Decision making is a part of life. We all make decisions every day, without giving them much, or any, thought. Will I wear blue today or brown? How important is that decision?
Once in a while however, we find ourselves faced with a decision that really matters; it has major consequences and requires our total focus because the results of this decision will impact us the rest of our lives and those of many around us.
For me, the best place to start is to seek the help of my Creator and a great place to find His help is in the Word. James 1:5 promises: v5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
This is not simple. It's not just about brainstorming the pros and cons of various options. Our own biases can, and often do, heavily influence our decision-making process.
What are biases? In simple terms, biases are ingrained ways of thinking that can influence our perceptions and decisions. We could be more inclined to certain choices without even realizing it! Uncanny, isn’t it?
So, how do we wrap our heads around this, ensuring that we make a thoughtful, objective decision, while staying aware of our own biases? Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and let’s dive into this, step by step.
Step one. Acknowledge and Identify. That's right, the first thing we need to do is acknowledge that we have biases. It’s natural, we're human after all. We all carry our own set of personal experiences and cultural backgrounds that shape our thoughts and decisions.
Consider this analogy. Our mind is like a compass, and biases are like magnets – they can easily influence the direction in which our compass points. Recognizing that the magnet exists is the first step. This shows that you, my friend, are being realistic.
Step two. Be Clear About What You're Deciding. You need to clearly define the decision you need to make. Don't beat about the bush, be precise. This will give us a roadmap of the decision-making process.
Step three. Weigh the Consequences. The consequences are important, so the decision needs to be correct. Take time to think objectively about the potential outcomes from every angle. Not just the immediate results but the long-term ones as well.
Now step four. Seek Counsel. Remember James 1:5, No one is an island, and it's okay to ask for help. Seek counsel from trusted ones who can provide balanced perspectives. We all have our blindspots and those trusted advisors can bring them into light.
Fifth step is to Separate Facts from Feelings. This doesn't mean we ignore our gut feelings, they're crucial. But sometimes, our emotions can cloud judgment. Distinguishing facts from feelings helps us remain balanced.
Step six. Test Your Assumptions. What assumptions are you making about the situation? The decision? The people involved? Are they based on facts? Or are they influenced by your biases? Take time to reflect on these questions.
Finally, the seventh step. Take Time Out. Our brains aren’t designed for prolonged periods of intense thinking or decision-making. Take a break. Give your mind some space to process the information and gain clarity.
Now, all this sounds daunting, right? Remember – we're in this together. And as we start acknowledging our biases and accounting for them, we'll be capable of making decisions that are not only right but also fair.
No matter how significant a decision we need to make is, it's important to remember – we’re human. We may not get it right every time. There might be mistakes, there might be miscalculations. And that's okay.
In the grand scheme of things, being gentle with ourselves throughout the process of decision-making is paramount. We need to extend the same empathy and understanding to ourselves that we would to a dear friend.
We must remember that the listener is sensitive (ourselves in this case), so we need to be tactful. Sometimes, our decisions might affect others significantly. It's vital to communicate our decisions delicately, respecting their feelings and perspectives.
Keep reminding yourself, you're doing your best. You're here, trying to make thoughtful decisions, keeping your biases in check. It’s a reflection of your courage and determination.
It's a complex dance – balancing the analysis needed for making vital decisions and our own biases. But as we tread through this carefully, acknowledging our biases, we'll reach a decision that not only stands tall in the light of objectivity but also resonates with our souls.
So, embrace this journey. With openness, with objectivity, with a careful eye out for our biases. It won't always be easy, but, we can navigate this sea of choices and consequences, and come out stronger on the other side.
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