This is a guest post from Susie at

I think that so many of us stay in work situations we are unhappy with because inertia is just easier than making a decision.

And that is the problem. By not making a decision, you are in essence making a decision. A decision to stay where you are, a decision to stay miserable. As opposed to a decision based on inertia, an active decision takes a lot of guts.

But that’s not fair, I hear you all saying. I have a responsibility to my family, I need to support them. I have rent to pay. I don’t have the skills to do something else. I don’t know what I am good at. I don’t have the time to look for something else. I don’t have the energy to search for a new job. I have job security here. And the list goes on and on and on and on.

And yet I am going to stick to my guns and say again, by not making a decision, you are making a decision to stay miserable.

Everything in life and every decision we make has its price to pay as well as potential gains. We stay in a situation only as long as the gain is more than the loss.

The first time I heard that, I probably said the same thing you are saying right now, what gain do I have from staying in a job I hate and that I am miserable doing? (Btw, this applies to everything in life. For this post I am using work as the example.)


Possible Gains For Staying Where You Are Miserable:

  • Not having to cope with change
  • Not having to face possible failure
  • “Stability”
  • Not having to prove yourself
  • Knowing what is expected from you
  • There are some aspects of the work or workplace you do like and you are not sure you want to give it up
  • Keeping your options open
  • Other peoples’ view of you
  • You don’t have to take a good hard look at yourself
  • You like being the victim. After all, it’s a lot easier to justify things if they are out of your control and happening to you.

I know that for me, almost all of those reasons (or in other words what I gained from staying in a job that made me miserable) came in to play for almost 15 years.

I stayed in a job that at times made me quite miserable and mostly did not enthuse me for 15 years. What the heck was wrong with me???

I have to qualify the previous sentence a bit and say that my life view is not to beat myself up about things in the past. I believe that all that I went through was my choice.

I also believe that as a whole, I got a tremendous amount out of all those years whether it was in experience, in my exposure to people or in helping me refocus and decide what was important to me.

I also know I was afraid to make the jump and try something I was unsure of. I was afraid and not confident in myself.

Any situation in our lives is an opportunity for growth and learning. I know I learned a lot about myself from all those years of searching and knowing I wanted something else.

I Finally Decided I Wanted To Make A Change

About a year ago I started blogging. The blogging helped me develop a talent that gave me a lot of satisfaction (aside from it being free therapy). It helped me find a new world of possibilities and amazing people.

My blog focus is about learning a new lesson from each day in life and has also helped center and guide me.

I then went back to school to learn life coaching (Adlerian Method). It is something that for years I have been told and have known I would be good at. I have been loving it even though it’s hard and time consuming.

After 15 years, I asked to change wards in the hospital. I went from something I knew (ER), to something I knew nothing about (outpatient oncology). It meant basically starting over almost from scratch. It entails about 6 months of training and learning until I am able to practice nursing on my own. (I still have a few months to go.)

I also started working one day a week in a medical services company. I went for an interview as an English speaking nurse. Before the interview I checked out the website and the English content had loads of mistakes. I fixed one article up and bought it with me to the interview.

That and my blog landed me an offer of managing the company’s websites and writing content for their English language site. It was a big step out of my comfort zone.

I was unsure of myself yet I pushed anyway, and I’m so happy I did. The company is an amazing and growing company and they have been pleased with my work.

None of the above would have happened if it were not for my decision to take my life into my own hands and turn it into a life where I was happy and fulfilled.

You Want To Make A Change, But What Can You Do?

So what can you do to help make a decision to change something that is not working for you?

  • Make a list of the pros and cons of where you are at now
  • Make a list of your values
  • Make a list of your talents
  • Ask 3-5 people who are closest to you what your 5 strengths are, 5 main values are, 5 things you are good at, 5 things unique about you, and 5 things needing improvement
  • Make that same list for yourself before looking at the other peoples answers
  • Take a look at what you are “gaining” from staying where you are

There are also a whole bunch of posts with amazing advice (like the post entitled “Happiness Isn’t Just a Choice“) over at Tim Brownson’s blog A Daring Adventure. He is a life coach with lots of practical motivation and self help advice.

The Choice Really Is Yours

The main thing is to realize that the choice is in your hands. Deciding or not deciding is a decision and you are the one who makes it.

And if you decide to stay where you are because you don’t have the energy to cope with change, then make the decision to do what you have decided to do (stay where you are) with a  full heart, energetically and happily.

You might be surprised where that change of attitude will take you.

What have you done in the past that can give you the boost you need to believe in yourself and decide to make a change for the better?

Susie is a happily married mother of 5 kids ages 4-20. She writes over at New Day New Lesson about the lessons she learns (some of them not easy) from life each day. She has slowly learned that there are things more important than getting rid of every dust bunny in the house.

She has also learned that our life is in our hands and there is no greater joy than helping out your fellow man. (And yes, once upon a time, a sentence like that might have made her puke too.) You can also find out more about helping at her Kindness Club as well.

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