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  • Francis Fung | Career Coach

Why do people stick with unhappy jobs and painful stability, even when it’s not good for them?

Updated: Jan 8



Why do people stick with unhappy jobs and painful stability, even though all the evidence says it’s not good for them?


Simple answer is fear. They’re scared. It’s basically fear of change. The fear of :

  • “What if it doesn’t get better than this?”

  • “What if it’s worse?”

  • “What if this is as good as it gets?”

  • “What if I can’t do better?”.

It’s all the same thing. Fear, being scared of something new. In the past, I would rather stick with something I knew… I didn’t like it, but it’s something I know, rather than try something new. Rather than risking it.


Now I’m sure we know someone like that or you’ve been through it or you’re going through it. Maybe you’re doing a job that you don’t like, you’ve been there a while, a few years. You don’t like it and you don’t want to go to work, and it doesn’t make you happy, but you don’t want to change, because there’s a lot of hassle to change job or the what ifs again:

  • “What if I don’t get a better job?”

  • “What if the next job I get is worse?”

  • “What if the team mates in the new job or worse?”

  • “What if I don’t like it, then I have to change jobs again?”


There are so many what ifs. What if this? What if that? But they’re all mainly negative “What ifs” and that comes from fear.


So I’d like to pose a question to everyone and this is something I ask myself all the time too.


  • “What if it’s better?”

  • “What if it’s good?”

  • “What if it changes my life?”

  • “What if it’s amazing?”


Why do we never think the positive side of “what if?”. I started asking myself that and now it’s something I live by. What if it’s amazing? What if I love it? Whenever I get scared or whenever I feel uncertain, or wonder “Oh no, should I change or not?”, that’s what I ask myself. “What if I love it? What if it’s great?” And that’s what helps me get out of a painful stability.


Yes, it takes me into a risky place. But I’d rather be riskier and happier than stuck in painful stability. Precisely because as the word suggests, it’s stable and predictable. You know what’s going to happen, you know what work you’re going to be doing. Waking up, you already know what it’s going to be like that day, what your week and month is going to be like.

Waking up, you already know you’re living just working Monday to Friday, looking forward to the weekend and then dreading Monday again.


You already know that pattern and routine, and it’s not a nice feeling. It’s painful, but it’s stable. Painful stability. I would rather live a life where it’s a bit risky, where I don’t exactly know what’s going to happen today. Not in an extremely crazy way though! I know I’ve got to do work. I know I should be making videos to help people. But the people I meet, the people I’m going to help, the benefits and the happiness I’m going to receive from doing that. All of that is an unknown. And that is what makes life fun for me and less painful, even though it might be a bit risky, less stable, less predictable, but less painful.


So the simple answer to why people live in painful stability even though it’s not good for them, is because of fear. And the way to get out of that is to change it, to take calculated risks, to look for new opportunities, to see how you can grow, see how you can make your life better and happier.


That may involve risk, less stability and less security. But in the long run, you will be living a less painful and happier life.


As always, questions, comments, or if there are points that you still want to ask about or things you don’t agree with even, leave them in the comments below.


Thanks for reading!


Francis


For more Career Advice, Follow me! - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/francis_fung_coach - FREE Career Resources: www.sloanejapan.com - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzKRoQz7cG30Bxgrf3GR-ow


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