Community//

How to Stop Being Complacent and Make Your Move

Negative Self Talk + Absence of Trying = Complacency. This is the equation for ultimate failure. Complacency is a self-righteous (sorry but true) belief that either you’re where you should be or it's a lack of motivation to improve. This sense of self-satisfaction or why bother trying mentality is kryptonite to living your best life! So don't mistake complacency for a playing-it-safe version of your comfort zone.

Complacency is the kryptonite to living your best life.

The world is constantly changing;  it’s often difficult to keep up – practically speaking as well as emotionally. Sometimes the faster things around me evolve, the more I have to resist my tendency to retreat in stillness. Well I never used to think of this as complacency; I called it my comfort zone. That’s one of complacency’s evil disguises!

For me, it used to be quite easy to avoid change, taking risks or making real progress. No harm, no foul right? Or I should say, no risk, no fail. This is not unusual. The tendency to fall victim to complacency is alluring and safe … oh it’s also super dangerous.

If you are saying yes to any of these questions (especially more than one), it is time to stop being complacent and take action:

  • Are you a people pleaser because you don’t want to make anyone angry?
  • Do you settle for less because it is easier than disrupting a routine?
  • Are you not pursuing a goal because you fear failure?
  • Are you not pursing a goal because you don’t know where to begin…so you don’t begin at all?
  • Do you resist change in general – does certain change give you anxiety?

Overcome Complacency with Strategy

Settling in to a comfortable mindset can sure feel safe. Who doesn’t want safe? But don’t fool yourself, staying in you comfort zone will not bring you the sense of fulfillment you truly need to live your best life. 

So many of us wish away or even avoid uncomfortable or uncertain feelings. We procrastinate, find other things to do, mindlessly scroll on our devices in denial of reality. All of this ultimately causes even more pain – and a lot more long-term frustration.

Aaaaand when we make assumptions….

I will be in so much pain if I get this procedure. What if something goes horribly wrong?

…and make excuses…

Paying these taxes will drain all my hard-earned money; this is so unfair!

…the result is that we will fall short because we don’t follow through. 

Coming clean with my mistake will only cause me embarrassment. What if I get get fired?

The problem here is that complacency kills progress. Even the mindset that your life is just fine as-is is an indifferent style of negative self talk and thus denial.

I’ll never get ahead. It’s fine. Why bother anyway?

It is stagnancy and it is dangerous to your well-being and your future self.

Stop complacency in its tracks and take ownership of your life. Use these 7 practical ways to recharge your mindset:

1| Work on Your Emotional Well-Being

Low self-esteem can be a critical factor in how avidly you pursue a fulfilling and abundant life. Know that your time is valuable and you are worth it. Use resources such as self-help books and podcasts, or follow motivational and empowering influencers (such as Brené Brown, Tony Robbins, Rachel Hollis) to hone in on and tap in to your self-worth. A healthy self esteem is absolutely crucial to combating complacency.

2| Identify a Goal that has Personal Meaning 

Set goals for yourself that resonate with who you are as a person. It doesn’t matter if your goals are professional or personal, but be consistent and proactive in taking the initiative needed to achieve them. Taking your first step may be the most difficult one; but once you do, you will smell the sweet scent of progress. And feeling that momentum will be contagious!

3| To Thine Own Self Be True

Sometimes life is so hectic that it’s hard to put your needs ahead of others. Being last is not an option. Respect your commitments but respect your own well-being more. Know that if you do not fill your own well, you will not have any water left to stay nourished nor nourish others. Translation: Self-care and being the best version of you will benefit everyone else as well.

4| Set and Continually Examine Your Standards

Ask yourself, “Am I doing my best?” Sure you can lie to yourself but you certainly cannot fool yourself. Take conscious ownership of overcoming complacency then you won’t be able to fake it or go through the motions any longer. Only you can own this choice – yes, Own Your Best!

5| Be Consistent and Committed

If you’re a creature of habit or like routine, use that love for consistency to manage your life and how you go about achieving your goals. Utilize resources and strategies to do what it takes to stay committed to your ambitions. For example, clip or print out pictures of a goal (make a vision board), ask a friend or mentor to keep you accountable if that’s what you need, and stay busy. Take care of your body as much as your mind with a healthy diet, mindfulness activities and physical exercise.

6| An Organized Space (and Mind) is a Productive Life

Sometimes we don’t know where to start, or what to do first, even what not to do, thus we become paralyzed by complacency. So begin with your immediate surroundings. Look for helpful guides and checklists to not only zero in on your goals but to literally make room for them as well. Declutter your life.

Consider removing any unused belongings, a.k.a clutter, from your environment (around your house, on your desk at work, in your car) as a way of keeping only what best serves your well-being. This cleansing will make room for abundance in the physical as well as the soulful sense.

7| Remind Yourself that Life is Short

Don’t obsess with your mortality, that’s just depressing. However, being mindful of the fact that life is delicate and finite will also light a fire under you, if you truly get it. A healthy sense of urgency is an effective antidote to complacency – so use it!

Look for ways to see the world outside of yourself by volunteering for meaningful projects or organizations that are close to your heart. Helping others is one of the best ways to bring out the best version of yourself – it’s a win, win!

Overcoming Complacency is Up to You

If you think you need to stop being complacent there’s also a good chance you’re not truly enjoying life. That’s a powerful message you need to hear. Feeling bad about your life doesn’t mean you have emotional problems or that you’re psychologically damaged in some way. When your life is out of whack for whatever reason, you just need to take action to improve your mindset and situation.

The most critical start to overcoming complacency is to stop lying to yourself. Stop telling yourself that you don’t have the power to make meaningful changes. It’s quite likely that the excuses, negative self-talk and fabricated outcomes which you create are what fuels your inaction – remember, kryptonite

If negative self-talk gets so loud that your fear of failure wins over the desire to even try, don’t give up on yourself. It’s time to tap in to your inner superpower of determination and self-awareness.

So believe it or not you’re probably making the necessary actions a lot more complicated than they need to be. Take the conscious ownership I often refer to in my articles (on my website) and put yourself to work! Practice mindfulness throughout the day and recognize when complacency is afflicting you. It’s rather amazing and liberating how many I feel stuck situations can get unstuck with just a few steps of action and a conscious decision to Own Your Best.

Sections originally published at OwnYourBest.com.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.