In our search for personal growth, there’s a delicate balance between appreciating our wins, having a positive mindset, and recognizing complacency. The truth about complacency is that it can rear up and bite us when we least expect it!
I was once interviewing a guest for one of my programs. When the recording came back from processing, I noticed my sound was a touch echoey. Relative to similar shows, the sound quality was fine; it made the grade. But it was a lower sound quality than I like to produce.
I had a choice here, act or be complacent. I decided even though my mic wasn’t 100%, I would do what most of us would; I crossed my fingers and ignored it. I hoped it would just fix itself. I thought dealing with the issue would be an energy drain. I switched off and allowed my complacent self to forget all about it.
Monday rolled around and I hosted a group coaching call with some rockstar entrepreneurs. I checked in with them at the start of the call to make sure my sound was good. There was a resounding yes, and we began a deep dive into a 90-minute recording.
Everything was great until the replay came back from production. Yup, you guessed it. My mic had deteriorated further and the recording had an annoying background hiss. Arghhhh!!
Complacency and its aftermath
But really, who was to blame here? I had that inner knowingness on the previous Friday that something was up with my mic and I chose to ignore it. I chose to let my complacency drive my actions, and for that, I paid the price. I had to re-record some of the webcast for my permanent program, so the cost here was my own time and energy, not to mention the frustration that resulted from ignoring the fact I should have acted sooner.
You know that when you put off or avoid something, it usually gets worse, but you do it anyway, time and time again!
The solution to my problem, as it turned out, was a short, simple trip to Long & McQuade where the friendly staff gave me a new mic no questions asked, 15 mins flat. A fix in a fraction of the time it took to re-record the content. Had I acted when the problem first appeared and I got that subtle nudge, I would have saved myself time, energy, and the negative effects of being frustrated with my own inaction. What needed to change for me in that situation was my mindset towards technology. I saw it as a time and energy drain. I had already decided it was a mountain and that created space for complacency.
So, what does my mic have to do with improving your relationships, health, circumstances, and state of being?
How often do you let things slide, that do not align with your heart’s wisdom because you’re trying to avoid frustration, conflict, rejection, guilt, rocking the boat, losing time or something, disappointing someone, and so on? Those subtle boundary infractions that by themselves aren’t “worth” bringing it up. But when you add all those little things that have piled up over time, now there’s the rub.
Every day we ignore our stresses; our overwhelm, lack, worry, guilt, fear, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. Every single day we let this complacency in just a little bit more, it’s compounding, and we are dragging that white noise in our wake. We brush things off as being normal (everyone else is stressed too) or tell ourselves that if we want more, we aren’t grateful for what we have.
By brushing it off, you keep repeating the same choices, letting complacency rule the roost. You create the same results despite your heart crying out for something more.
These issues don’t just magically go away; they accumulate, they grow, they cause secondary issues, drive your choices, shade your perspective, and drag you down. This is the hidden cost of complacency, its internal truth. It is robbing you of your joy, happiness, satisfaction, hurting your relationships, wreaking havoc on your nervous system, creating emotional and physical pain. Yet, you keep pushing forward. The subtle, gradual growth of this unwanted state allows you to become unaware of its magnitude. Meanwhile, your issues escalate and take you to a situation that no longer feels manageable. You wonder how you got there because there wasn’t really anything significant that sounded the alarm. Then it hits you, hindsight.
Fear, unworthiness, and guilt
Why do we put off addressing what needs our attention when we know it will more than likely get worse?
Complacency is not about laziness, it’s about fear, unworthiness, guilt, and so on.
Because we have convinced ourselves that change is impossibly hard. We don’t have time, we don’t have the energy, we’re simply afraid, even when moving from worse to better. Through the lens of complacency, we don’t recognize the true state of affairs. We’ve adapted to a level of living and it becomes our new comfort zone (even when it’s uncomfortable).
Not all problems are as easy to fix as my mic situation; many aren’t. But choosing to honour the heart’s wisdom trumps complacency time after time. You know where complacency leads and it’s not a happy ending, so action, no matter how subtle, is always a better alternative.
Growth, progression, and healing
When I discovered my path in 2013, my whole perspective of change transformed and with it, my life. I discovered I could have a positive relationship with change and that change is possible with much more joy and ease than I ever thought possible. And when I do fall foul of those complacent thoughts, I use it as a reminder to face those thoughts before the issues escalate.
The current climate has many suffering in silence and becoming increasingly complacent with a situation that feels out of their hands, but this is a time of growth, progression, and healing. Find something you are comfortably uncomfortable with and act now before you end up metaphorically re-recording material that you could have easily avoided!
If you do one thing this year, make the commitment to yourself to finally face-up to those issues you’ve been quietly pushing aside. It takes courage, practice, and accountability, so don’t be afraid to find a trusted friend or professional to lean on through the process.
Yours in joyful transformation,
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