How to Battle Complacency

By Alyssa Gregory

Complacency is a sneaky thing, mainly because it starts off with a positive feeling. You may have just done something phenomenal, reached a significant goal, or achieved some sort of big success. Understandably, you take some time to revel in the “not doing” that comes after an accomplishment; that period of self-satisfaction and celebration.

But what happens if you don’t come out of the haze of success? You move on, of course, but without the same sense of urgency, without the drive and the tenacity that helped you achieve your big win in the first place. You start to lose your focus, your direction.

Then, you wake up one morning and realize you missed out on a huge opportunity; you are unbelievably bored with your work; or you no longer have any idea where you’re going, or even where you want to go. You became complacent, and it’s starting to kill your passion.

So, what can you do to battle complacency, or to snap yourself out of it when you suspect it might be starting to set up camp in your life? Here are some ideas to rekindle your passion.

Make a List of Your Successes

One of the best ways to get motivated is to look back at some of your biggest accomplishments. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start jotting down some of the things you have done that you are most proud of.

I know, this sounds an awful lot like tooting your own horn. Well, that’s because it is. But it’s also a great way to remind yourself what you’re capable of and start to build some confidence that can lead to action.

Set a New Goal

Goal setting is not something you should only do to ring in the New Year. Goals are not resolutions, but that’s an entirely different topic. The truth is, the most successful goals are those that you take time to set and then revisit frequently to make sure you’re on track.

If you’re not actively working toward a business goal, it’s time to set a new goal. It’s not as overwhelming as you may think, and it’s sure to reignite some of your passion. Use this set of goal setting resources to get started.

Aim for Exceptional

Want to know who Complacency’s best friend is? Let me introduce you to Mediocrity. Together, these two are brutal. This is how it works: you become complacent (for a reason we talked about above). Then, you force yourself to do the bare minimum to skate by. Enter Mediocrity. Well, now you’re in the cycle — you have no motivation or passion for what you’re doing so you keep just doing the least amount of work, putting in the least amount of effort, just to get it done.

Do you want to know how to break the cycle? It’s simple. Take one task or project and commit to going above and beyond, shattering expectations and getting it done exceptionally well. This is what is going to happen. You’re going to complete that project with 110% effort and you’re going to feel good, darn good, when it’s done. In fact, you’re going to feel so good that it rolls into the next project, and the next. And before you know it, you’re just killing it all the time. That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

The trick to all of this is being able to see complacency before it completely takes over, and understanding that the kryptonite to complacency is simply DOING. If you’re doing something to move forward, you’re doing what it takes to end complacency.

What do you do to make sure you’re not becoming complacent?

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Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa is a digital strategist, content marketer, freelance writer and founder of the Small Business Bonfire. She's a team player, a team builder and not a bad leader, either. You can often find her on various social networks looking for remarkable people to collaborate with.

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