Overcoming Complacency in Personal and Professional Settings
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Overcoming Complacency in Personal and Professional Settings

Overcoming Complacency in Personal and Professional Settings

Success does not rely on chance; it takes motivation, dedication, and persistence. Each time you accomplish another goal, you feel a sense of joy, gratitude, and pride because you know you put in the honest work to achieve the goal. Remember, the mission toward success and lasting recovery is a lifelong journey, and when you rest on your laurels for too long, you grow complacent.

If you are not careful, you might begin to phone it in at work and home and soon return to where you started. Complacency begins to present itself through innocent thoughts and actions that compile and turn into bad habits and patterns over time. When complacency takes hold, you might find yourself struggling to meet the minimum requirements of what you're capable of doing. However, much like maintaining your recovery, it takes balance to restore and sustain good habits and get yourself back to pursuing your goals with motivation and drive.


Say your ultimate personal goal is to master the guitar, or your primary professional goal is to become CEO of a company. These are big and ambitious goals that can soon become impossible dreams if not planned for properly. When a goal gets placed in the impossible category, you find yourself spinning your wheels in place.

Understand, big goals rely on a series of small steps to manifest. For example, to master the guitar, you must first learn how to tune the strings and learn the scales. Just as becoming a CEO takes learning and growing within your company, expanding your skills, networking, and ultimately getting the trust and respect of your colleagues. Each takes time, and when you don't break things down, you become overwhelmed and might shift into doing the status-quo of what needs to get done.

Begin by breaking your big goals into smaller goals. Use these smaller goals to help motivate you and maintain your focus and your interest. For example, if you are learning guitar, set a small goal to learn a scale or a chord by the end of the month. Your next goal might focus on chord progressions and so on. Remember, the proof is in practice, so when you tend to the small goals, you put together the big picture pieces.


You have likely heard the expression "get outside your comfort zone" a million times, but what does this mean? Most people spend a lot of their lives inside a comfort zone because it feels safe, and most know that they can handle the workload inside these zones. While you might feel safe inside this zone, you limit yourself from growth. However, right outside that zone is where the magic happens.

When you take the chance and push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you increase the size of your zone. However, it is at this point where complacency becomes too tempting. You might look back at that smaller zone and convince yourself that you were doing "just fine.” Understand, if "just fine" means you are spending less time tending to things you enjoy that make you happy and cause you to do the bare minimum instead, it is a clear indication that you need to increase your zone.


Whether a career mentor or a mentor from recovery, finding someone successful at what you are striving to become is very helpful to accomplishing your goals. It can apply to any area: fitness, nutrition, business, writing, parenting – anything goes. Working with a mentor helps you find out their strengths and how you can apply these strengths to your own life.

It is also inspiring to work with a mentor because they can share how they faced and overcame similar challenges that you currently face. It is a great way to express your ideas and receive help and feedback. You can look for a mentor in your recovery groups or support meetings. At START UP RECOVERY, one of our primary goals is to connect you with motivated and passionate individuals and help you find the right mentor for you.


Sometimes the best lessons are learned from the setbacks and mistakes you make. Accepting that mistakes are inevitable before you set out to accomplish a goal helps you understand that mistakes are part of the journey. However, not planning for mistakes could disrupt your motivation and discourage you from pursuing goals and ultimately becoming complacent. When you plan, you allow yourself to avoid and endure slip-ups to help you quickly get back on track.

Start by making a schedule that can accommodate your daily needs. A good schedule helps you with time management and enables you to avoid succumbing to the mindset that another time would be better. When you adhere to a plan, you set yourself up to face your tasks and challenges directly. It also helps you keep moving forward if you miss meeting a task or two.


With complacency often comes negative thoughts and behaviors. These thoughts and behaviors start to pile up and soon become habits and patterns. You might berate yourself in these times and succumb to poor dietary and sleep habits. Soon, these behaviors can lead to triggering situations that promote anxiety, depression, and relapse.

However, when you take a step back and choose to be kind to yourself, you can then assess the areas of your life where you have been slipping. Taking such action creates an opportunity to examine your priorities and even gain renewed motivation. The important thing is to acknowledge what is happening and gently turn yourself around.

If you are struggling or starting to feel complacent and turning toward more negative thoughts and behaviors, it is time to seek help. At START UP RECOVERY, we will help instill a renewed sense of purpose within yourself. Our success happens when you transform thoughts and behavioral patterns to transitioning from "what now" to "what's next?" We work with each individual and provide a network of other motivated and passionate individuals to help you create a plan to get you to that next level. At START UP RECOVERY, we can help you find that small step necessary to get you venturing on the path toward reaching your goals. We are not about treatment; we are about transformation and believe that everybody can transform. With 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to reach out. To begin your journey and take that next step, reach out to START UP RECOVERY today by calling 310-773-3809.

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