People who are having trouble making decisions or seem to be going in circles of sameness, you know, doing the same things over and over and hoping for different results. What do we call that? Yes, insanity.
I help people who want to get out of a rut and move forward but are not getting it done themselves.
First I remind them to start with God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” In other words, if you make your decision with prayer, sound wisdom, and biblical counsel, trust God for the outcome.
Here is a snippet from an encouraging email I sent recently to one of my clients, about making decisions. By the way, I have her permission to use this. Everything I do is very confidential.
Dear C, “today you were much stronger than you have been at of any of our other sessions. I heard it in the tone of your voice and the words you used. I attribute that to the fact that you took back your power by making a decision, and you are ready to live with it, make adjustments as necessary, and move forward, unafraid”.
Of course, we all want to make the right decision the first time and know everything will be perfect. Well, that just isn’t possible in the world we live in. If we wait till we are positively sure we know exactly what the right decision, or course of action is, it is probably too late to make any decision, as the world has passed us by and left us in its dust. If we let fear control, either we may never make a decision or we are more apt to make the wrong decision.
We need to consider the facts, make a decision and get started. What if it doesn’t work? Well, failure does not define us, unless WE let it.
While inventing the electric light bulb Edison tried hundreds of times before he got it right. He said each failure meant he was one step closer to “seeing the light”. The bigger the successes we want and the bigger the dreams we have, the more failures (think of them as learning stepping stones) the more failures we will make.
We have a choice. We can think of ourselves as one who just makes failures and decides to quit, defeated, depressed. The dropout. Then we blame it on everything and everyone but ourselves. I’m too young, I’m too old, I’m too poor, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, no one will help me, I’m not smart enough, or our all-time favorite, “I can’t do it” and we have a hundred good reasons why.
OR, we can be the one who pushes on, to look for every stepping stone (every failure) we can find, to ensure we do reach the once impossible dreams in our life.
Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ―… now think about that. Belief was the ignition switch that helped Henry get his Ford engine running. All we have to do is believe ourselves capable and we will continue to push forward against all odds. We will use every stepping stone possible to accomplish our hopes and dreams. And it is very simple, not always easy, but very simple. If we keep trying and never quit, we will get there.
Or, we can accept to choose that we can’t, and then we will surely be right.
OK, how do we get this Ford started on the road to success? Always, begin with prayer. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; That means even the failures, you know, the learning stepping stones.) for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
So, if we should pray in all situations, we should certainly pray in times of decision-making. In James 1:5 it says “As we pray, we ask for wisdom”.
What do we use for fuel for this decision-making process? Here is where the fun comes in. Start dreaming, begin your “bucket list”. Create a dream board. Make a wish list. Put in it everything that comes to mind. The easy ones. Those that could never happen for whatever reason. The ones you want right away. The ones that would be nice sometime later. Get out your magic wand and tap a little fairy dust on your list and keep dreaming, no holds barred.
Next step, pretend this is driver’s ed. You are the instructor in this Ford, your student is the ‘tentative you’ who wants to try but..but…. Help the tentative you sort through the wish list to find the most important dream, the totally strongest one. The one that would be the winner if you could only pick one for the rest of your life.
Next, as the driving instructor, help the tentative you draw a map and start working toward your dreams. Step by step, what would you have to do first? Where can you research it? Who do you know who might be a help? Build a support team. Steer away from those who tell you that you can’t. What do you do if you get stuck? Call road side service. Google it. Ask an expert, phone a friend, pray and listen.
Nike says “Just Do It”. That is a sales slogan and leaves out some critical steps. My recommend is: “Pray; Listen; Then Do It”. Get started and keep going. You may be surprised to find that the further you go, the more excited you will get. You will find that the further you go and the closer to the goal you get, the more gas you will have in your tank.
Enjoy the ride and do remember at each crossroad, each stepping stone, or failure, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” With God’s help, you can. Amen!