August 05, 2021
“If you don’t know the answer, choose letter C.”
This was the advice that was given to me before I took the UPCAT to help save time when the questions are too hard and when I don’t know the right answer. I actually followed it, but I’m not sure if it helped or not.
I remember browsing through meme pages, seeing food stalls brilliantly named Kahit Saan, ’Kaw Bahala, and all the other answers that we say when we don’t want to choose where to eat or when we’re simply unsure. I admit, I’ve used these answers a lot, and I’m sure some of you did, too! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a default choice for all the choices that we have to make? Unfortunately, there are decisions that cannot be answered by “letter C” or by “kahit saan,” and yet we still have to make them.
I believe we’re all familiar with indecisiveness and have struggled with it at some point in our lives. And there are a lot of reasons we don’t want to make decisions.
Will they approve of my decision?
What if this course is too hard and I won’t be able to pass?
What if I got it wrong?
It could be because we’re afraid to fail, we’re scared of the future, or there’s just too many options. (To be honest, while I was preparing this article, I couldn’t decide on what to write!)
Indecisiveness feels like being left in an open field, not knowing where to go because all directions are possible choices, so you’re stuck in the middle.
How do we deal with this?
Here are some of the things that I have learned and hopefully would be helpful for you as well:
1. Determine your path: Where do you need to go?
Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s masterpieces created to walk on a path prepared for us in advance. We have been made with a purpose, and that means the decisions we make should take us to the path that would lead us to fulfill that purpose. The clearer our purpose is, the clearer our path becomes, which gives us the ability to decide.
If my purpose has something to do with starting or leading businesses, then what choices would help me become a better entrepreneur? If my purpose has something to do with music, arts, or media, then what choices would help me become a better artist? If my purpose has something to do with serving in the government, then what choices would help me become a better leader in society?
And because our ultimate purpose is to honor the Lord with the gifts and resources that He has blessed us with, we need to make sure that we make decisions that would help us walk the path of integrity and wisdom.
So I ask myself: “Is this aligned with God’s purpose for my life?”
2. Determine your peers: Who needs to go with you?
After determining the path, it’s important for us to know who will be with us on our journey. I believe that God places people in our lives to help us discern His purpose for us. Spiritual family, leaders, and mentors are there to help you discover His plans and direction for you.
For me, walking with the right people is crucial in making good decisions. I have learned not to make big choices without consulting key people. There are leaders and mentors that have gone ahead of us and walked a similar path already. All we have to do is to learn from and listen to their wisdom.
I cannot remember how many times I have bounced off my decisions to my mentors, only to get my heart shattered in the end because according to them, it was a bad decision. But I also cannot remember how many times I was spared from the consequences of these would-be bad decisions.
The peers that I ask are those who know me personally, who know my tendencies, and who can call my attention when they have to. These people help me make decisions by objectively looking into my situation and drawing out my motivations and hesitations.
So, when I’m making decisions, I ask myself: “What do the people who know me have to say about my situation?”
3. Determine the cost: Are you willing to pay the price?
One of the areas that we usually overlook whenever we are making decisions is the price or the cost of the choices that we make. The truth is that when we pursue an open door, we are letting go of other open doors. There will always be trade-offs when it comes to decision-making.
Every decision we make entails a cost in time, effort, and resources, and indecision is far more costly than a wrong decision. Wrong decisions or mistakes, when given much thought, produces lessons that can benefit us in the long run. However, indecision not only wastes time, effort, and resources, it also hinders us from learning valuable lessons.
When we choose to pursue a degree or a career, it is wise to have an honest assessment of ourselves if we can follow through and count the cost of our decisions.
Understanding my purpose and walking with God and His people have given me confidence to make decisions. I have learned to be decisive when needed, even in the midst of uncertainty, because I know God will be with me and that my leaders and friends are going to be with me. While they say failures are part of success, it’s comforting to know that even if I fail, God can correct my path, and the people around me will still continue to walk with me. I would always remember that the Holy Spirit is always with me. He is the Counsellor that Jesus gave us so we can hear from Him and make wise, godly decisions.
I hope this encourages you to walk with God and His people while trying to understand God’s purpose for your life. Having these in your life will surely help you in times of indecisiveness.