I have encountered a bit of this lately; friends of mine deciding whether or not they should go on that vacation, buy that house…marry that guy. I used to have trouble making decisions too, until I ended up getting divorced, and concluding that there was obviously something wrong with my decision-making capabilities. For over a year, I put all of my major decisions to a vote of my close friends and family. It worked out pretty well…I did get tired of my entire life being up for debate ALL of the TIME, but I have to say the results were no worse than what I’d chosen for myself. Now I have a 3 step process to deciding anything big, and I think that applying this would help anyone’s decision making process much easier. Here it is:
1-Enlist the help of trusted friends…to pray. I ask people to pray for me all the time. If it’s important to me, I have no shame in asking, and if you do, think of it this way: would you ever think less of a friend of yours for asking you to pray for them in a difficult situation? If you would, you’re a bad friend. Sorry to be blunt. And if they mock you for asking…guess what? Better to know what kind of friend they are sooner rather than later.
2-Do your homework. Good things come to those who are prepared. So ask experts, google stuff, go to the library…do whatever you have to to learn as much as you can about what you are making a decision on. If it’s buying a house, research what the surrounding area has been zoned for and ask 3 different realtors about their predictions about future property values. If it’s about dating, ask mutual friends etc. This is not a weird or obsessive thing to do…this is called homework, and it’s even more important out of school.
3-Trust your Gut. At the end of the day, this is your life and your decision and whatever you decide has to feel right for you. So even if the first two steps look all clear, if it doesn’t feel right it’s a no-go. You need to be able to picture yourself in the proposed scenario and have a nice, easy, peaceful feeling when you think about it. If you don’t…be wary. This could very well be the trick answer; like on multiple choice tests where two of the provided answers are clearly false, one is the right answer, and one is so close to the right answer that it makes you second-guess what you know to be true. Don’t fall for the trick answer! Try it out in your head, “live” in your new decision for a bit before it’s made…if you experience anything but complete bliss, you’re either not ready or this is the wrong choice.
Making a decision needn’t be any more complicated than these 3 steps. A lot of the time the deliberation we experience is not actually indecision, but avoidance of knowing an answer that we don’t like; an unpleasant breakup or the reality that we really don’t need to make a large purchase right now. If this is the case, simply skip the steps (you’ve actually already done them in your head), and proceed directly to honnesty with yourself. Honnesty…that’s a whole other blog right there…