second guessing

By May 21, 2010General

Have you ever second-guessed yourself?  Second-guessed God?

Most of us have had a time when we’ve made a decision … began living the decision … and came to a point where we wondered if we made the right decision.

In some ways, it may be natural.  As finite beings with limited access to knowledge of the future, we make decisions (hopefully) based upon the best available information at  hand.  In so doing, we recognize our limitations and choose to live with a less than perfect knowledge of what may or may not happen.

Second-guessing may be natural and, at times, helpful.  If it means we pause to clarify where we are — contrasted with where we hoped we would be — then it can be helpful.  It  may lead to a mid-course correction or lane change.  In fact, it may be another way God guides and directs us.

At other times, however, second-guessing may be a sign that we lack the faith or courage to follow through with our original decision.  This often happens when the original decision is one that stretched us or one that we came to through conflict.  It might be fear kicking in.

Many folks find themselves paralyzed by second (and third and fourth) guesses.  They start.  They stop.  They start again.  They stop again.

Others never second guess themselves and may find themselves headed in the wrong direction; or worse, at the wrong destination.

How can we take what happens naturally and harness it for good?

  • When you begin to second guess a decision, go back and work through why you made the original decision.  Has any of the evidence changed?  Have any new options popped up that didn’t exist at the time?  Did you overlook something?
  • Pause but don’t develop paralysis.  It may be appropriate to slow down or even put the brakes on a decision; be careful to not develop a paralysis of analysis.
  • Seek advice.  Ask for different perspectives or angles.  Listen to differing opinions.
  • Pray.  God seeks to bring clarity not confusion to your life.  Be persistent in prayer until you gain a clearer sense of direction.