Stopping over from Alisha’s blog? Hi! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!
Boy, oh boy, this has been a year of change and big decisions. In the past 12 months I’ve moved 3 times, worked 3 different jobs in 3 different cities, and spent more time in transitions than I have settled. Looking back, I know it took a lot for me to be able to make such big, life-changing decisions in the way that I have. I know that there are things I’ve had to consider each time and steps that I’ve taken to ensure that I am making the best choice. Of course, this isn’t fool-proof, but keeping these things in mind will help you to know when to just close your eyes and make the jump.
Sometimes the choice comes clearly and easily, other times you just have to trust life a little bit!
Here are 5 essential things to do before making that decision and jumping!
1. Lists– Oh my dears, I am a lover of lists. I have notebooks full, and more on my phone. Pro/Con lists give you the chance to see in front of you what the benefits are of each decision, as well as the risks and downsides. It’s important to remember that risks aren’t always in the con column- sometimes they are the greatest part of the decision.
2. Take time- Don’t jump into a big decision off an impulse. This goes for moving, changing jobs (or total career paths, if you’re me) relationships, everything. Some moments are hard and rough and it seems like there is only one clear decision- but in the next we feel the opposite. Give yourself enough time to feel both of these. This isn’t to say you have to spend months agonizing over which step to take. This could take an hour, a day, a year.
3. Talk to someone (just not too many someones)- Bouncing ideas off of a sounding board can really help. Hearing yourself say the words out loud will help you figure out why you are thinking the way you are. My first call is always my mama. (Hi, Mom!) And then a couple close trusted friends that know me can help me talk through my decisions.
Beyond that, be careful. Talking to too many people and getting too many opinions can make the decision even harder to make.
4. Don’t let yourself be too influenced by others. But, you just told me to get other’s input! I know, but ultimately this is your decision and the one it effects the most is YOU. You are the only know who knows what is truly in your heart and mind. I am a faithful follower of my own heart- it hasn’t led me too wrong yet!
5. Research it- where is your REAL hesitation coming from? This means researching what it will really take to make the jump and do whatever it is you are wanting. When I decided to leave my (awesome) job in the Mayor’s Office in Atlanta and try for Teach for America, I knew it would take work, but I had no idea how much until doing some research and figuring out exactly what was involved. Of course, I still made that jump and am now living my dream!
Are you hesitant because you are afraid of the “what ifs”? Or because it is actually not the right decision?
Once you can answer these questions and have gone through the other steps, you should have a pretty clear idea of what the best decision is for you. If not, the most important thing is what I said before- trust your heart and trust life a little bit.
Sometimes you just have to jump and trust that the fall will bring you to a greater place.
Your turn! What do you do before making a big decision? What steps am I missing? Do you agree with the ones I follow? Let me know in the comments!