Everyday your choices make or break your life. At birth, all of your choices were out of your control. But as you started aging, you started making decisions. And you become accountable for those decisions. There is a direct relationship between every choice you make and the effect they have on who you are and how you live your life.
You have great dreams. A business or career, to go back to school, raise your kids, or reach a goal. (For more on how to live your dreams successfully check out Life Palette) But often fear of making a wrong decision will keep you from going for it. Know this: every choice carries risk. And while there is no way to eliminate all risk there is a way to reduce risk. Don’t let fear keep you from making a decision.
Here are 7 steps to help you reduce risk and make wise decisions.
1. Pray For Direction
We’ve all made stupid decisions that at the time seemed like the best thing to do. You may have based it on an impression or intuition. But we need more than that, we need truth. So, pray for direction. God’s perspective: “Those who trust their own insight are foolish,but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.” (Prov 28:26 NLT)
2. Get All The Facts
There is not a contradiction between faith and facts. Often people will make a decision based on uneducated enthusiasm because of a great idea, but they never got the facts. “Get the facts at any price … “ (Pr. 23:23 LB) The facts don’t have to keep you from taking a step of faith, they will just prepare you more.
3. Seek Wise Counsel
Find people who’ve made similar decisions and get their counsel. “So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.” (Prov 24:6 NLT) While it is wise to learn from experience it is wiser to learn from the experience of others.
4. Consider The Cost
It is foolish to think that a decision comes without a cost. There is a price tag for every decision.
“It is dangerous to make a rash promise to God before counting the cost.” (Pr. 20:25 NLT)
As you consider the cost, remember that it is always easier to get in something than it is to get out. True of all of life – debt, relationships, time commitments etc… Once you understand the cost, you can objectively decide if you are willing to pay the price.
5. Ask “What Can Go Wrong?”
It would be great if you could make a wise decision and never have problems. Life doesn’t work that way. It’s not being negative or pessimistic to recognize there will be problems, it’s just a fact! To ignore potential problems is foolish, because problems won’t ignore you. By asking “What can go wrong” you are just getting prepared.
6. Feed Your Faith, Starve Your Fear
It is very natural to make a wise decision and yet still have fear. The key to success is to feed your faith and starve your fear. Go back over the process of how you arrived at this wise decision to continually feed your faith.
7. Do The Nike Thing
Yeah, you know what I mean – Go for it! There is a point in every decision when you have to quit talking and take action. This is the point of commitment: ” Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.” (Pr. 16:3 NIV)
Of the 7 steps above which one do you need to focus on today?