Every day we are faced with big and little decisions. Some are super easy and take zero thought. Some, however, take the wisdom of God because they are weighty and life-altering. When I’m up against something huge, I try one or all of these tips to make sure I’m thinking through the decision from every angle. And to be clear, I am praying through each one of these exercises, asking God to reveal to me what I need to know and which path I should take.
Tip 1: Pros & cons
You may not be a list-maker or journaler, but I’m telling you that there is something powerful to seeing in black and white what you really feel about something. Say I’m trying to decide between staying in my current job versus quitting and starting a business. I will make a pros and cons list for staying in the position AND a pros and cons list for starting the new venture. Be ruthless here…write down every big and little pro and con that comes to your mind.
It’s a bit like picking up a shiny object and holding it to the light, turning it over and over in your hands to examine it from every side. This will bring such clarity.
Tip 2: Try on the decision
This seems odd but always brings such insight. I pretend to make the decision one way. Keeping with the above example, I tell myself, I’m staying in my job. Then I act as if I’ve made the decision and I see how I feel. If you have the time, spend a day with it. If you don’t have that kind of time, then take an hour. Ask God to reveal to you how you feel. Journal about it as if you’ve truly decided. Do you feel excited? Relieved? Calm? Or are you freaking out or sick to your stomach? Then, flip it. Try on the other choice. In this instance, I’m starting my own business. How do you feel? This is going to be amazing! Or what have I done?!? Is the anxiety rooted in the fact that you’re taking a big leap and making a change or is it because deep down you know you’re not quite ready to take this step?
We’ve been given minds and feelings for a reason. Use them to help you navigate tricky situations.
Tip 3: Remind yourself of Truth
God says that if we are followers of Jesus, he has given us the mind of Christ. That’s a big deal!
God also says he’s given us the power of a sound mind. You may have heard some horrible things over the years, someone may have led you to believe you are crazy or an idiot, but you are not.
Finally, God promises that he’s given us the Holy Spirit as our very own personal Counselor, dwelling within us. We are never alone and we never have to decide anything truly on our own.
Tip 4: Get a 2nd (and 3rd and 4th…) opinion
There is wisdom in many counselors. Talking to a friend, mentor, coach, or counselor who knows you well and whom you trust can shed some light that you might not be able to see on your own.
Tip 5: Chill
Most decisions are not life and death. Most decisions are not irreversible. God is sovereign, he plays the ball where it lies, and it’s (usually) not the end of the world if you make a mistake and have to course-correct. You can always, always try again.
You’re smarter and stronger than you think you are, girls!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. -Psalm 143:8
If you’re at a crossroads and could use a listening ear, an outside perspective and some added support, set up a coaching call with me today!
Excellent advice! Making hard life decisions can be so daunting. I will share it with my readers. Thank you.
These are great tips! I tend to be an all-or-nothing girl, and I angst over even small decisions that I know intellectually are not permanent or life threatening. I needed this reminder!
I totally get it, Bethany. Thanks for sharing!
This was super helpful for me.
Happy to hear this, Ellen!