understand them and their motivations.

Balance is what conversations and interactions are about. When you overreact, you tamper with it. By listening and calming down before a reaction to what was said, you bring back the balance and become more composed.

With all these, understand no one is perfect and you’re prone to making mistakes but also know that these mistakes can be avoided.


5.   Identify The Triggers

One of these ways to think before you say is by recognizing the triggers behind your impulsive reactions. It is only when you can recognize these triggers that you would be able to find ways to go around them.

Observe when sensations start rising inside you. Perhaps it’s a heat filling up your body, a pulse in your head, a knot you feel in your stomach, or a tightening in your chest.

With this, you can understand what to do and how to go about them. Recognize these triggers as signs to turn on that pause button in you. A simple awareness of what you feel paves a way for you to think before you reply with another action.

By pointing out what can trigger you to give back an impulsive action, you give yourself a chance to also think it through before going forth with what’s on your mind.

That way, you get opportunities to deliberate whether that action will impact you in an unhealthy way and if so, you can alter it to give you the best possible positive results all within a short period.

Remember, life can be unpredictable which is why it’s important to be prepared in different ways to avoid potential areas of conflicts. Thinking is a wonderful way to prepare yourself to face any problems life can throw at you.



Sometimes, certain things will give you triggers and make you just want to dive in. However, thinking before you act is a special trait to possess as it allows you to douse hostile situations before making composed and confident decisions.

If you have a penchant for making impulsive decisions, follow the tips presented in this article to change that habit. Not only will enrich your life, but it will also enhance your personality and refine the way people see you.


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Author: Afam Uche

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