While complacency may put you in a comfortable place, or provide a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, the self or smug satisfaction with your complacent situation will blind you from potential danger and risks.
When you assume that you’ve got everything under control, sooner or later something sure as heck will bite you in the ass. That’s how it works…
For many, you won’t even realize that you’ve become complacent. It’s a slow process that over time will sneak into your life, your mindset, and will even cloud your situational awareness.
Here’s more on ‘how and why’ to avoid complacency:
Avoid Complacency: Routines
A big trap for complacency is that of your routines. Your daily lives are often and typically shaped by your regularity. While much of it is unavoidable (the regularity) and certainly not always a bad thing, if you recognize it (the regularity) you can choose to shift or alter it, or simply be aware of it. Being aware of routines in which you become complacent is a step towards recognition of the potential risks that may accompany it. That’s a good thing…
Mundane tasks, routines, normalcy bias, and over-confidence all contribute to complacency. Don’t assume that everything will always be under control.
Instead be attentive and vigilant. Keep your mind alert. Challenge yourself to view and do things differently. Review what you’re doing. Look outside of your bubble of complacency.
“The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities.”
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
“These are days when no one should rely unduly on his ‘competence.’ Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.”
“They believe that nothing will happen because they have closed their doors.”
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;”
Avoid Complacency: Expect Change
Expect change. The world around you is unpredictable. Anything can happen and it can happen at any time. The thing is though, that those who deal with change on a regular basis (as opposed to those who don’t), will most likely be able to deal with that change more effectively.
Complacency Leads To Complacent Activites
Complacency fosters complacent activities. While we all need our occasional ‘down time’, watching too much TV, too much (_______whatever), etc.. is a major deterrence to growth. Instead, more time could be spent growing, whether it be from reading, learning, exercising, projects, etc.. Always be growing. Always be improving (yourself, your situation, perhaps that of others, etc..).
Complacency Encourages The Absolute Minimum
I recently read this, which is analogous to all sorts of things in one’s life (not just your job).
Complacency encourages the absolute minimum.
Why grow when things are going good?
Why push the envelope when I don’t have to?
Why bring elements in that might upset the balance?
If you do the absolute minimum and your job is on the chopping block, guess what? More likely then not, you’re out of a job.
Did you take the time to learn new skills? Make new contacts? Suggest new improvements?
Doing the bare minimum won’t help in getting another job because you’re on the same level as the time you applied for your old one.
Overcome Your Fear And Adapt To Change
In a rapidly changing world, adapting to it (change) is a crucial element to survival. If you’ve stood in one place for too long, you may become complacent (or afraid) to take a step forward. You may end up fearing change. It’s hard to get out of your comfort zone. But the more that you do (force yourself) the more you’ll be able to adapt.
It’s easy to be average. It’s easy to settle. If you’ve been thinking that things are ‘just right’, then it’s probably a sign that you’re falling into complacency. Don’t.