Why change is difficult (and why I’m glad I went to the Emergency Room)

Change is hard.

We get stuck in our ways and we get into a routine. It’s like we’re on auto-pilot because we’re just going through the motions.

It’s easy to keep going through the motions. It doesn’t take much thought or effort so we keep doing it.

We’re miserable so we know something, anything needs to change. Odds are that we even know what we need to do differently, yet we don’t do them because that would be difficult. We like easy.

It’s in our nature.

Why rock the boat?

Why quit a dead-end job if it pays the bills and then some? All I have to show up for 40 days a week and every 2 weeks, I get a check deposited into my account.

It’s not a bad gig. In fact, many would kill for such a set-up.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful for the situation I’m in; it’s just that I want to get more out of life….I want to stop simply going through the motions just for a pay check every 2 weeks.

Things are getting more and more ridiculous with my job. Lazy co-workers getting lazier, one shitty manager replacing another shitty manager, rude customers getting ruder, and corporate politics becoming more and more absurd.

I took a half-ass approach to leaving all this behind about 2 months ago for the second time this year but that didn’t get me very far.

I learned a lot but it didn’t get me out of the predicament I’ve found myself in.

But hey, I only have myself to blame for it.

I’ve had some self-employed business ideas in my head for a while that I think could be semi-successful but I just can’t seem to pull the trigger and turn any of them into a reality.

I’m not even giving myself the chance to succeed; to escape my dead-end job.

I know exactly what I need to do but I just can’t do it.

It’s like knowing the pill you’re holding in your hand will keep you alive except you just don’t put it into your mouth.

It’s frustrating. Extremely frustrating.

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar?

I was starting to slip into another episode of depression when I started reading one of my favorite books; The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. (Go ahead and click the link, it’ll take you to Amazon. It’s not an affiliate link.)

The following is an excerpt from that book that really struck a nerve:

All things being equal, we generally resist change until the pain of making a switch becomes less than the pain of remaining in our current situation. This is why incompetent or even hostile employees are allowed to remain in a job far longer than they should, because managers don’t want to deal with finding someone else to replace the bad apple. It’s also why people accept all kinds of situations that are unproductive or downright harmful, from jobs that drain their energy without producing much in return to dysfunctional relationships. To break the cycle, the fear of the unknown as to become less than the stale acceptance of the current situation. There are two ways to make this happen:

  • Increase the pain of the current situation

  • Decrease the fear of the desired situation

So the pain of the current situation I’m in is increasing; we’re getting a new manager who apparently is a huge stickler and I’ll be micromanaged even more soon.

Micromanaging me will get both of us nowhere; I get pissed and I shut down.

Also, a co-worker of mine is going on vacation for 3 weeks at the end of the year so we’ll be short-staffed and stress levels will surely rise.

2 Points for Gryfindor!

(Or least least 2 more ways the pain of my current situation will increase.)

Add that to the fact that I was in the Emergency Room the other week with chest pain, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath and I have some pretty convincing reasons to become self-employed as soon as possible.

My body has reached it’s limit. And the stress and bullshit at work isn’t helping.

Thankfully after an EKG, X ray, Cat Scan, and blood work, the doctors were able to rule out anything to do with my heart.

They’re not sure of the causes of what they think might have happened but stress could play a big role in it. Add that to the fact that it happened at work and I have my suspicions.

Good news is that I’m on blood pressure medication now. Bad news is that I’m 26 and I used to be a well-conditioned athlete.

I was trying out for professional soccer teams about 5 years ago.

Shit; how things change when you have to deal with a bullshit corporate job!

But this trip to the E.R. is the final push I’ve needed to get off my ass and take the leap; I’m done with this shit and no job is worth risking my health.

This trip was a wake up call that life’s short and you never know when your life can change for the worse or suddenly end.

It made me realize that there’s more to life than a job; especially one that is so emotionally and mentally draining! There’s more to life than money, and that there’s no sense in wasting my days waiting. Waiting for what exactly? Hell if I know..

I’ve vowed to myself and my health that I won’t have this job come this time next year.

This is it.

My life is literally depending on it.

We have some major life changes planned in about 5 years and I thought I could suck it up and stay where I’m at until then. I wasn’t happy but I was content. I thought that was the only way to go about things; that I’d just have to make it through another 5 miserable years and I’d be golden.

But that outlook has changed after my recent trip to the E.R.

It made me realize that my job just isn’t worth it.

From the beginning of the Self Employed Movement up until this post, the main themes have been cutting back and figuring out what I truly want in life.

I’ve come a long ways since June and I’m excited for what next year holds.

2015 was the year of realization. 2016 will be the year of action and commerce.

I’m excited for the new year. I hope you are too.

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7 comments

  1. I’m definitely excited. What a horrible wake up call. Starting your own thing can be super scary. We’re with you on that. Our ultimate goal is to do what we want to do, but we’re too lazy/scared to do it without enough savings to catch us if we fall. We don’t like risks. But we also don’t work in horrible jobs. I’m excited to see what you end up doing because ultimately, we’d like to join the self-employed movement. Lead the way!

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    • Actually starting is the scariest part but you never know until you actually try, right?

      I’m hoping I can slowly grow these ideas while I still have my income from my job so that I still have an income if things don’t pan out as I’m hoping.

      Risk is not fun but there’s always risk involved in anything that you do. I’m sure there was risk involved with moving to Alaska and it looks like it turned out fine for you guys πŸ™‚ Realize that you’ve already done “risky” things and it’s turned out great and that’ll make other stuff less scary πŸ™‚

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      • Good points. I am actually someone that likes change. We definitely want to do it while we still have a job as well to see where things go. It’s definitely scarier to NOT try and then wonder and regret.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your motivation. I think what you’re ultimately talking about is getting out of your comfort zone and just letting things flow forward as they always have because, of course, that’s the easy route. It’s so true that the more we escape our zone of comfort, the better prepared we will be to accomplish our goals. Wonderful article, and I’m looking forward to following your progress in 2016. πŸ™‚

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    • Comfort zone is a good way of putting it, Steve. I didn’t really think about it like that. It’s easier to deal with what’s known than taking a risk to see how things could be.

      Like

  3. Yikes — I hope you’re feeling better now, and that ER visit was a one-time thing. Regardless of what you do next, I’m a big fan of yoga and meditation for keeping the anxiety in check and learning good coping skills so the stress doesn’t destroy your health. Look forward to hearing what’s next for you!

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    • I used to do yoga all the time when I was trying out for pro soccer teams and I meditated rather regularly.

      Of course, that was years ago and I’ve fallen off the wagon. My wife and I did restorative yoga the other week and we both enjoyed it. I’d like to think that was the start of a healthier lifestyle!

      Liked by 1 person

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