What Fear Does to Our Decision-Making

May 24, 2016, Written by Sue Miley

I like choices.  I feel like choices represent freedom.  I am not stuck with one path.  However, when we combine choices with fear, we suddenly become overwhelmed and paralyzed.  Business can be scary and as a small business owner there isn’t always a lot of margin for mistakes.  The fear of a mistake can lead to many poor decisions, or sometimes even worse, it can lead to indecision.

Biblically, Christians in business know that we don’t have to fear.  We can trust that Jesus will provide for all of our needs.  I think the issue, if we are honest, is that our idea of getting all that we need may not be what Jesus thinks we need.  So we are in fear either way.

If I let go and let God, I may not need to have my own business so Jesus may think it is okay for the business to fail so I can go do something else He wants me to do.

On the other hand, I want so badly for my business to be successful, yet I am not sure which strategies and actions will provide the best path.  It seems that even though I have choices, they all contain risk.

The end result can be far worse as we step out in our own control, not God’s, and let fear drive our decisions.  Fear driving decisions can lead to:

  1. Erratic decision-making – changing our minds back and forth through the multiple options brings us to no clear direction or path.  Depending on the decision to be made, our erratic changes could cost us even more resources, yet gain little progress.
  2. Short-sited decision-making – when we are afraid, we tend to make short-term decisions.  We feel that short term decisions will play out more quickly and we can see the impact sooner.  The problem is that often times short-sited decisions don’t create a long-term foundation of strength and health in your business.  You may cut costs to quickly stop the bleeding, but then that could have put a halt to revenue-generating resources.
  3. Indecision – many times fear keeps us from making any decisions or it delays the decision to the point that, regardless of whether it was a good decision or not, the impact of waiting created a different set of circumstances.

Decisions made in fear almost always lead to poor decisions.  Letting fear control us, we sometimes use the excuse that we are just being conservative.  But, to me you can make conservative decisions with strategy and decisiveness.  Those are not contradictory.

Fear is different.  In my mind, fear is letting Satan help us make the decision rather than God.  Satan feeds off of fear.  God tells us we never need to fear if we follow Him.

Look at your last 6 months of decision-making. Did you see yourself in one of these three scenarios?  Did you struggle to make one or more decisions out of being overwhelmed and afraid?

Or, did you make decisions strategically, with enough thought, and through prayer?  Did you give the worry to God and trust that if you use your gifts and talents prudently, you will achieve God’s will, whatever that may be?  Did you trust that God’s will is always better than our own?

It’s your decision.  God’s way or your way?

Reader Interactions


  1. Kathy Pedeaux says

    Hi Sue! Great article..I’m forwarding it to our entire staff. Thank you for pursuing your gift to the Body of Christ with excellence!

    You are a blessing.

    -Kathy Pedeaux

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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