How do you get off the fence and make a decision? Decision-making is a complicated process. How “important” is the decision? How far-reaching will the effects of this decision be? If you are currently in the throes of making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy, we understand the challenge you are facing.
At Avenue Women’s Center, we have assisted many women as they have made their way through a decision regarding an unplanned pregnancy. We are experienced and prepared to come alongside our clients with attentive questions and important, accurate information as they seek to identify the path they will take. May we do this for you? Please contact us for a private, no-obligation pregnancy consultation. This, along with many of our services, is free of charge to you. All our services are strictly confidential.
The level of “importance” of the determination makes a difference in how difficult it can be to make a decision. A pregnancy decision can have far-reaching and long-term impact for a woman, as well as others who are involved. Understanding the impact, as well as the potential permanency of the decision places an unplanned pregnancy in a “life-changing choice” category.
In working on this article, we found that although it can be excruciatingly difficult to “get off the fence” and make a decision, there is no lack of opinions and advice to be found on the topic.
In the January 2001 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Louise Lague, former journalist and writer, identifies these basic decision-making recommendations of Dr. Gary Klein, psychologist and author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. Here are Klein’s proposed elements as Lague lists them:
- Get in touch with your gut first.
- Open up the options and visualize each one.
- Banish vague fears, such as “It may be a mistake,” and instead try to see yourself in a specific scenario.
- Let go of the idea of the perfect answer.
- Trust yourself.
Although this seems like straightforward advice, sometimes visualization of options can be difficult if you don’t know what you might be getting yourself into. In another article, “Making Life Changing Decisions,” in Psychology Today, Dr. Sharam Heshmat mentions the difficulty of visualizing the possibilities when you are facing a “life-changing choice,” such as a pregnancy decision. You can’t always know from your current perspective what each option’s experience will bring. Even if you have made a pregnancy decision in the past, you and your circumstances have changed. So, what can you do help make the choice?
Each option will have its own way of shaping your life. As the article states, “The choice should not be based on whether the experience is enjoyable or unpleasant. You can’t know.” So, instead of focusing on that, is there an option that seems appealing based on the experiences and discoveries it will bring to your life? Is there something you’d like to learn through your choice?
In addition to the above tips, it can also be extremely beneficial to talk with a trusted ally in the midst of a decision. What characteristics would you look for in a good ally for your decision-making process? Who can best help you with this?
- A trustworthy person who will keep confidence
- One who has nothing to gain from your decision, personally or financially
- Someone knowledgeable about the options from which you must choose
- One who will not exert pressure on you or your decision
- Someone focused on your best interests
As previous clients of Avenue Women’s Center have affirmed below, these are traits that you will find in us:
- “Gave me different options. A lot to think about.”
- “Inviting atmosphere, not afraid, feels so comfortable & unjudged. Feels real, honest generosity.”
- “The counselor was really nice, nonjudgmental. Listened to me and it’s nice to have someone to talk to and it being confidential.”
- “I was able to be completely open without receiving judgment.”
If indecision or second-guessing has hindered you in your need to get off the fence and make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy, please call, text, email or chat to make an appointment to meet with a trained, compassionate Avenue Women’s Center client advocate. With five DuPage County locations, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois. We are waiting to hear from you.
- O Magazine. (2001, January). Reinvention Strategies. Retrieved from: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Reinvention-Strategies-Follow-Your-Gut
- Psychology Today. (2017, February) Making Life Changing Decisions. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201701/making-life-changing-decisions