I have discussed in the past questions to ask before you make a big purchase. But what about questions to ask before you make a big life decision? Or before you say yes to something that you're not entirely sure of?
Today I wanted to tell you a few things that I do when I am weighing decisions. This has helped me become a faster decision-maker and has really reduced the amount of back-and-forth and anxiety that I have when it comes to making decisions.
One of my favorite podcasts is The Next Right Thing put out by Emily Freeman. She recently wrote a book called The Next Right Thing, and she sent me a copy of it. It was wonderful and gracious. I loved the book, almost as much as I loved the podcast. It is about making decisions, knowing the style of decision-maker that you are, and being at peace with those decisions.
One of the things that she talks about a lot is, sometimes we're presented with an opportunity and we need to ask ourselves, "An opportunity to what? This is a good opportunity to (finish the sentence)."
Is it a good opportunity to spend more time with your family? To expand your business? To go somewhere you've always wanted to go? To experience something you've never experienced before? To help people in a way that matters to you? To have a positive impact in your community?
Or is it a great opportunity to feel burned out? To spend less time with your family? To feel stress and anxiety, lose sleep, and not be living a life that aligns authentically with what you believe?
Today I wanted to tell you a story and give you an example of an opportunity that was presented to me recently and the questions that I asked myself before I said yes.
Back in the spring, I got presented with the offer to become a director for a community program that my family is involved in. We love this program. But when the current director called me and said, "Are you interested in taking over next year?" my immediate response was hard pass for a number of reasons. But I also knew that it wasn't as simple as yes or no, that I really did need to think about it, talk to my husband about it, pray about it, and I needed to ask myself my questions.
The questions I asked are:
Am I physically able?
Am I financially able?
Do I have enough time to do this?
Am I emotionally and/or spiritually prepared to take this on?
AM I PHYSICALLY ABLE?
The question I was asked was would I take over as director of this program. It was a paid position, and it was a lot of work. I had to ask myself: Am I physically able? The answer would be no because the program I would take over direction the beginning of August, and I was due to have a baby at the end of July. (Spoiler alert. She came in June!) That meant a week or two after I have a baby, I would be stepping into a new work position.
Plus, this summer, as my pregnancy was winding down, I would be training to take on that position. So the answer is no. I would not be physically able to take that on because no one needs to start a new job a week or two after they've had a baby. So the answer is no, it doesn't fit physically.
AM I FINANCIALLY ABLE?
Does it fit financially? This is a paid position but it would be taking up hours that I currently commit to working in my other job. I have taken a really long time to build this business, and I love the business that I have built. I can't do both.
I mean, I could do both, but I only allow myself to work certain hours so that I can be with my kids. What was the point of me working my butt off to build this business to stay at home if it takes time away from my kids? I can't do two things at once. I can't be the director of this program and work because it would take those hours.
Also, I know I love my business. What if I step into this and I hated it? So I've taken away from a business that I love, that's scalable, that I can grow the income, and I would be making a set income in something that I might not love. If I hated this directing position and, after a year, I decided to quit, I would be a year behind on my business, and I'd have to go play catch up. So financially, it did not seem like a good idea to work the same amount of hours for less money.
DO I HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO DO THIS?
Do I have the time? I would have to quit some of the things I talked about in my business. I would probably take a huge step back from YouTube. I don't know about some of the other stuff. I couldn't fulfill the time obligations over here and maintain everything over here. This pile over here brings me joy and brings my family consistent income. But I can't do both. So the answer was no, I don't have the time.
I can't do everything that I need to do with my crazy schedule, with the schedule that my family has, with my husband's work schedule, with my son's therapy schedule, all that stuff. I can't do that and maintain everything. It would mean making some big time sacrifices that's just not right for us right now.
AM I EMOTIONALLY AND/OR SPIRITUALLY PREPARED TO TAKE THIS ON?
And then, finally, am I spiritually and emotionally ready to take on this challenge? I don't feel like two weeks after you have a baby is the time to start a new job. Not only would I be transitioning into a new position, I would be doing that while I was adjusting to having a fourth child in our house. Nursing, sleep schedules, and all of that. I just don't feel like spiritually and emotionally, that was something that I could handle at that point. A year from now? Two years from now? Maybe.
There were some other things, outside of those questions, to consider. But once I got no on every single one of them, I already knew the answer. One of the things that I struggled with was if I don't take over, will this program still exist? The answer was yes, but in a different capacity. If I didn't step up, we might not have that program and we would have to go to another. Fortunately, there are a lot of these in our area. But this particular one might go away. However, someone else stepped up and said, "I would like to take over as director. Let me do it." So the solution worked itself out.
Sometimes, when things are meant to be (and I don't necessarily believe in 'meant to be'), sometimes things work out that way because someone else is supposed to do it.
Sometimes when we say yes to an opportunity that we don't necessarily like or want, we're taking that opportunity away from someone else.
There are plenty of times in life when you're going to have to say yes to opportunities that you don't absolutely love. That's just how things work. But let’s step into our YES opportunities with intention and grace.
I would love to know about you. How do you handle these big decisions? Leave me a comment below and let’s discuss.