Complacency – Shake it off

  • Blog By
    Ms. Sumita Sen Mazumdar
    Erode – KG Academic Coordinator
    The Indian Public School
    May 2, 2020 | In Blog

That moment when you feel you have worked hard enough for a while and now deserve to ‘take it easy’ has a name: complacency. Yes, feeling satisfied that you’ve got what you were aiming for and can now coast along for the foreseeable future puts you in a bubble where you become stagnant. You won’t notice this stagnancy for a while and neither will the people around you because the afterglow from your achievements tends to radiate for some time giving the illusion of performance continuity.

Unfortunately, as with all things that operate under the natural laws of this universe, if you stop putting in conscious efforts, in time, results stop flowing out as well. That radiating glow of the achieving performer diminishes into the ordinariness of an average performer at first and then goes into the dark zone of the under-performer.

If you’re a student, grades start falling. If you’re in a career, your output keeps missing the mark almost as if your ideas and actions are out of touch with the need of the hour. They appear irrelevant, useless even.

Stopping this downward spiral to under-performance and irrelevancy is actually quite simple. Step out of your bubble, your comfort zone. Take yourself down from the pedestal you’ve put yourself up on. Get over your fear of failure or falling in the eyes of your peers. They are just as human and fallible as you are.

Stop overthinking about outcomes; pay more attention to the process instead. Learn new things. The exposure will make you grow in leaps and bounds. Your perception and reaction to things will change, for the better. Compete hard but only against yourself, no one else. You should be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday. By all means, observe what successful individuals around you do to achieve their success. Take inspiration from their actions, but don’t try to be them. Learn and adapt. You are your own unique self. Don’t undermine what you can offer to this world by trying too hard to be someone else. Identify what your strengths and talents are. Consciously and constantly work on nurturing those while doing what is expected out of you in your current station of life. Be open to constructive criticism. Don’t surround yourself with people who only say nice things to you all the time. Listen to detractors. Try to objectively understand what you can take out of those negatives to better yourself without, well, taking things too personally. In time, you will shine again.

Finally, and this may sound at odds with the goal of being a good performer, but a key element to getting out of the rut of complacency is maintaining an adequate study/work-life balance. Don’t study or work all the time. You need to consciously ‘clock out’ and focus on other areas of your life, family, friends, hobbies, etc. Doing this replenishes your creative energies and paves the way for success in whatever you do.

So, if you find yourself in a complacent place, it’s time to shake yourself out of it. See you back again soon on the achiever’s side.

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