Having trouble making a difficult decision? Don’t make it without doing these four things first!

Recently, when my 22-year-old son decided he wanted to purchase a townhouse I thought it really made sense. We talked about it, toured the home, went to the bank to get pre-approved, and were prepared to move forward

And then somehow we got involved in an unexpected bidding war, that was climbing higher and higher. Finally, after all was said and done, my son was awarded the bid, paying a bit more than what he was planning.

That’s when, for me, his mother, the panic set in, the buyer’s remorse. Did we do the right thing? Did we get caught up in the excitement? Would this be too much for a 22-year-old to handle? My stomach was churning my heart was racing and I couldn’t settle myself down.

My first solution to these kinds of situations is to pray about it, to get still and quiet. But fear was raising its ugly head and not only could I not get still, but I could not get to sleep.

That’s when I decided to face my fears head-on. I got up out of bed and grabbed a pen and notepad and got to work. What resulted was a four-step system that helped me intelligently review the situation, because at peace with his decision, and eventually return to sleep. I’m hoping it will do the same for you.

Step ONE- Make a list of all the reasons this is a good decision

The first thing I did was jot down the pro’s and the con’s regarding the situation.

Pro- it’s a great house

Perfect fit for his needs

It is a downtown location

It includes all appliances

No outside maintenance

Newer Townhouse

Professional Neighbors


Step TWO- Make a list of why this is a bad decision.

Now that I listed the Pro’s it was time to list the Con’s

Con- it’s a bit higher than we wanted to pay

No basement

No garage, etc.

In this part of the exercise, the Pro’s clearly outpaced the Con’s but I still was not feeling secure in this decision.

I was still uneasy, feeling fearful.

Awe yes fear, my least favorite F- word. The single word that has the ability to destroy dreams, goals, and ambition.

Fear can keep you from some of your best experiences, jobs, and decisions in life. And I was determined, this was not going to part of this decision-making process.

Especially when I know from personal experience that everything you have ever wanted in life is on the other side of fear.

So I decided to take this exercise a few steps further. I went on to jot down, below the pro’s and con’s and added

Step THREE- Make a list of your biggest fears concerning this decision.

My biggest fears: He’s too young

What if he loses his job?

What if he can’t pay his bills?

And when I read what I was most fearful about I immediately started a new column.

This was the column where all the magic started happening. As I looked at each one of my worst case scenario fears, my brain immediately went in to look for solutions.

Step FOUR- Make a list of possible solutions for each of the biggest fears listed.


He has a great job and is well respected

He is mature

He is investing rather than spending

He can get a roommate

He can rent the house

He can sell the house

He can always move back home

When I started to see there were solutions to my biggest fears it was if the cloud of fear had dissipated and I suddenly felt at peace and actually was able to turn my nervousness into genuine excitement.

So the next time you have a tough decision to make or are second guessing a decision you made run through these four steps:

1. Pro’s

2. Con’s

3. Biggest Fears

4. Possible Solutions

I think you will gain clarity and begin to get excited about your next chapter!

Would you like to share this article with your readers, listeners or viewers? You have my full permission as long as you include the following:

Sherrie Dunlevy is a speaker and the Author of “How Can I Help, Your Go-to Guide for Helping Loved Ones Through Life’s Difficulties. To find out more, order a copy of the book, or invite Sherrie to speak at your event, go to SherrieDunlevy.com

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