Life is so full of tough decisions, decisions that carry huge ripple effects and bring stress as we make them.
How can we know the right thing to do? Is there a way to get rid of risks or fears that accompany such big and tough decisions?
I was pondering this in depth yesterday on my morning run, a run I did not want to do given the frigid cold temps and the attractive alternative of staying cozy inside.
But out I went, donned in warmest running gear, wondering if I was crazy. About 15 minutes into the run I felt toasty, motivated, and proud I was out there running.
Which reminded me of how making tough decisions is often similar, requiring the following key steps….
- Get Counsel — Do your research and talk to those who have made similar decisions. Ideally find a few who have also regretted decisions and find out what they’d do differently next time. Gathering information will lead your heart and mind in a general direction, so you can…
- Get Moving — Sometimes we just have to move toward one of the alternatives in order to know whether or not it’s right. Sure it would be nice if full assurance was present before moving, but rarely does this happen. So pick your choice and move toward it at which point you’ll…
- Look for Confirmation — From family members, close friends, others you trust who have walked similarly before you. Getting their thumbs up and green light about the decision is vital. If the majority disagree then it pays to pay attention. We’re all tempted to think “I’m unique and no one can really understand,” but rarely is this the case.
- Change Courses if Necessary — You may be down the road a ways, but if you realize you simply can’t continue, then STOP, turnaround or take another path. Better to have walked and rerouted, than to never have walked at all.
Decision-making is like a muscle, it gets stronger and more defined as life progresses. We learn from mistakes and learn to know ourselves better in the process. It’ll always require faith and guts to get out of complacency and into decision mode, but unique and exciting doors await those who get off center and go for it.
Some of my own life decisions that were super tough include…
- Do I take a pay cut to take a new job I really want? (I did it.)
- Should I go for a different role within my company, and risk negative changes (I did but didn’t get the job.)
- Will a move to NYC after years of building my career in Tulsa be worth starting over? (I did it and loved it in spite of many sacrifices.)
- Should I be open to date a guy who is divorced with four kids? (Yes and oh my has it been amazing albeit not without its challenges.)
- Should I give up fertility treatments or keep trying? (Gave it up, tears and questions on what could possibly ever bring this dream to fruition.)
- I’ve never wanted to adopt, but should I at least pay the $$ and get the paperwork done? (Did it and while it fell through initially, three years later our twins arrived!)
Whatever tough decisions you’re facing today, I’m cheering you on, confident that as you move forward, mountains will move on your behalf.