Status Quo Bias

Last week I finished the book, ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown and I bookmarked quite a few revelations and some things that I wanted to learn more about.

One of said things was the status quo bias, “The tendency to continue doing something simply because we have always done it.”

As a person who tries to be intentional with her words and actions, the new-to-me term piqued my interest. I wondered whether, as diligent as I am at being productive and creating professional and person ‘systems’ that work for me, if there was anything in my life that I did just because I always had.

As I mentioned, it’s only been a week since I completed the book and began to investigate and so far, I haven’t found anything that I do just because I always have that doesn’t make sense or add value to my life.

But watch this space stay tuned, I’m sure there will be something.

Take inventory of your life.


In the ongoing effort to clean up your life and to live transparently, it’s important to understand why you say and do what you do.

Traditions, fear of hurting people’s feelings, laziness, stigmas, are some of the reasons we do things that don’t enrich our lives. From never trying a new type of mustard and simply looking for the label your mom always bought, to failing to get help for dealing with our problems, because in your family, you just deal with it yourself.

Under the umbrella of loss aversion, the status quo bias can be attributed to the reason that so many able-bodied adults dream of a life they never actively work to attain. Breaking free of the bias would mean doing something you’ve never done, something that might hurt, fail, take a long time, or be scary. And of course the most crippling adult disease, fear of change.

But you’ve never wanted to settle for or accept the status quo before. So why allow it to dictate your life now? What is it that doesn’t serve you, add value to your life, but that you do just because you always have?

Cut that crap out. Be meaningful about tasks, relationships, spending money, and so on. If your ‘why do I do that?’ answer is a shoulder shrug, or “because”, challenge yourself to make the necessary change.