SHRINK BACK, STEP OUT, OR STAY PUT? LET’S TALK ABOUT DECISION FATIGUE!

Decisions, decisions. Every day we’re faced with making decisions about how we’ll spend our time, energy, and money. Whether the decisions are big or small, we can easily feel overwhelmed. If you’re experiencing some decision fatigue, welcome to the club. I’ve made a lot of small decisions and a few big ones lately and I want to share what I’ve learned.

decision, social media fast, blogging

The Decision Dance

I don’t like to dance which might explain why I’m not a very good at it. To me, dancing feels awkward and pointless (except in worship and that’s another post entirely).

But there’s a dance I’ve perfected over the years. Here, let me describe it for you so you can be impressed with my moves. Ready?

Back and forth. Side to side. ‘Round and ’round. Up and down.

I call it the Decision Dance and it requires a very technical technique as you can tell. Basically, I do this dance when I’m trying to overthink decide if I should shrink back, step out, or stay put. I consider my options, weigh the pros and cons of each decision, and ask the Lord for wisdom.

 

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”Proverbs 2:6

Decisions look like this for the most part:

  1. Shrink back—this is the decision to simplify, declutter, do less, buy less, go less; Pro: it creates more margin in my space, time, and finances. Con: it stirs the fear of missing out.
  2. Step out–this is the decision to take on a new or bigger challenge; Pro: enjoy new opportunities, benefits, assets, and/or a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Con: time, money, and energy must be redistributed (perhaps unevenly).
  3. Stay put–this is the decision to maintain things as they are; Pro: enjoy the comfort and ease of the familiar. Con: comfort and ease drift toward stale and stagnant.

The rhyme and rhythm of The Decision Dance can be affected by age, season of life, stress level, peer pressure, and fear of failure among others things. At least that’s been the case for me. I can look back and see where I decided to shrink back  thinking “less is more” or step out thinking “more is more” or stay put because “change is unnecessary and too hard”. In some cases I decided each of those all in one day about three different issues. Whew!

Recently, I decided to Step Out and get in agreement with God about my food issues. The decision has been a real challenge and required a different way of thinking and acting but I’m already seeing the physical and spiritual benefits.

We also made the decision to Stay Put in our role as leaders in our church and committed to teach our Sunday School class for another year.

The past few months have been littered with a thousand small decisions!

Decisions, decisions.

Which brings me to my recent, big decision.

A Big Decision to Shrink Back

Does your soul ever feel messy? Overwhelmed? Worn-out? Mine has felt all of that and more for several months. Through prayer, daily Bible reading, and the counsel of dear friends, I sensed a need to shrink back from a few things. Shrinking back is not only saying “no” to new commitments but “no more” to some current ones. I need more margin and space for my soul to breathe.

Warning: Shrinking back is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. Your head and heart will rebel against it. Your friends and family will question it. We have grown accustomed to bowing down to a two-headed idol: one head shouts “bigger is better” and “more is more” while the other shouts “minimalism, tiny houses, smart cars, and capsule wardrobes”. Both heads almost always require us to buy something whether we choose to live bigger or smaller. It’s crazy!

Here are three ways I’m shrinking back.

Decision #1:  Say goodbye to *Facebook and Instagram—indefinitely.

Social media fasts have been routine for me (and you, too, probably) but during this recent sugar fast I’ve found myself turning to Facebook, Instagram, etc. more often than ever when I couldn’t turn to food. I was simply trading one drug for another.

The decision to Shrink Back will certainly create more margin in my life but just the thought of it has stirred the fear of missing out. Missing you. Missing your stories, funny videos, and scripture pictures. To be honest, I haven’t completely resolved the fear. So I’m choosing to lean into it. Be with what is. Let go of always trying to fix and manage and orchestrate. That last statement right there is the story of my life, friends. But it’s a story My Father is telling and I’m listening hard. Just when I think He’s finished, there’s a new chapter and a new lesson on faith!

Is there something you need to say “goodbye” to in order to create margin and space for your soul to breathe?

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Decision #2: Spend more time here

I began blogging in 2012 as way to record and share what God had taught me in the past and was teaching me in that season of life. This is still my favorite place to write and I want to steward it well. Unlike other places on the internet, I can control what’s seen and read here (because I pay for it!). I’m renewing my commitment to consistently write about the things I love—faith, family, homemaking, and all things thrifty.

Is there something you need to spend more time doing in order to live out your God-given purpose?

Decision #3: Make fewer decisions

That seems impossible, doesn’t it? But here’s what I mean. We create our own decision fatigue sometimes by making small decisions over and over, every day and week, that could be made once. Decisions like:

  • “What are we eating?” This is a decision that we make at least three times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (multiplied by several people if your raising a family!). I meal plan and make a big grocery trip once a week. I can rearrange my menu as needed throughout the week but I know that I have something on hand to feed all the hungry people. What a relief!   
  • “What are we doing?” I wrote about How We Sabbath and I think it provides a good example of making fewer decisions. Going to church on Sunday is not a decision we have to make every week because it’s already been decided. End of story. How we spend the rest of our Sabbath is decided as well. Fewer decisions to be made on the weekend creates margin and our souls find rest and peace as we set aside time for the Lord and His day.

Are there decisions you make over and over that could be made once a week, once a month, or even once a year?

Conclusion

If you’re still reading at this point, you deserve an award. Could this post be any longer? Well, of course it could because I could overthink my decision to write about making decisions. But I won’t.

Thank you for clicking through the link that brought you here. Your willingness to read my words is a gift to me. In turn, my prayer is that I’ve gifted you encouragement, inspiration, a laugh, something to think about, and maybe a challenge.

As always, I’d love to hear from you and I always respond. You can comment below or click here to send me an email.

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6 Responses to SHRINK BACK, STEP OUT, OR STAY PUT? LET’S TALK ABOUT DECISION FATIGUE!

  1. Betty Palmer June 25, 2017 at 3:32 am #

    You have been given the gift of writing which translates to being a good communicator. Thank you for challenging us to improve our daily lives. Miss our PMBC family. Come see us in Charleston!

    • Stacy Averette June 26, 2017 at 7:05 am #

      Thank you so much, Betty, for your kind words. We miss you, too, and we would LOVE to see you in Charleston!

  2. Charles Jones June 24, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Very good article, my friend. I always enjoy reading what you have to say!

    • Stacy Averette June 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      Thanks, friend. Your encouragement is a gift.

  3. Carol Thiele June 23, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    Love the book When the Heart Waits. Really helps with decision making.

    Miss you! Carol T

    • Stacy Averette June 24, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      Carol, I’ll add that to my reading list! I miss you, too, friend!