Life is full of major decisions and big, scary choices. This is a significant battle for someone who struggles with anxiety and chronic indecisiveness. If you read Aviation Procrastination a few weeks ago, you will know that even after Ryan and I were approved for the time off to go on a trip to Africa in April, it still took me six weeks to finally book my flights! Why? Too many options!
When it comes to making a major life decision, I have a hard time not focusing on the worst possible outcomes that my mind so eagerly imagines. I’ve always just considered myself realistic, but the truth is that I definitely tend to lean more towards the negative side of things. I have been working on this a lot lately, and was so encouraged by a quote that my dad shared with me a few days ago. It said:
“Forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe the one reason that it will.”
I think it is natural for a lot of people, myself included, to focus on all the reasons something won’t work out. There are always so many ways something could go amiss, and once you’ve imagined all of the horrific consequences of making the wrong choice, it’s hard to not fixate on those possibilities. But just because something is risky, doesn’t mean that it is wrong.
In fact, all of us have taken risks in life, at one point or another. If you are married, you took a risk! If you have done any travelling, you have taken a risk! And let’s face it… if you got out of bed this morning, that in itself was somewhat risky! You never know what life is going to throw your way. You never know what each day is going to bring. And simply getting out of bed in the morning requires a small leap of faith that things are going to turn out alright.
On the flip side, just because something is risky, doesn’t mean that it is right. I have actually struggled a lot in my life with this idea that if something seems easy, or preferable, it can’t possibly be virtuous as well. That would just seem too good to be true! In my mind, the right choices are always extremely hard and sacrificial. In reality, this is true… sometimes. Sometimes, but not always.
Sometimes the right decisions are easy. Sometimes the right decisions are the ones that feel right from the very beginning. I think I actually find these decisions harder to make, because I am constantly second guessing whether or not my motives are in the right place. If it seems easy and comfortable, then I assume that my actions are selfishly motivated.
At the end of the day, I think I need to learn how to trust my instincts. Though I frequently doubt myself, I do believe that instinct is a God-given gift. And the more I pursue God and seek to remain in the center of His will, the more He will direct my instincts. I will still make mistakes, and I will still make wrong choices. But ultimately, I can trust in the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 that say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
So today, if you are stuck fixating on the negatives, I would encourage you to change your focus. No matter what situation you are facing, there is always at least one reason why it can work. And that one reason is God. He is able to work out the details of any circumstance, no matter how bleak it looks. Trusting Him is risky. But in my experience, I have found this to be the one risk that is ALWAYS worth it.
Do you struggle when it comes to making major decisions in life? Do you tend to look at the negatives or the positives when it comes to your choices? How do you navigate the potential risks?