The Devil You Know is Better Than the Devil You Don’t… Or Is It?

The basic idea of this common phrase is that we often have the tendency to prefer familiar pain over uncertainty. Maybe you have noticed this tendency in your own life. You might be in a terrible relationship or work situation, but for some reason, you stick with it. The fear of stepping out into something unknown is so scary, it feels better to stay where you are.

Here are 3 ways to help you get un-stuck:

  1. Get help with your current situation. Sometimes we hope things will change on their own, even though we aren’t doing anything different. Things don’t usually change on their own. To get different results, we need to add something different into the mix. Sometimes it’s tough to do this by ourselves, and we need help. Maybe we could consult with someone who has been in our situation before. Perhaps we could go to counseling. Maybe we could read a book by an expert and learn a new skill. Do something to get some help.
  2. Explore other options. Sometimes we are afraid to do something new because there is so much unknown. In these situations, it can be helpful to do some work to explore the unknown, and learn some things about your other options. This way, your eyes are more open. You know more about what the other options would be like, and they become less scary. For example, if you are looking to change careers, spend some time interviewing people at the job you think you might want. Get a sense of what it actually looks like.
  3. Make the jump. At some point, you have to actually make the jump and do something different. This can be scary, because we don’t know what the outcome will be. We could mess up, or experience a setback. But really, what’s the worst that could happen? You could fail? You might be unhappy? If you’re feeling stuck in your current situation, you are probably already unhappy where you are! If you make a change, there’s a chance things could get better. Could you take the risk to make a shift and see what happens?

Discussion: Are you in a bad situation, but you feel stuck because of your fear? What is one step you could take today toward getting help for your current situation and exploring other options?

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