Feature Article: Breaking Free of Status Quo

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Featured Article | 0 comments

Status quo is a word that most of us have heard of or even used in a sentence. You may have grown up listening to the song “Stick to the Status Quo” from High School Musical. From those experiences of hearing it, the status quo seems like something that most people want to continue somehow, like a tradition that people don’t want to break.

What is Status Quo?

The word status quo is not English but Latin. It translates to “existing state,” which means the current state or how things are normally done. However, the status quo has a negative connotation. When you say that you want to “stick to the status quo,” most of the time, it means that you do not want to change something that you have currently been doing and are more resistant to change or innovation.

Most of the time, the people who hold money or power often want to maintain the status quo. Usually, maintaining a current system, even if it may be corrupt or disadvantageous to a minority, will allow them to hold on to their existing power. However, because the status quo follows the current norms of society, others would still prefer to stick to it even if it disadvantages them.

People with radical ideas or who want to make drastic changes to society are viewed as people who want to disrupt the status quo. Deviant people like this often have varied opinions from the public. Some may support them for abolishing a previously oppressive structure in society, while others seriously reject them (and their ideas) for being insurgents.

How Do We Break Free of the Status Quo?

First of all, we must recognize that changing or opposing the status quo will benefit us in the long run, especially if we feel trapped under a system that dictates the kind of life we must live. If you are interested, you may want to read a thought-provoking book for self-discovery to understand what it is that you want. If you find that you want to be able to break free of the status quo, here are some tips for you to do so:

1. Know What You Want

Knowing what you want is always the first thing to do when breaking the status quo. When deciding what you want, make sure that you pick something you truly desire, not just because something is more achievable or easier to do. 

People are constantly bombarded with expectations to fit into a particular norm or follow a specific path based on what was previously done before. Finding what you love and enjoy, like your own passions, often helps you realize what it is you want out of life.

2. Stop Following the Crowd

Growing up, many people have experienced wanting to do something just because everyone else is doing it. They want to go to a party just because everyone will be there; they want to buy something because everyone has it. However, these subtle traces of the status quo become more prominent over time. People would take a course that their parents want or apply for a job just because everyone is doing that.

So if you find that you are the person who does this, try and assess if you want to do it—giving your choices second thoughts about whether you enjoy it and if it is something you want to continue with if other people weren’t doing it as well.

If you find that your current job or course is something that you want, then continue. However, if you find out that it is not something you want, looking for alternative options that you love or are passionate about will help you know and plan a “game plan.”

3. Create Your Path

Speaking of game plans, you may want to plan how to change your career or course of life. Sometimes, people want to quit a particular job and pursue their passions. Others would choose to save up first before doing so. Based on what you decide, learning how you want to achieve what you want is something you should start thinking about if you want to make your ambitions a reality.

If drastic changes scare you, you may want to start with something smaller and simpler first, such as stopping actions you do just to please the crowd or because the majority wants you to do it. To illustrate, stop if you don’t want to attend a team dinner but have been doing so just because everyone is doing it. Often smaller actions like these can allow you to take little steps and give you the courage to make drastic changes later.


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