Learning to Relax

There’s a general theme to my life, probably to the lives of many of you too, that includes a really strong desire to control. I want to control my life, my body, my surroundings, my future, my people. I want to do this in order to make everything more comfortable, more safe, more better. In my desire to control everything sometimes I crate a huge amount of anxiety in myself and {perhaps} people around me. But I’m learning to relax. Forced change will do that to do you. So will discomfort.

At the moment, I’m in the process of making decisions about the next step in educating my son. He’s four, but he’ll be five this fall and soon will be ready for more structured schooling. I feel this strong need to plan for his success – to not miss the opportunity to give him the best foundation possible so that he’s not behind and to prevent him from struggling. I’m not sure where this drive comes from exactly. I was a good student and didn’t have too many problems, although I did have to go to summer school one year, but that had some pretty specific contributing factors that had nothing to do with the classroom.

Anyway, as I’ve been searching through this issue, I’ve talked to a lot of friends. I’ve consulted social media, because you guys know everything. I’ve read articles, books, and have toured different schools. Want to know what I’ve learned?

I can’t go wrong. The reality is that my son is super smart. He’s high energy and intelligent. He’s learning all. the. time. He needs to play and interact with other kids. He loves to build and create and learn. Wherever he is, he will do great! I’m already giving him what I can and God is doing a great work in him. I can let go and relax. Doesn’t mean that I don’t still need to do some research and make a decision, but I don’t think I can make the wrong decision.

Life is kind of like this…we all make the best decision that we can with the information we have. Rather than stress, it makes so much more sense to just asses the situation, learn what you can, and then make a decision. That’s it. If the decision doesn’t work, then you make a different decision. NBD. And there are always going to be things that I cannot predict or control.

What’s more, while the future is unknown to me, it isn’t unknown to God. Are you facing a decision? Want to make a change, but paralyzed by the desire to control everything, including outcomes. If you’re like me and highly analytical, consider the following decision making acronym and process which was developed for business, but certainly can apply anywhere.

DECIDE, which stands for:

  • Define the problem
  • Establish the criteria (what does success look like?)
  • Consider all alternatives (or all that you can think of, but don’t get stuck here forever)
  • Identify the best alternative (or top 2-3)
  • Develop and implement a plan of action (START)
  • Evaluate and monitor solutions and feedback (don’t forget to ask “is this working?” after you get going)

I would add to this Pray. Probably best at the beginning (although I often don’t start there, even though I know I should). There is no substitute for God’s wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our efforts. Hope this helps some of you like it has helped me!

What about you? Are you great at decision making or do you have a tool that helps you? Share it with me!

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