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The voices of people around us are often much louder than we realize. I’m not talking about just volume here either, I am talking about impact and influence. Their voices can be heard in our thoughts, our sleep, in our interactions with others, and in the middle of our life planning. Whispers of judgment, criticism, interrogation, fear, and of course “I told you so’s,” from the people closest to us can nag at us and interrupt our decision process.

There are times in our lives where some wise counsel and support is useful, even necessary, to help us transition into another aspect or season of our lives. But what about the times when this counsel is not needed, or even asked for? How about those people who seem to randomly offer their opinions about your life? What about the times when we know what the right move is, but we still ask around, only to leave ourselves in doubt. Doubting ourselves and our own ability to make decisions. This just doesn’t seem right.

Tune out the noise! Turn the radio (all of these voices) down, or even off. Do not ask another person about their opinion or suggestion into your life and what you should do with it, unless absolutely necessary. We rely too much on others to help us sort out matters that we are completely capable of managing on our own. We have to start trusting in our own intuition and spirit, our life experience, and the sense of peace that follows the decision we know we need to make (or not make).

Spend some time alone before making a major life decision. Get alone, away from the busyness of life and other people. Turn off all electronics, including the phone (I promise those texts, emails, and Facebook posts will be there in an hour). Grab something to write with and make a “pros and cons” list to help you sort out your dilemma. Do not ask anyone for their opinion because this may interfere with your personal resolution process. If you pray, pray about your situation and ask God to help make the answer clear. But you can do the without a team of people and their voices.

Locate your peace and move forward, or stand still if you lack peace. Peace is my personal anchor. Friends and family often hear me say, “I don’t have peace about that.” If I am anxious about something, feeling rushed to make a decision, under pressure to conform to someone else’s wishes, or just do not feel prepared to make a decision, then I do not have peace and I wait. I pray and I wait. Then I pray and wait some more. Now of course, waiting does not mean I sit in my room for days or weeks until I am able to make a decision. No, waiting is an action, a verb (but this requires elaboration for another post). I keep moving in my daily life while I am awaiting the peace I need to move in a different direction. So far, this guiding peace has not failed me!

Make your decision and be confident in doing so. Understand that you are not on the earth to please everyone, and you will not. Some choices that you make will leave others in verbal attack mode. Their voices will be loud, annoying, and even hurtful. They may look at you and shake their heads. But if your decision was made with your best intentions, is one that you believe to be positive (legal too of course), and physically harmless toward anyone, then you own that decision! Hold your head up with some pride, of course not too much though, and tune out any other static or noise that is contrary to your goals.

After all, this is your life, right?