Aligned Decision Making


I recently faced a big decision.

It was one that would affect me, my family, and many other people—for years to come. I felt I had to get it right.

Of course I prayed for wisdom and guidance.

I started working through a grid called the OOVL Decision-Making Guide, which guides you in thinking through options, desired outcomes, how much you value each outcome, and the likelihood that each option would achieve your desired outcome.

It was helpful.

But . . .

The problem was, I didn’t know how likely it was that the desired outcome would happen, in most of the cases.

Or, it came down to a trade-off: more likely in the short term, but not the long term. Or vice versa.

And then came this question to my spirit: Which option requires the most faith?

Well, that put a new spin on the whole thing.

In a way, all the options did, because of the uncertainty factor.

One option, however, seemed more in line with how I felt God was guiding me already. It was the more ambitious of the options, in some ways, but also it aligned with my gifts and the foundation I felt God and I had built thus far.

The other two options felt very scary—many more unknowns. One of my biggest goals was to lessen stress, both in the short term and the long term.

If I headed off to completely unknown waters, would that be more stressful?

On the other hand, if I continue in the way I’ve been, wouldn’t I stay as stressed as I am?

Perhaps not necessarily. Perhaps it’s the back and forth, the indecision, that is causing a lot of the stress. And it felt like the stress from this particular option resided more in the short term, but the possibility of less stress down the road would be greater than with the other options. (I think.)

Another question popped up: Which option holds the most energy?

That required me to tune in to my spirit, my intuition, my connection with God. I believe that when something is aligned with your divine design, there will be a certain spiritual energy to it. Tuning in to this is an overlooked step for most—we are taught to trust and make decisions from our heads, but not from our gut or our heart.

The latter are considered “emotional,” and we all know how unreliable emotions are, right?

But the gut feeling I’m talking about is, I think, tied to a wider picture that we can’t quite see with our eyes. It’s intuition, it’s a connection to unconscious information. (The best explanation of this is Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking.)

Someone told me once, “Trust your gut. It’s never steered you wrong.” I think that’s actually true. When I’ve made decisions with contributions from both head and heart, but I let my gut instincts have the final say, they were always good decisions.

Especially if I’d prayed about it first.

Another question bubbled up: For each option, is it born from love and joy, or from fear?

Ah, now that’s an interesting question. My primary goal in each option was love, but some of the options were born more of fear.

Or, they were focused on loving someone else more than myself. (Something I’m trying to heal from, in fact.)

One option, the one with the most energy, also brought love into a wider arena. Not just love for the person I was making a decision about, but also for myself and potentially, a lot of other people.

I made my decision. It was the one that not only made the most sense in the OOVL model, but also required the most faith, carried the most energy, and was tied to love in the widest way.

Next time you have to make a big decision, make sure it’s aligned with your values, faith, your gut, and love.

In other words, your connection to God!

If you’d like more help in strengthening your connection to God so you can make peace-producing decisions and ignite a sense of purpose, check out Fill out the Clarity Questionnaire, return it to Diane, and we’ll talk about how I might help you to heal and align with your divine design.

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