I discovered that I exhibit this trait during an appointment with my herbalist. She has this super cool program that checks your entire body and provides a report of what health issues you’re having and what kinds of herbs you need to resolve those issues. However, it also includes information on the emotional problems causing the physical ones.
After reading the report, she said, “Complacency keeps coming up over and over again in your results.”
“Complacency? Really?” I responded with amazement. “I’m not a complacent person, so how can that be?”
What Does Complacent Mean?
When I left her office, I looked up the definition to be sure I understood. I wanted to discern if I was truly a complacent person.
The definition of the word “complacency,” according to Dictionary.com, is: “pleased, especially with oneself or one’s merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied.”
Hmmm. I would not describe myself as self-satisfied, and I don’t think of myself as pleased or satisfied with any area of my life. I am always striving to better myself and my life…or am I?
I read another definition of complacency. It described a complacent person as a couch potato—happy to sit and watch television even though she knows she could (or should) be doing something more beneficial and this could be harmful to her health.
Am I Complacent?
I started thinking about the couch potato example. There are times when I sit on the couch and watch TV when I know I could be reading a book or doing an online course. I watch TV because it’s easy and some of the shows I watch make me feel good. After a long day of work, it’s nice to engage in a mindless activity rather than push myself to do something that will better me in some way.
Woah! That’s complacency!
Then I thought about the fact that I know I need to exercise more consistently. Often during the day, I remind myself that I should get up and do a few air squats or sit-ups. I could even get on the stationary bike for 10 minutes or lift some weights. “I’m too busy today,” I typically say to myself. Or “I’ll do it after work.”
And then…you guessed it…I don’t get around to it at all.
Yikes! That’s complacency.
In effect, I’m saying, “I’m happy with the way it is. I’ll just do what I always do, which is what’s easiest—even if it isn’t good for me.”
Holy cow! I am one complacent lady!
I’m even complacent in my marriage. There are times when I know I could try to better the relationship or speak up, but I don’t. I rationalize, “I don’t want to rock the boat.” But if I continue being complacent, the boat will sink!
In my work, where I would generally say I am not complacent at all, I see signs of complacency, too! I’m satisfied with my level of writing, don’t push to do more to build my platform, and don’t take actions that would move my career forward. Why? Because it feels hard and stressful.
Who knew I was so complacent? Not me… That’s for sure. But I know now.
Complacency Keeps You Comfortable
As a Certified High Performance Coach, I know I can do better. And, surprisingly, I thought I was striving to do better, be better—but I guess I thought wrong. In fact, if I want to live a high-performance life filled with challenge, passion, enthusiasm, joy, achievement, and fulfillment, I have to do something different.
Right now, I’m living the Comfortable Life. This high-performance term comes from Brendon Burchard’s book The Charge. Burchard describes three types of lives you can live:
When you live a Caged Life, you feel jailed and unable to find the key to unlock your cell. You believe your situation is unique, and nobody understands you or how you feel. Plus, you are sure that, no matter what you do, nothing will change. Basically, you’re stuck.
The Comfortable Life is a complacent life. You know there’s more to the experience of life and that you could be, have, and do more, but…well…you are too comfortable to make a change. It’s easier not to do anything different. And change requires effort, and change is risky. So you stay put—on the couch watching television.
On the other side of the Comfortable Life is the Charged Life. In this state, you feel fulfilled, enthusiastic, and happy. You’re continually stepping into a better version of yourself, taking on new challenges, and allowing yourself to experience new things. This way of living makes you feel alive—charged up.
But you cannot experience the Charged Life if you are complacent.
Where are You Complacent?
Look at how you live your life. How do you approach each day? What do you put off until tomorrow or next week? Notice how often you say, “I don’t feel like doing that right now,” or “I don’t have time.”
Pay attention to the moments when you know you could—should—be doing something different—something that would help you become the person you want and know you could be—and don’t. When do you let yourself off the hook?
- Do you park close to the store rather than farther away even though you know walking a few extra steps would be good for you?
- Do you eat dessert even though the doctor told you losing weight would solve your health conditions?
- Do you continue watching television instead of reading the book you know might inspire or motivate you?
- Do you hit the snooze button five times rather than getting up to start that morning routine you’ve been talking about for so long?
When don’t you challenge yourself to become the best version of yourself?
Here’s the thing about a challenge—when you rise to one, you move out of complacency and feel more alive…more charged. When you challenge yourself, you step out of complacency and the Comfortable Life. You begin to live Charged Life.
If you won’t challenge yourself, let me challenge you to do these four things:
- Make a list of the things you know you could do or have wanted to do to improve yourself but haven’t taken action merely because it’s easier to keep things status quo.
- Pick one of the activities you identified and that you are willing to commit to doing, such as read or exercise for 30 minutes per day.
- Commit to taking action.
- Take action. Do what you say you are going to do.
Push Past Complacency
Complete these four steps, and you will stop behaving complacently. Push yourself to follow through. Challenge yourself to keep the commitment to yourself.
How do I know this is true…since I, too, am complacent? First, my Certified High Performance Coaching clients consistently prove that these steps take them from comfortable to charged.
Second, I’ve been using these steps and feeling and seeing the difference in myself and my life. As they say, we teach what we need to learn.
Take the challenge and leave complacency behind! If you meet it, you will take a massive step towards becoming the person you know you can be. And you’ll find yourself living a totally different type of life and becoming a totally different person. Plus, you’ll find achieving your goals and creating your dreams become a whole lot easier.
Do you see places in your life where you are complacent? Tell me in a comment below.
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Photo courtesy of jetsam86