Indecisiveness is mainly seen as a distressing feature or a personality defect that regularly causes certain obstacles and troubles. It usually takes up a big part of our lives as we need to make decisions on a daily basis and in order to save ourselves time and energy, we need to take action towards our decision as efficiently and quickly as possible. But sometimes, it can be hard to act without a plan, and at that point, we often consult someone else to shape our ideas around theirs or to get their approval so that we could feel validated. On this issue, there are many personal questions that we could ask ourselves - and others around us - which would make us understand how it affects the quality of our life. Also, it is further undeniable that as we learn how others can also feel anxious or unassured as we do in such situations, it is easier to understand the usual effects of this habit and how to really cope with them. In that context, this article will comprehend the notion of “indecisiveness” with its neurological and psychological aspects.
The first matter that we will touch upon is the psychological facet which is probably the most complicated part. By definition, indecisiveness could be described as the inability to come to a satisfying decision. It could disturb our daily lives by preventing us from successfully collaborating on important tasks, keeping our confidence high, managing stress in high-pressure working environments, and retaining our perseverance if we are unassured about our work. Also, according to experts, it could lead to behavioral dysfunctions such as chronic procrastination, anxiety, regret, and rumination.
Furthermore, since we are referring to a topic to which we are highly engaged every day, finding its causes could be an easier task if we could get to know our own minds and observe our own lives. In other words, trying to think about the last time we couldn’t decide on a simple task might give us an idea about the actual purpose behind the decision. Important questions that will guide us to finding the reason behind our own indecision include: “Am I trying to please others with my decision?”, “Am I terrified of coming to the wrong conclusion?” or “Do I actually believe that I lack sufficient information?” and many more. According to your responses to certain questions, the actual reason for your indecision could be perfectionism, people-pleasing, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge, etc. Moreover, experts indicate that there might be further underlying mental health conditions that show themselves at first as indecisiveness such as major depressive disorder, anxiety (mostly separation anxiety), ADHD, dependant personality disorder (fear of being alone and uncontrollable habit of overdependence), stress, childhood trauma and OCD. While keeping these in mind, we should also recall that there might be simple reasons behind indecisiveness that are yet to be seen by us which require simple changes in our daily lives to be managed.
According to psychological research and recovery centers, there are several ways to combat inconveniences and overcome indecisiveness. The first thing that we could do is to start taking risks. These could even be minor deciding mechanisms that we can not control. For example, letting go of the decision for one time, could help us to accept the outcome, which is a simple practice to overcome perfectionism and anxiety. Also, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually recommended as it aims to help individuals with their internal conflict by talking and giving them a chance to express themselves to an expert. Evidently, other than rather “practical” exercises including the ones mentioned, for more support and information, it is best to consult a qualified professional or mental health center in progressive situations.
Lastly, we can always add a new point of view on this issue by mentioning the neurological perspective. According to a study conducted at the University of Zurich by a team headed by Professor Christian Ruff, it is identified that the intensity of communication between different regions of the brain ( ventral prefrontal cortex and amygdala ) determines our indecision. By means of a non-invasive brain stimulation method, the researchers were able to change the intensity of information flow on their subjects without them realizing it. It is concluded that when the information flow between two regions of the brain was disrupted, the ability to make preference-based decisions of the subject was unstable, therefore being indecisive. Also, according to many neurologists, it is assumed that high connectivity of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala may create a double-sided regulation between anxiety and indecision.
In conclusion, we have now established the difficulties caused by indecision and even though it seems to affect our quality of life by a considerable amount, it is definitely manageable and could be tackled by several means.
Written By: Şevval Kalkan
Edited by: Bilge Öztürk & Yağmur Ece Nisanoğlu
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