When it comes to decision making, a few words that might come to mind are: worry, stress, anxiety, confusion. Over the past year, Jay and I have a lot of decisions. Everything from choosing to build a home, to getting married, and all of the details that come with each. Whether you are choosing which college to attend, deciding to start your own business, or making the decision to truly find yourself, understanding how to make a well informed decision is key to most things in life. Just because we have made a lot of decisions over the past few years, doesn’t mean we are experts. However, Jay and I have collaborated today to bring you our best tips for making decisions, that we hope will be helpful for you!
6 TIPS FOR DECISION MAKING
Do The Research
Whenever I have to make any kind of decision, whether its for our house or for buying a pair of shoes 🙂 , I always do tons of research. I read reviews, I look up blogs that have discussed the item,or topic, and ask people questions. I do wish I would ask more questions, but that is one great tip I have learned from Jay. He always does the research and is not hesitant to ask people questions. If you are making an important decision, or purchase, you want to get input from a variety of people. Listen to what they have to say, evaluate how worthy their word is (if they have an extremely negative view, did they just have a bad experience?) and decide how much of their input you feel that you need to consider. Everyones experiences, views and outcomes are different. What works, or doesn’t work, for them may, or may not work for you. So just keep that in mind when doing your research. But none the less, do the research.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
This recommendation goes hand, in hand, with doing the research. Whenever I am lost at making a decision, I like to take a few minutes to jot down the pros and cons to my options. What are the best things that come along with, or could be a result of, a given option? On the contrary, what are the negatives? What do I truly think is the better option? It doesn’t have to be in-depth, just take a second to think about the best, and worst, outcomes of each, and weight the pros and cons.
Pray About It
As with everything else in life, I always pray about everything. When I feel stuck, unsure, scared or even when I know that I am making the right decision. When I am happy, sad, mad or just living life, I always pray. My mom taught me, when I was young, to pray at night, when I am scared and to always thank God and remember that it will all be ok. Sometimes we don’t make the right decisions. We pray, and pray, and somehow end up in a tearful mess, because things don’t turn out the way we want them too. It feels like the end of the world, because we have found the one door we wanted to pass through closed. Let me tell you, that will happen. But, I promise you, you will be ok. Let me rephrase that. You will be better off, than what you would have been, if that door would have been open for you. I have been there. I been embarrassed from failure, wanted something more than anything else and it just didn’t work out. I can tell you that you will learn from that experience. Every failure, every closed door, every wrong turn and every outcome that you didn’t want, will lead you to the one that God knows you really need.
We don’t always know what is best for us, but God does. I promise he won’t let you down. If you are placed with a decision, you don’t know how to make, pray about it. You might not hear from him right away, you might not think you have heard from him and you might not know which options is best, but he will comfort you.
Pull out your bible and reference the following scriptures. They are some of my favorites and help me feel comforted, when I don’t really know what to do.
Sleep On It
Yes, I just went there. I always sleep on things. Whether you have the time to sleep on it, or you have to ask someone to give you more time, always take at least over night to think things through. I have found, that when it comes to making a decision on something, if I am still thinking about a specific option the next day, I know that it is the choice I feel that I need to make. Although most decisions are more important than purchasing a pair of shoes, or a handbag, when it comes to making big investments, I always think about it overnight. I like to go through and research the item again, weigh the pros and cons, touch things, feel things, and then I like to sleep on it. If I am still thinking about it the next day, I feel that it is obviously on my mind for a reason. I always sleep on a silk pillow case, it helps me sleep so much better!
Go With Your Gut Feeling
Certain light fixtures we have, I knew that I loved them. I just didn’t know where I wanted them to go. After going through this decision making process, I found myself thinking about things over many nights. I knew that I was making the right decision, when I kept thinking of them and finding nothing but flaws in all of my other options. As dumb as it may sound, I truly believe that your gut feeling will not lead you in the wrong direction. I think that we can all really feel when something is wrong, questionable, or if we are making a decision that really doesn’t fit with our intentions, and goals. That’s not to say that sometimes that terrible fear we feel in our gut can’t be good, because fear doesn’t feel good. However, there are times when we have to do fearful things, that will push us out of our comfort zone, to reach that next level of life that we have been wanting for so long. Even though it can be hard, and uncomfortable, listen to yourself. What is your mind, body and soul telling you to do? Go with your gut feeling.
Stand Behind Your Decision
Jay is a firm believer in standing behind your decisions. When it comes to pulling the trigger on a final decision, I will run myself in circles for hours questioning whether I am right, or not. Jay always says I can’t ever make a final decision and he is so right! I’m terrified to make final calls and Jay is the complete opposite. He always makes a decision and stands behind it. Jay believes that, “Standing behind your decision is important in so many ways. Normally your first, and gut decision, is the best decision you will make. If you change that decision, or waver your belief in yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure.” I couldn’t agree with him more. Thankfully, I always have him backing me up, encouraging me, and most importantly reassuring me, when I begin to doubt myself. We aren’t always going to make the right decisions and that is ok. But ,that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stand behind the decisions we have made and believe in ourselves, and our capabilities. Sometimes we have to do the best with the hand we are dealt. This situations might not have the best outcomes, but if we do our best in preparing for whatever we are faced with, there isn’t any reason why we should proudly stand behind our decisions.
I hope that you have found this post helpful and will share it with someone that is amidst a decision making struggle. We have made so many decisions that I am just exhausted, but I think it has been a great learning, and testing, experience for me. I have made good decisions, bad decisions, well informed decisions and well you get the the point. We can’t always predict the outcomes life will hand us. With a little research, prayer, time and confidence, we can face the decisions that are placed in front of us with our feet firmly planted, knowing that we can handle the stress and uncertainty!