Counselor's Corner: When You Don't Know What Decision to Make

Have you ever felt worn out mentally trying to make a decision about something? Sometimes the decisions we need to make are small (micro) such as where to go for a birthday dinner or the decision could be larger (macro) such as stepping in to help an elderly family member.

I love when I have a decision to make and the answers come easily, but when I feel like the solution to an issue is just not coming as swiftly as I would like, I tend to get a bit frustrated.

Write out what decisions you need to make can be helpful

What I am learning about when I need to make a decision and I am not sure what to do there are some considerations to factor in:

  1. Did I pray first and seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit? And, did I wait patiently for God to lead the way? Oftentimes, I can take matters into my own hands because I don’t always do well waiting for God to respond.

  2. Do I sense God’s peace, direction, and a “knowing” of what I am supposed to do? If I am acting in haste, or trying to figure out what to do, chances are I will end up confused and exhausted trying to make a way.

  3. Do I need to make a decision immediately? Chances are probably not unless it is an emergency. Can I wait until I may not be emotional (decisions made with our emotions are often not right), and can I wait until there is more information to help me make a better decision?

  4. I try not to make decisions that I don’t have to when I am tired or do not feel well. It is best to wait when I am more well-rested. I also try not to make decisions first thing in the morning, right after work, and right before bed. I know there are exceptions to this, but I try and hold off making as few decisions during these times.

  5. I make sure that I am not making decisions based on what others are doing or what they would want me to do. This can be a challenge as it can be easy just to do what every else is doing.

  6. I will also sleep on a decision. Sleep recharges our brains but also gives a fresh perspective on yesterday’s thoughts.

Life can be a never-ending series of decisions. Some decisions we can already decide ahead of time and make our lives easier, such as morning and bedtime routines. If possible make life less complicated by making what decisions you have control of and stick to them as much as possible. Examples would be: Having your work clothes picked out for the week or night before, what you will cook for dinner during the week, and the days and times you exercise.

You can also write out your thoughts and pros/cons to decisions that are more complex, but for the smaller, everyday decisions try not to overthink and overwhelm yourself with too many choices. Narrow your choices for everyday decisions and make decisions that you can ahead of time counter stress and anxiety as a result of indecision. Not making any decisions leads to procrastination, it is okay if you step out and make a decision and it did not work out. Not every decision works out perfectly, but you will know until you try.

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