Are you indecisive? One of my daughters immediately feels stressed and anxious if she has to make a decision. It could be something as minor as choosing between chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We spend a lot of time trying to provide tips to help her develop confidence and decision-making skills.
There will be times in most of our lives when we must make some pretty big decisions. Perhaps, you’re at a crossroads in your career and are trying to decide whether to stay on board where you’re at or pursue new options. Maybe you’ve been considering relocating but aren’t sure how your kids would adjust to a new school or neighborhood. There are any number of issues that could place in you in a position of having to make a serious decision. Sometimes, we make mistakes, and hopefully, we learn from them. Other times, we feel sure of ourselves and plow forward without regret. Keep these tips in mind to help with your discernment process.
Tips to help always include choices
When I was a much younger wife and mother, I used to get irritated with my husband when he would tell me that I always have a choice in life, no matter what. I would try to debate the issue, explaining that circumstances could arise leaving a person with no choice in a particular matter. He would adamantly disagree, saying that every person always has a choice in every situation.
It took me years to realize that my husband was right. Life is a journey — a series of choices, if you will. You might make a conscious choice or an unconscious one, but you’re always making choices, and you always have a choice to make. It’s helpful to remember this when faced with a big decision. Make choices that help you make good decisions and decisions that help you make good choices.
What does that mean?
Let’s say you’re extremely unhappy with your current job. You have an opportunity to work somewhere else. You decide to stay where you are because you don’t want to travel an extra 10 minutes each way to the new workplace. Making this decision means you are choosing to remain in a job that makes you unhappy. Therefore, you either need to find a way to become happy where you’re at or live with the unhappiness you have because you don’t want to make a change, at least, until some other opportunity arises, perhaps.
Tips to help make big decisions should include questioning yourself
In the previous scenario, you’d be making a decision and a choice that might leave you in the same quandary you had to start. You’d still be unhappy at work. If you make a decision that doesn’t feel right or doesn’t help you resolve your initial problem, it’s okay to question your own decisions and choices.
We’re often our own worst critics, so it’s important to analyze or question yourself without harsh judgement.
Fear should not be the driving force of a decision
If you’re fearful, it pays to ask yourself what exactly is causing the fear before you make a decision. Are you afraid to fail or make a mistake? Do you worry about what others will think of your decision? Are you afraid you’ll wind up regretting the decision you make?
Let these tips to help you make big decisions in life also help you learn to let go of fear. It’s a trap. In fact, it’s often a trap the enemy sets to discourage you or to cause you to doubt God’s providence and care. Many verses in Scripture tell us not to be afraid. This doesn’t mean frightening things will never happen in our lives, only that, as children of God, we need not live in fear.
Reach out for additional support as needed
You’re often not alone in your struggle. You might have a friend or family member who has been faced with a similar decision. Someone who has “been there, done that” can share his or her personal experiences and perhaps, offer some advice.
As a Christian, I trust that God is always there to provide support. Any decision centered on prayer can be made with confidence. If you trust that God is good all the time, then, no matter what happens as a result of your decision, if you made it prayerfully, you can trust that He has allowed the outcome.
Trust yourself and God, then forge ahead
When searching for tips to help make a big decision, look no further than your own heart. Who has more of your best interest at heart than YOU? Have you ever had a ‘gut’ feeling about something? That’s called “instinct” and is a God-given gift that comes in handy, especially when faced with a big decision.
If you’re impulsive, struggling with an addiction or have some other impediment that makes you think you can’t trust yourself at this time, then refer back to the previous tip and reach out for support. In most cases, however, it’s important that we learn to trust ourselves and to understand that we have a lot of control over our own lives.
Let’s cap our 5 tips to help
No two people are exactly the same, so what helps one make a big decision might not be applicable in another person’s circumstance. However, here’s a recap of the 5 tips to help that we’ve covered in this post, which, I think are general enough that most people would benefit from putting them into practice:
- Remember that you always have a choice.
- It’s okay to question your choices and process.
- Avoid making fear-based decisions.
- Reach out for additional support as needed.
- Trust your instincts.
Do you have tips to help Hot Mess Press readers make big decisions in their lives? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t? Visit our Facebook page to leave a comment under this post!