We work hard to get into a position and when we finally get there, we are so relieved and easily become complacent. Or maybe you worked so hard to get into a relationship with someone and then once you got him or her you become complacent. Once the goal is reached it is so easy to just settle in and not continue to strive for more. Comfort zones are easy to get trapped in. Essentially that’s what complacency is all about…getting too comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with the idea of settling into your new position. However once you have mastered your position, you should be striving to get out of your ‘comfort zone’. Not only should you consistently do your best, but you should strive to exceed expectations.
It doesn’t only happen at work but also in our personal lives. We gut stuck in routines and habits. Relationships suffer because both parties no longer make the same efforts as they did in the beginning. We do that in our careers sometimes too. The efforts in the beginning may not be as passionate as they are two or three years into it. Just think about it, I’m sure you have found yourself settled into a routine that you’ve become so comfortable with and the idea of change can be terrifying. To the point where no progress is made and sometimes you don’t even care.
Complacency can even kill big multi-million dollar businesses. Think of Kodak. There was a time when they dominated the marketplace when it came to film. Back in the days when we used 35-mm film to take photographs, Kodak was a market leader. But when the digital age came they fell asleep. Kodak became complacent and comfortable with how dominant they were and took too long to adapt to the digital changes that were happening. (Click here to read on Forbes about Kodak’s demise)
Wherever you are in life doesn’t have to be the last place you end up. Use where you are as a platform to get to the next place. Complacency is one thing that can kill a dream, kill a vision and even your career. It can inhibit you from moving forward and cause nothing but stagnation in your life. It’s definitely not a part of prosperous living.
Here are a few tips on how to get out of a life of complacency.
1. Start small.
Sometimes making a change can be quite daunting. Begin with little things that act as small steps to get you into breaking old habits or routines. For example if you always drive the same way home from work, try another route. Believe it or not, something as simple as this can get your brain on track to adapting for slight changes.
2. Take risks.
Risks are one of the hardest things for people to take on. This is mainly because there is comfort in safety and security. But the most successful people are those willing to take on risk. Entrepreneurs are often the biggest risk takers. Think of people like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. It takes courage to do what others won’t do especially when you have other people pulling you down. Sometimes the only way to do it is to jump.
3. Try something new.
Sometimes just one new thing added to your routine can make a difference in getting out of being complacent. Take a night class, join the gym or a club. If you are trying to advance your career choosing courses that will help you excel are best. Perhaps you have fallen behind in technology and need to learn how to use some software. A class will help you get there and can lead you to better performance on the job or even a promotion in the future.
If you’re running a business pay attention to what’s happening in the market and don’t be afraid to adopt new things. Those new things can take your business to the next level.
4. Keep the end in mind.
When you keep your goals in mind you will always remember that being complacent won’t get you ahead. If your goal is to become the Chief Financial Officer of the company then every time you feel discouraged or complacent remember that. Remind yourself of the goal.
If you’re in a relationship and going through a rough or routine patch remember the reason you got together and if it’s worth it switch things up make the changes necessary to re-charge the relationship for the future.
I hope these little tips will help you get out of being stuck in a rut.