“Being Indecisive”

Written by R. Theodora Appleton

First published by About Our Town Community News (print.) July 2015.

If I were asked to describe myself in three words, indecisive wouldn’t be one of my top picks. As an indecisive person, I probably would have a hard time trying to choose three words in the first place! I can clearly see why the “indecisive trait” can cause harm to various areas of my life: however, this plagued trait could do some good when it comes to tough decisions.

I’ve previously considered indecisiveness as just a phase of one’s life. Maybe a personality trait one possesses? Better yet, being indecisive could be due to a lack of skill? I’m sure that this phenomenon could be attributed to any or a combination of these causes I’ve listed above (or possibly none of them.) What we do know is that there is a clear boundary between good decision makers and bad decision makers. One can observe this clearly in the business world. Research has shown that being confident while deciding and taking less time to make decisions would accurately describe a leader in a corporate business. Okay, so maybe I can’t be president one day, or the boss of a huge company. I can accept that. I’ll still be able to be good at other things, right?

I want to make it a point that by no means am I saying faster decisions have better outcomes. That would be absurd and untrue! We must realize that all decisions vary in their substantiality. So, you can’t be too hard on yourself for taking the necessary time to weigh pros and cons of a possible influential decision. We also have to accept that those who decide quicker deal with a lesser amount of stress preceding the decision. Less stress keeps us healthier and happier.

Last fall, I took the course “Cognition” at Rutgers University. My professor Dr. Arnold Glass spoke about reasoning and decision making near the end of the course. Psychologists have agreed that deductive reasoning mainly takes place in the upper portion of the prefrontal cortex (that part of the brain is behind your forehead) Furthermore, the intuitive system seems to reside in the lower end of the prefrontal cortex. These two systems work with other parts of your brain to help us make decisions everyday. There’s still so much that is unanswered when it comes to how our brain helps us make decisions. That’s the part that leads me to believe decision-making flaws could reside in your frontal lobe. This is just a personal theory.

Continuing on, I can’t help to blame some of my indecisiveness on the society that I live in. Think about all the options there are when it comes to buying clothes, food, or anything of the matter! I have an extensive list of friends my age that are compounded by the stress of choosing a college major. How can you choose when there are 100 options to choose from? The whole modern world is at our fingertips, and it’s an indecisive persons worst nightmare. Will I ever enjoy my salad when I know I haven’t tried the other 50 flavors on the shelf at the ACME yet? All I am trying to say is that we can get carried away with decision-making, but if we do get caught up in the unimportant little decisions, we won’t be able to appreciate anything!

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