Certainty of misery

BY  Louis M. Morgner
Published
June 6, 2021
People prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty — Virginia Satir

When was the last time you took a risk? The last time you were unsure about the outcome of an action you took. The feeling of being unsure whether something will work is something we all struggle with. We don’t want to fail. But why is that? Maybe we are afraid of being judged. Maybe we are afraid of realizing that we’re not good enough. Maybe we are afraid of clearly seeing where our limits lay. This fear of failure then becomes the reason why we don’t act. The reason why we are afraid of taking risks and trying something new. In fact, this fear holds us back from the life we truly aspire to live. There is a saying that god places our wildest desires on the other side of fear. So the question remains: Do you have the courage to overcome that fear?

Virginia Satir, a psychologist from the US, is known for the idea that “People prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty”. If you think about it, this idea holds a true view of how people view life. People rather live a miserable life being certain about how it will play out than to take the chances and aim for a life they truly aspire to live. The latter path requires you to live with the misery of uncertainty, yet it’s the only path that allows you to live your best life. Uncertainty is not fun. It’s not fun putting in hours and hours of work without seeing a direct outcome. It’s not fun failing over and over again at different things in your life. This misery in the form of uncertainty is something no one wants. Nevertheless, it’s the exclusive way one can live their best life.

In order to be great, you need to give up good. But the question is: Are you willing to take the chances and deal with the misery of uncertainty? Or do you rather live with the certainty of misery? In any case, it’s up to you.

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