November 08, 2013

Making tough decisions

Sometimes having two great options is just as stressful as having no option at all.

I'm ending one chapter of my life as my fellowship in state government comes to an end, and preparing to turn the page for the next chapter.

What is the next chapter? Good question...

My hard work has paid off and I do have options that I am very happy with, but I haven't been able to choose between the options. What path do you choose when both seem great, but one could be greater? How do you make a decision about something that could affect the rest of your life? If you've applied to college already or applied to jobs, and you've had to choose between more than one great understand my dilemma.

I haven't felt this torn since...well never. I knew I wanted to go to Georgia Tech for college, so that wasn't a tough choice for me. I didn't really have to choose between organizations or internship offers during school like some of my friends. So I'm relatively new at this whole "making major life decisions in a limited time frame" thing. And it's not as fun as it seems.

As an introvert, I like to keep things to myself for the most part, but I'm working on opening up more to my close friends (that's what they're for). So, I did reach out to about five people (including best friends, parents, and my professional mentor) to get their opinions on my choices because I seriously didn't know what to do!

Over the past two weeks, I have learned so much about myself, what I need, what I want, who I want to be, and most to make big life decisions.

I learned the following things, when it comes to making tough decisions.  And I'm really happy and really proud of my decision. 

That's how I know it was the right one

I haven't made my decision public yet, but once everything is in place, I can't wait to share my next move with you - I'm excited about it!

Here's my personal "how to make hard decisions" guide

Feedback is helpful, but others shouldn't be my decision-makers
 Like I said, I talked to a few people about my options for the next chapter, how I felt about the options, and my ultimate professional and personal goals. I received lots of great feedback and advice. One of my best friends advised I make a pros and cons list for both options. My parents suggested I pray about it, and reminded me that I will have their support either way (so helpful to hear). My mentor gave me the following advice "the right decision lies within me."

The right decision lies in my head and my heart
One day after work, I took about ten minutes to sit alone in a quiet room and talk and listen to myself. I thought about what really makes me happy in life, what I really want to do in the short term and long term, how I feel about what I'm currently doing, and more. I listened to my head (strategically which option I thought was best) and my heart (which option emotionally felt right).

Have faith
Simply put, I prayed about both options and have faith that my choice will take me to where I want to go in life. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and this is all part of God's ultimate plan for me. And I took comfort in that. Because doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. 

I can't rush my decision
People who are asking you to make a choice will always try and get your decision as soon as possible. But it's not their decision, it's yours. I took as much time as I could to weigh the options, be honest with myself, and peacefully and carefully make my choice.

Visualizing the future helps
I'm a visual person, so visualizing my life (future life) was kind of a visual way of weighing the pros and cons. I imagined what I would be doing in five years if I took both options, and one visual just appeared better to me than the other one.

Be confident in my choice
Each day after making my decision, I have become more and more confident with my choice. Each day, the universe proves that I made the right choice. I learned that I have to believe in my capabilities, potential, and dreams before I expect anyone else to believe in me. Being the real me is the first step to believing in myself.

I don't want to just survive life, I want to live and enjoy living
And since what I do during the day (school-wise, work-wise, etc.) takes up a portion of my life, I refuse to not be enjoying myself. I refuse to do something that will keep me from reaching my full potential. I refuse to spend even a few years doing something that I'm not in love with. Life is too short. I want to do so many things in my life, and that happens by following my head and heart…and making the right decisions.

I hope this helps anyone else who may be in the process of making  a tough decision.

How do you make tough decisions?


  1. 1. I absolutely love that you shared this with us. I am so self conscious about big decisions like this. I second guess myself a whole lot and I let my thoughts and worries get to me.

    2. Whenever you are feeling this way...always read the post you wrote for my has helped me in more ways than you know!

    Kolbi | Life With Kolbi

  2. I think it is very important to follow your heart when making any decision. Great post

  3. i'm introverted AND a libra, so indecisive is a way of life for me! ;)

  4. We really have to make our own decisions and be confident in them:-)

  5. This. Is. Wonderful. You are so knowledgable and thank you so much for sharing! Thank you for this post

  6. Decisions Decisions as the saying goes. Whatever you chose it must allow you to sleep well at night. Restless nights about wrong decisions have robbed so many. Pray on it and look within.

  7. I'm in the middle of having to make a tough decision and it is just that: tough! Both of my options are great which makes it even harder. I know I can't go wrong either way but it's just about what I want for my life. The perks of being an adult I guess! Glad to hear you are happy with your decision and I can't wait to hear what it is :)

  8. Being confident in a choice is so important! These are awesome tips on what to do when making a decision, I'm a big fan of trusting my gut. Have a good weekend!

  9. I just want you to know that I LOVE the name of your blog. SEriously so cute and creative. Great job! <3

  10. Any decision you make should be in the best interest of you and not the person that influences, because at the end of the day YOU are the only one to live with that decision, Great Post!

  11. Having peace about your decisions is so important. It's true, the right decision lies in your head AND heart. A lot of times we need to step out in faith :)

  12. This is such a useful article for people like me...
    Keep in touch,

  13. This is extremely helpful and I have a post coming up later that is so relevant to this.

    Because doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will <<<----yessss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all.

    -Chymere A.

  14. Once again such great advice here :) I am so glad I found your blog back in the spring.

  15. I´m afraid i can´t help here as I´m the most indecisive person I know. But wherever decision you take can lead to a happy future just a different one

  16. This was absolutely so helpful :) xx

  17. LOL to the person above who said they were introverted and a libra! I def feel for them. I find that it takes me a LONG time to make decisions, but once I do, I am dead on. I'm also my own devil's advocate. I will ask a best friend what their opinion is. Listen to their strong argument. If they have a sound, solid argument, but I still for some reason want to go the other way, guess what? Going the other way! I like what you said about asking ppl for advice, but not letting them choose for you. Ppl's advice is based on their experiences and what they would do in the situation based on where they've been and who they are. Helpful, but it is your life. Glad I could be all up in this! Woot woot!


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