It’s easy to get complacent in your personal growth when things are going well. For many people, it’s only when life throws us a curveball that we dig in and figure we might have to do something about it.
According to the dictionary, the word “complacent” means to be especially pleased with oneself to the point of being unaware of potential danger. [source] When it comes to personal growth, being complacent is a big part of feeling stuck. You limit your own potential when you become complacent with yourself and your efforts.
Fortunately, you can change this. Here are a few ideas on how to overcome complacency and get back on track with your personal growth.
Recognize that you’re being complacent
There are definite signs you may be complacent in the way you approach your life.
First, if you don’t see life as a learning experience and aren’t making efforts to learn something new for yourself or your career, you’ve likely fallen into an over-confident rut. When you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. You could be putting yourself in a position to be passed over for a promotion by someone who has shown the initiative necessary to thrive.
Second, it’s also likely that your personal relationships are suffering because you’ve you’re not paying attention to signs of discontent.
A third symptom of complacency is never feeling nervous or scared in your life. This is a sure sign that you’re avoiding risk, which is a key element of success. Growing and improving your life requires getting out of your comfort zone.
Fear of change is often seen in complacent individuals. This fear, as with most of forms, limits you and holds you back from greatness. Life has to change somewhat in order to get better, and things can always be better.
The problem with being complacent
When you become comfortable in your situation and feel no need to take steps to improve yourself or move on toward better things, it’s easy for inertia to set in. This state of being stuck becomes harder to overcome the longer you stay there.
Taking initiative when that curveball we talked about earlier shows up will require an awful lot of energy if you’ve been stuck in a comfort zone for awhile.
When you’re coasting along comfortably in life, it’s also easy for your judgment to become clouded. You may begin to become overconfident in your abilities to handle everything that’s on your plate and to underestimate any challenges that lie ahead. This is definitely a dangerous place to be, as it leaves you unprepared to deal with a challenge.
When you’re constantly working to improve yourself and to learn, you are far more able to proactively generate solutions to surprises you may encounter.
How to overcome complacency
It is possible to overcome a complacent nature.
First, use the above listed suggestions to help you recognize whether you’ve become complacent. If you feel you fall into this category, take action by setting some new goals for yourself.
You can start small by choosing to do one thing each day that takes you out of your comfort zone or you could brainstorm some bigger goals that could improve your life.
For instance, sign up for that technology course that could put you in the running for a new position at work. When setting your goals, try to ensure that they’re challenging enough to help you move past any inertia you may need to overcome.
In addition, be sure to keep a purpose in mind for each goal. Your “why” or reason behind the goal is what will motivate you to complete it. You’ll soon find that this forward motion will easily build upon itself, pushing you to reach for more challenging goals.
It’s easy to see how being complacent can keep you stuck in a rut and hinder your personal growth. You have the power to overcome it, though. Use these tips to help you recognize and overcome complacency when it hits and you’ll be well on the way to achieving your goals and living your best life.