We are constantly making decisions in our everyday lives. Decisions that affect our lives either immediately or pave our way into the future. From the moment we wake up in the morning, we decide what to wear, what to eat, what to do, where to go, and how we’re getting there. Some of our decisions are routine, second nature, we might not even give it a single thought. Others, we might only decide once for a while or we get to make the same choice a different way every time. The point is, we make so many choices everyday!

Sometimes these decisions aren’t easy. They can make us feel paralyzed and confused. These are times we usually turn to others – friends or family, maybe even your roommate (if that’s not your friend) – to help us make a choice. And it gets worse when we’re still confused after hearing their opinions. The feeling of being stuck can cause many people anxiety and feeling pressured. Not being able to make decisions might have more to do with our personality than we may realize. When we really struggle to make even simple decisions, this is something we should look into. But how do we free ourselves from the turmoils of indecisiveness?

There was a study done in Italy that looked into career indecision and indecisiveness among college students. They examined how both are related to the personality of neuroticism – measured as low emotional stability. More neurotic people tend to be more anxious about making decisions and less confident about the decisions they do make, always questioning themselves. This low self-efficacy has an affect on decision making because they don’t feel confident in themselves and their ability to make right decisions or succeed. Another factor to indecisiveness, is emotional intelligence or the ability to have insight on one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, external support from friends and family play a role in our decision making process as well.

The study consisted of a 15 question scale with questions such as, “I have a hard time planning my free time,” “I become anxious when making a decision,” and “It seems like deciding on the most trivial thing takes a long time.”

Based off these questions, the Italian university found that these 5 areas of emotional intelligence influence our ability to make decisions. If you are on the more neurotic side of the spectrum, emotional intelligence can be taught.

Intrapersonal intelligence: How well you understand your own emotions and your strengths and weaknesses, and can communicate to others how you’re feeling.
Interpersonal intelligence: How aware you are of the feelings of others, and how well you can maintain satisfactory relationships.
Adaptability: Whether you can cope flexibly with everyday problems
Stress management: Whether you can cope adaptively to stressful situations while managing your emotions.
General mood: Whether you are generally optimistic or pessimistic in your outlook.

If you feel stuck in any situation or place in your life and would like to move forward and learn why you struggle with indecisiveness, please contact Crownview Medical Group and get in touch with a medical professional who can provide you with some guidance and life coaching.