I can't remember a time when I wasn't indecisive. While I like to blame this personality trait on the fact that I'm a Libra, I know that there's a lot more to it than that.
According to a recent study out of Northwestern University, there's a lot more to indecisiveness than meets the eye.
Moran Cerf, the neuroscientist who has studied decision-making for more than a decade, claims that indecision plays a large role in quality of life and long-term satisfaction.
Cerf believes that interpersonal company is a major factor in life satisfaction and that our levels of satisfaction are couched in two main premises: the fact that decision making is hard, and that humans believe we are in full control of our life and happiness through our decisions.
More specifically, research has long suggested that humans have finite mental energy available for choice-making. And yet, all of us spend an immense amount of time and mental energy making mundane decisions on a daily basis.
Secondly, Cerf rejects the idea that decision-making puts us in control of our lives and results in satisfaction. Contrary to this, Cerf believes that our biases and fragmented memory impact our judgement. Because our emotions impact our memories and choices, we often make irrational decisions or deliberately avoid making certain choices.
Cerf's research has also suggested that people who spend time in each other's company begin to resemble similar brain waves and activity. Based on these understandings, Cerf found that the best way to maximise our happiness and lessen our stress is to surround ourselves with people who embody the traits we prefer.
"Just being next to certain people actually aligns your brain with them," Cerf told Science Alert. "The people you hang out with actually have an impact on your engagement with reality beyond what you can explain."
So what does this all mean? For starters, think hard about the kinds of people you like to be surrounded by; whose company do you feel the best in? Chances are, those may also be people who embody traits you'd like to emulate.
Start by surrounding yourself with these types of people —you will naturally begin to pick up "desirable attitudes and behaviors" that they have and will also spare yourself from needless decisions that can sap you of your energy, according to Cerf.
Added bonus: while hanging out with these folks, you may save yourself from emotional and mental fatigue and can minimize the number of low-level decisions you're making so you can focus on the big, important stuff.
Sign up for our daily newsletter and get more Levo articles, career insights, and member connections right in your inbox.