Fatalism instead of courage and willingness to take risks: “The horse is dead, but at least it is safe!”


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Fatalism can also save us from having to deal with uncomfortable changes. It is better to sit there like under a glass bell - that seems safer at the moment.

Fatalism instead of courage and willingness to take risks: "The horse is dead, but at least it is safe!”


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Tom Diesbrock 84Tom Diesbrock is a psychologist, consultant, team developer and book author.

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Like on the Titanic

This type human reminds a little of a passenger on the Titanic. Motto: I know very well that my job makes me dissatisfied and maybe somebody is sick. Possibly that my life could be better and more complete. But who guarantees me that another job gives me just as much security? None! And so I'd rather not move.

Imagine, someone has been traveling for a while on a cruise ship, which is now unfortunately licked. Through a hole penetrates water - not much, but foolishly too much for the pumps. Most of the passengers have already settled in rescue boats.

Ships and jobs that are doomed to sink

But that someone refuses to disembark and points out that the ship has so far been a safe and comfortable place. What are the dangers in such a small boat on the ocean? The cruise ship has finally proven itself, and who knows if it will really go under! The tour operator will certainly ensure that help will come soon, he is convinced of that. So why take unnecessary risks?

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An absurd story. Naturally. Who would ever behave like this? Well, I know a lot of people who may not cling to sinking ships, but cling to jobs that will almost certainly be “their doom” in the foreseeable future.

The logic of the security premise

And just like our crusader, they follow the “logic of the security primacy”. I have already described that the thought of change triggers fear in most people. We apparently automatically judge the unknown as dangerous.

This mechanism is also useful to protect us against the risk of compromising our lives, it ensures our safety. His natural opponent is our pursuit of happiness, excitement, new experiences and growth. Both are created in each of us - but the individual who is in our upper hand is individually very different.

The security requirement is different

For some, a low level of dissatisfaction and stagnation is enough to immediately start looking for new opportunities. His “internal security officer” will only intervene if the risks appear to him to be existential.

Another person needs much more pressure for change and suffering, until he sets off. And even then, he is always eager to choose the solution with the least amount of risk - his security officer is always vigilant and often takes control.

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The Totstellreflex

Whether we tend to be on one side or the other depends on our experience, on the personality, and on the subject. For example, in private life, for example, we may be prepared to take higher risks than we do in our work or vice versa. The more security-oriented we are, the more stress means a possible change for us.

And a typical reflex for stress is the "deadlock reaction" (all living beings react to danger either with attack, flight or dead spots): It causes me to stop moving or orient myself, but only to stay where I am until the danger is over.

When the big brain rules

A fairly archaic reaction, which of course does not necessarily meet the requirements of the situation. But our big brain likes to be lord of the situation (even if it is hardly involved in the stress reaction), and quickly finds many good arguments, the others and ourselves explain that we do the best and most reasonable.

Even if we are currently riding a dead horse or going under with our ship ... Stress also means that we generally rate the status quo as rather safe and tend to overestimate dangers that could bring about change.

Do not panic!

Surprisingly often, I experience that people are afraid of a change in their job, to lose everything, and to be completely destitute on the road - although they estimate this risk rather rationally on closer examination.

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This tendency to risk overruns may have helped our ancestors tens of thousands of years ago in survival. Avoiding deadly dangers was certainly more important than discovering something new.

The brain is still in the Stone Age

Only today - at least in professional life - we are no longer threatened by so many deadly dangers. Unfortunately, our brain has not yet adjusted to this “new” situation. However we turn it around: the search for new territory will always involve a certain degree of risk.

When I look, for fear, only to see a maximum of security in every situation, my radius of movement is very, very small. With so little inner freedom I will hardly be able to find a really new solution. Rather, I will find myself more frequently on sinking ships.

And what type are you?

Of course, there are also people who are unfamiliar with security thinking and who like to take high risks if their lives are not monotonous and uniform. You would never wait that long until your horse is dead ...

How would you rate it? What role does security play for you when it comes to your professional reorientation? Could it happen to you that you are still sitting on a dead horse a bit, because it seems so safe to you?

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  1. Hans-Erich

    Change is good - I'll just bookmark this site and come back regularly. Thanks for that.

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