It can be intimidating to make big decisions in life when you know they might have lasting consequences. Decisions like where to go to college, or who to marry, or what career to pursue, or where to live, or when to move, or when it’s time to try something new…all those things are big decisions and they can cause us to get anxious and fearful of picking the wrong thing. Whenever I have a big decision to make in my life I have a set of steps that I try to follow to help me to figure out the “right thing to do”. These steps have helped me tremendously in life so I thought I would share them with all of you in hopes that they can be of value to some of you when you are trying to make important decisions in your own lives. I realize that each of us are different and we all have different beliefs, so some of the steps I follow may not be relevant to all of you, but hopefully everyone can glean something that will be helpful to them:
Step 1. Identify the issue you are trying to make a decision on.
As part of this process I write down what my options are ahead of me to choose from so I have clarity on what I am trying to figure out.
Step 2. I always make sure and say a prayer to ask for guidance as I am trying to make my decision. I realize that not everyone believes in prayer, but I personally do, so I always try and pray at the start of trying to make big decisions in my life so I can have help to figure things out.
Step 3. Study the problem. This step is the one that takes the longest for me. In this step I try to examine all of the facts. What are the pros and cons of each option that I have to consider? What are the concerns I feel about each one of them? What are the benefits that would come with each option? I do as much fact gathering as I can to make sure I am basing my decisions on the best data possible. Part of this step is me seeking advice from those who have experience, those who are smarter than me (and that is a lot of people!), and those who know me best. That is all part of the fact gathering process.
Step 4. Make a decision. After I have studied something as much as I can then its time for me to make a decision. This is always the scary part because we never want to choose the wrong thing. But after all you can do to study something out in your mind then you have to make a choice. Many times in life not making a choice is in essence, making a choice by default, so don’t ever trick yourself into the “wait and see” mode on decisions. Do your best to make a good decision and then make it.
Step 5. Pray for a confirmation of my decision. Once I make a decision for myself that is based on all of the facts and options I considered I always take it back to prayer to tell God that I have made a decision and to ask him to stop me if I am making the wrong one, because my plan is to move ahead based on what I know and what I have decided. And then I have faith he will stop it from going through if it’s not right for me. I realize other people may approach this step differently, but so far in my life doing it this way seems to work pretty good for me.
Step 6. Act – DO IT! Once I have decided on something and prayed that God will stop me if I am wrong then it is time to put the decision into action and move forward. Once you decide what is right you cannot let yourself get sucked into second guessing it and worrying. If you have done all you can do to make the right choice then you need to have faith that you can move forward doing your best and everything will work out as it should.
The most important thing is to do what my Grandfather Pearson once advised me to do, “Do something, do anything, just make a start.”
Have a great day everyone! ~Amy