3 Simple Things You Can Do To Challenge Yourself From Feeling Complacent
Ahhh, the warmth and familiarity of comfort zones. This is the optimal condition for the feeling of complacency to thrive. It is when we feel self-sufficient – everything is good enough and there is no need to try any harder or make any changes. It is when you feel like your entry-level job pays the bills so why try to advance in your career? Or when I’m content being a content writer so there’s no need to explore the opportunity to be an author. As peaceful and ‘accepting’ as it sounds, the feeling of complacency can do some permanent damage when it comes to our progress of any kind in any area of our lives. Thus, here are some simple things you can do in your daily lives to challenge yourself from feeling complacent.
1. Getting out of your bubble
One of my favourite traits that I am absolutely proud of (#selflove) is the desire to always want to do my absolute best. The standards we set for ourselves can determine if we are striving or allowing ourselves to feel complacent. Usually, for any kind of work we perform, there is always a ‘good enough’, a threshold that needs to be reached for a job to be considered done.
However, getting out of your bubble means not settling for the ‘good enough’ standard. Rather, it means making a conscious choice to do your absolute best. The idea of absolute best includes what can you incorporate into your work that was never or rarely done by anyone else, This will definitely make your work stand out. The crucial component here is not the desire for the admiration that follows, but the curiosity and the willingness to explore new things. Thus, take up risks and challenges. When you follow your curious mind in the process of wanting to do your absolute best, it will prevent complacency.
Be cautious though, it is incredibly vital to think things through before you take risks. Besides, how you determine your growth here is not by trying to surpass other people’s achievement, but by surpassing your personal best.
2. Keeping the right mindset
Consistency is key
Maybe you have gotten out of your bubble before. But try to recall the last time you did so in your career or in your studies. Did you do it because it is just what you always do? Or it was because you were all fired up with some motivation?
It is easy to fall into the trap of complacency. Especially so when getting out of your bubble is not a habit! For some of us, it only occurs once in a while when some mysterious force fires up our temporary motivation. The keyword here is ‘temporary’, meaning it will fade with time – making it easy to make excuses and settle into the ‘good enough’ standard. Thus, make a commitment to consistently get out of your bubble and do your best, not only when you’re motivated.
What does it truly mean to you?
Keep a lookout for the impact you will have on those around you, yourself, or your community. I have always been terrified of my event organising skills. Having never done it before, I thought I didn’t need to either. I was complacent. Eventually, the opportunity presented itself to organise an event that would positively impact the community by shining some light on a very serious social issue. Then, my fear of my organising skills became less relevant in comparison to the impact I could have on other people.
As long as you’re unaware of what you are unaware of, you are more likely to settle in where you are and see no reason to do better. You’ll be self-satisfied. This is why keeping yourself open to keep learning is vital. Constantly striving towards learning something new expands your horizon. It introduces you to new concepts and skills that you may want to dive into if they interest you. It is the key to be aware of what you are unaware of, to even be aware if you’re complacent in the first place. Thus, cultivate a teachable attitude to facilitate your learning.
Your time here is limited
Whenever a new opportunity presents itself and I’m hesitant to take it up, the first question I ask myself is, ‘Do you have anything better to do?’. If you don’t have a solid justification, that’s your sign that you’re either complacent or letting the fear of failure take the wheel. The worst is when you think you’re still young and have all the time in the world. You come up with excuses like ‘I can write that book in a few more years’, or ‘I’ll travel more when it’s time’. But the truth is, you don’t.
Your time here is limited and what you do with it is incredibly important. If you don’t take any chances, there will be a time when the older you will look back and realize what is left are regrets and a big ball of ‘what if’s and ‘could have’s.
3. Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to let all these get into your head. The consequences might be forcing yourself to try everything to prevent complacency, which can get incredibly overwhelming. You will get sucked into the ‘Non-stop Hustle Culture’ a.k.a ‘overworking’ that constantly focuses on only productivity while everything else including rest and recovery will be disregarded as unimportant. Constantly take up challenges that will help you grow – but also take your limitations into account. And if you do fall short trying, it is always the lessons and experiences that matter.
We are all potential victims of complacency. It is a very common scenario that happens to almost all of us. But just because it is common, it doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. Getting out of your bubble and keeping the right mindset are the baby steps you can take towards your greatness. And if you fall short, be kind to yourself.