Ever feel like you were invincible, like you were flying fullspeed towards your goals? Then, all of a sudden, you got comfortable. You stopped pushing for bigger and better things and slowly began to let your life pass you by and accepting mediocrity. Being burnt out can lead to complacency if you are not careful. When things become easy and you relax too much you can develop legacy thinking such as “that’s the way we do it,” or “it worked fine last time.” This mindset can set yourself up for failure making you become set in your ways instead of searching for further improvement and efficiency.
Complacency can be the mark of death for all business owners and employees if it is not quickly addressed and dealt with. It is one of the only things you can do that cannot be justified into achieving your goal of any kind. Complacency is the ultimate destroyer of progress and moving your life forward. Complacency in an organization is dangerous and can have some pretty serious consequences. You can lose your competitive edge, tolerate mediocre performance, and lose customers, and more importantly, money.
How do you address complacency and snip the bud in the head? We have put together a list of tips to help you take a checklist to see if you are falling into complacency.
- Disengaged: Gauge your excitement when your leader hands you new responsibilities. Are you excited and taking it upon yourself to be collaborative or are you inwardly groaning that now you have even more work to do? If your head and heart are not into it anymore, this is a strong warning sign that you might be checked out and headed towards Complacent Land.
- No longer investing in yourself: Do you focus on success and achievement? Are you making it a priority to invest in yourself to develop your skill-sets and relationships? Are you taking the time to network internally or externally? If you are not taking the time to try and grow yourself this is another signifier of complacency.
- Take Shortcuts: Getting negative feedback because you are not as thorough or detailed oriented as you once were? Relying on your positive reputation to give you to be a bit lazy? This is another sign that they have lost their desire to compete.
- Don’t Take Any Risks: In today’s workplace, especially with the ongoing pandemic, everyone’s jobs are at risk. But if you seek to get discovered in your career, you must be courageous enough to take risks Taking calculated risks is how you advance business. If you are not taking any risks, this is cause for concern; playing it too safe is a sign of complacency, and an admission that you would rather stay on the sidelines and be told what to do rather than become a more integral and influential part of the team.
- Lost Your Passion: When you lose your passion for your responsibilities, and no longer get excited about work, it’s time to reassess. The passionate pursuit of excellence is the fuel that stimulates high-performance and a contagious, winning attitude. When you have reached a point where your passion is lost, it is almost impossible to find any level of career success.
- Create Goals: Setting goals will help both the individuals and the organization to overcome complacency because there will constantly be a target they are trying to reach. It is difficult to become set in your ways when there is an objective that you are being held accountable to reach. By actively putting in progress towards a goal, you will stop the complacent mindset and stop thinking “this is good enough.” Instead, you will begin to take initiative over your goals and become invested in seeing the progress of the goals, actively striving to achieve them.
- Shake Things Up: Put someone else in charge and shake up your organization. Sometimes a fresh perspective and change in pace can help motivate the team and identify issues festering within an organization. Take advantage of the offloaded responsibilities and start exploring new growth opportunities. New members to your team come with a fresh perspective and new insights, have a meeting with them shortly after they join the team to talk through what they have seen and any ideas they might have. You might have become complacent and not realized it. Having these new eyes can help you reevaluate areas that need some polishing and have gone unnoticed.
- Invest time and money to improve your skills: Self-improvement is one of the best antidotes to fight off complacency. As mentioned, the best leaders encourage their teams to think about how to challenge the status quo and look for ways to do better every day. It is extremely rare that a company that thinks and acts on a timely basis—in part by using the above steps—will ever fall victim to complacency. By investing and putting money into improving your team and your own skills you remain active and are less likely to fall into being stagnant and complacent.
- Practice Self-Forgiveness: What happens if you go through this process and some unforeseen life circumstance gets you off track? Personal issues, work issues, and family issues arise out of nowhere all the time. In these times make sure to practice self-forgiveness. Rather than berate yourself with internal dialogue, get back up and go back to working at the goal. Life will happen to you, that is to be expected. What matters is how you bounce back from a setback.
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Everything we need to accomplish what we deserve and desire exists inside us, we just need to set goals and think about the different ways in which we can look at a situation to break the bonds of complacency. The knowledge was put there for us, you can reclaim what you were made for at any time. Just remember to forgive yourself if uncontrollable issues arise that are out of your control and throw you off track.