One of my favorite economists/philosophers, Tyler Cowen, has a great interview on the Ezra Klein Show, which I highly recommend.
At multiple points in the interview, they discuss status quo bias.
Status quo bias is exactly what it sounds like - an emotional bias in favor of the way things are.
The thing about status quo bias which is so insidious is that it underlies EVERY SINGLE DECISION that we make.
We become so attached to the status quo, that our universe becomes frighteningly small when we are evaluating our options.
It's why we can feel "trapped" in a job when there are literally millions of other jobs.
We fail to realize (or simply forget) that this feeling is a cognitive bias. It's irrational and disconnected from reality.
Which is why the experience of quitting a job (or making any "big" change) often feels like this:
(Originally spotted on The Non-Consensus, and illustrated by Angry Art Director)
One actionable takeaway from the discussion is that if you find yourself at the point where you are seriously weighing whether or not to make a change - be it a big change like quitting your job or a small change like going out for Ethiopian instead of Thai - then that (the act of serious consideration) is a signal that you should go ahead and make the change.
But be aware - when you do commit to moving forward, status quo bias will rear its head and do its very best to get you to continue analyzing the decision, weighing the pros and cons, and generally delaying any deviation from the status quo.
Call it out for what it is ("get out of here status quo bias!!!") and then move forward with the expansion of your one and only life.
I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.