Getting to Complacent and How to Stop

As I was reading an article yesterday, I felt as if I was hit between the eyes. The author was discussing the phenomenon of complacency, which essentially means you take action, hit a mark, but then stop the momentum that got you there. Wow – I had to raise my hand and answer ‘Guilty!”

There have been times when I’ve gotten plenty of clients for my business, which felt really good, but then slacked off a bit, leadingme to feel a bit of panic; it did, however, make me get more serious about my marketing efforts. I hear this same pattern, and struggle, from other business owners I work with.

What leads one to getting to complacent? Well, motivation is one reason; when you start out going after a goal you set, your motivation will be high and you will work daily to achieve that goal. But, once reached, it can feel comfortable; you may rest on your laurels in thinking that all is good and will continue that way. So you stop the effort you had taken.

And, things will be good until things slow down, sometimes waaayyy down. Now, that stream of customers or clients are not walking in the door.  You only recognize it when you look at your bank account and see more zeros than heroes, forcing you to go back and rev up to get clients back in the door.

I think we’ve seen this from some big retailers, who thought their name and brand was enough, such as Circuit City, Blockbuster and, now, Toys R Us. There is never a time to get to complacent if you’re in a business.

This also applies if you are an employee in a business – you get known by the work and output you do, which means you have to be on your A-game at all times. It also applies if you are on a diet – those five pounds lost can quickly become 5 gained, or more, if not attentive.

How do you prevent getting complacent, or stop if you are in this state? Here are 3 tips to show you how:

  1. Become attentive to your situation – if you know your numbers (which you should), how are things going? Are the orders, number of clients, money, traffic, etc. increasing, staying the same or declining? If your answer is the last two, then you have been complacent. It means you have either slowed down in your marketing efforts or you are taking the wrong actions, or both. Keeping track of your numbers will prevent complacency and can deter disaster.
  2. Become aware of your motivation, or lack thereof – complacency occurs due to a lack of motivation, either you reached the goal or it was too big/not challenging enough/you got bored. When you know what motivates you and the meaning behind it, i.e. the ‘why,’ you will be able to take advantage or your up times and prevent low ones. These are the drivers so knowing how you work goes a long way to being more productive and seeing results.
  3. Get an accountability partner – this is one of the best and smartest ways to prevent complacency as an accountability partner will keep you focused on the important tasks you need to doing, to keep those numbers in mind, and will hold you accountable to the results. A coach, or a mentor, are great examples of accountability partners who have your best in mind; their focus is to get you to the point of where you said you want to go and won’t let you slide down the complacency path.

Don’t allow your business to suffer. Take charge now so you can keep doing the very things you had in mind when you started your business. As Rich Litvin says, “Safety is the enemy of success.”

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting  She works with small business owners & solopreneurs who want to achieve measurable and life-long improvements in their performance so they can make more money, have greater satisfaction and achieve personal and professional success. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and for leadership development. If you’re struggling, why not stop and contact us today to turn this around – be the success you are meant to be!

Dealing with Change is Haarrdd!

All of us have been through change at some point in our lives; some changes are of our own making, but can still be hard. Some changes are not in our control, which are more difficult. Of course, there are some changes that feel effortless in adapting to them.

Why is change so difficult to accept? A lot of it has to do with our genetic make-up. Our internal alert system (the amygdala) is always looking for threats to our safety; when something new comes along, it feels different so the alarm automatically goes off as a threat, leading to how you will deal with this new situation.

Depending on how you adapt, you will be in fight-flight-or freeze mode: fight is when you don’t know how to deal with a situation, or want to; fight is resistance; freeze is ‘this is too overwhelming for me to do anything about it.’ When we feel overwhelmed in our ability to deal, one of these will occur. Now, it is important to point out that there are individuals who adapt to new situations well, which is so interesting to study how they are able to be so receiving.

Rick Maurer, in his book Beyond the Wall of Resistance, says it comes down to two issues: 1) the goal or situation we are faced with is not clear to us, and 2) we don’t understand how that new change will benefit us. If one of these two are out of alignment, resistance will occur. Maurer also says that resistance occurs and results if we don’t like the idea or if we don’t really trust that the person leading the change will follow through on their words.

This happens frequently in the corporate world. Organizational change occurs frequently, of which many of the reasons are not known to employees and are not conveyed well, if at all. I never understand when an employer says they don’t want their workers to know of an upcoming change ahead of time so as not to upset them – don’t they realize the impact when it does occur, i.e. anger, disappointment, broken trust, etc.?

Change is harrdd. Plain and simple. But, there are ways to get through a change, if the emotional work is done which is really the root cause of resistance. Big changes, such as losing a job, going through a divorce, or a death, all can overtax the system with loss of which these will take time to get through.

But other changes, such as an organizational change, seem scary due to a fear of the unknown – will my job, pay, benefits, etc. stay the same? Will I have to learn new skills or will my hours continue? Whatever fear elicits will vary by individual but the fear is real. How you deal with it will determine how you get through and adapt to the new situations.

  • Recognize that change is hard but that you will get through whatever comes up: this seems simplistic but the natural response of the ego is ‘I can handle whatever comes up, it’s no big deal.’ Until it is. Being aware that you may not like the proposed change is the start of controlling any resistant thoughts that arise and help you recognize that you have been through many changes before and survived, which helps to give calm when you hear the news.
  • Take time to uncover the source(s) of any resistance felt: getting into deep-level awareness of why you don’t want the change will go a long way to overcoming these objections. You can now challenge any negative thoughts and begin to identify ways that will help you to cope better and accept new changes.
  • Identify your strengths in dealing with past challenges so you can take them in dealing with new ones. You are stronger than you believe and will make it through. However, how you deal will either determine your success or failure in your role. I once worked for a company that went through four mergers within a relatively short period of time; resistance was rampant at first, then turned into resignation. But I looked at each of these as a challenge, and an opportunity, to shine within the new realms that led to recognition and, eventually, promotional opportunities. You can do the same.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level and  how to get the most out of yourself, and your people, we’re here to serve. We have our Fableader program where we will:

  • Look at your goals, challenges you are facing, and opportunities you might be missing. 
  • Uncover any hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results
  • Create an action plan and implement it together so that you finally get the results you have been looking for but were unable to find.
  • Address challenges that come up along the way, leaving you feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to take action and get faster results

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today to schedule your Fableader Breakthrough Strategy Session. Visit our website at

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