Life is funny. Just when you think you’re through making a major decision, another one is on the horizon.
If you’re like us, major decisions can also lead to major anxiety. Fear, uncertainty, stress. But it doesn’t have to always be that way.
As Brooke and I have hit peaks and valleys throughout the last 11+ years, we’ve made decisions on five houses, four cities, five children, four companies, several vehicles, and a million other smaller but still critical decisions.
In hindsight, we made some amazing decisions as well as some horrible ones. But through it all, we gave each other grace and learned some incredible lessons along the way.
Recently, we have stood side by side with friends, colleagues, and family as they stared big decisions in the face. You’re likely facing big stuff today too.
I won’t pretend to be able to speak into the exact decision you’re facing today, but I’m hopeful that these four questions can begin to give you clarity into the choice before you.
1 – What’s the worst case scenario? Not hypothetical, but the true worst case scenario. Will you lose your house, blow through all your savings, jeopardize a key relationship, get fired? This isn’t to elicit fear, it’s actually the opposite. The worst won’t likely happen, and even if it does, it likely won’t be as bad as you think it will be. We’re strong, resilient people and oftentimes, the darkest and hardest places are where we grow the most. If you can stare the worst case scenario in the face and believe you can get through that if you did get there, chances are you’ll be ok.
2 – Have you opened up your decision to those closest to you? It’s not a democracy and you don’t need their permission, but objectively put all the facts on the table to a handful of those around you that know you best. Present things in an unbiased fashion to a group you trust, and then ask them to think through things and come back with their feedback. Not their gut reactions but their specific, thoughtful feedback. You’ll be amazed at the specificity and clarity you’ll get in this process.
3 – What makes you come alive? We have one shot at this life, so choose to live. Not to simply exist. Which option makes your heart beat a bit faster? Which one energizes you? Which one feels like the raging sea compared to a standing puddle of water in a concrete parking lot? This isn’t a call to be crazy, uncalculated and unwise, but it is a challenge to do things that make you come alive and stir the deepest parts of you.
4 – Did you sleep on it? Old school advice, but when you think you’ve made your decision, go to bed. Sleep at least 8 hours and then make the decision the next morning. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose, right?
Decisions are tough, but you’re going to be fine. Choose to live.