Leave Your Comfort Zone
There was a time where the best saying was “practice makes perfect.” It was a magical time in life where the connotation was that if you just keep practicing your craft, whatever it is, you will reap the rewards of almost sheer perfection.
Well, practice does not always make perfect, in fact, it in many ways makes complacency. Yes, you heard that right.
Practice breeds complacency.
Continue reading. I’ll explain. One hundred percent of the time practice will breed complacency, unless three conditions are present.
When we stay in our comfort zone, we end up taking advantage of ourselves. Say, for example, you are a speaker, or you speak on a myriad of stages. You have your keynote, signature speech on lock down. You have practiced it so much that you could be woken up at 3AM and immediately go into it.
“That doesn’t sound like it could be a problem or even make me complacent, Lori?”
I would say you are correct on the surface. However, deep down let’s be honest. When we know something so well, we do not remain astute to the nuances that eventually show up. Sure, it may take a while for that to happen, yet it does.
Overcoming complacency is easier than one might think or believe, but it does require some thought (and maybe even a little perseverance).
The first condition that we become aware of is, well… awareness. Knowing that the more we do something, the less we think about it. Automatic responses to emails. Automatic reply’s on social media. Automatic sayings that are our go-to when asked questions. Politicians are good at this one, but we aren’t going there….
Awareness means that we know over time our knowledge becomes dull. Like a hedge trimmer, after 50 trims the blade won’t be as sharp as it was when you first bought it.
The second condition that must be met is that we must acknowledge and agree with the simple fact that dulling happens. NO matter what it is, after time, we are not as sharp. The simplest example is life itself. Fifty-year-old are not as limber or as agile as a 25-year-old. Agreeance does not take a huge amount of effort. It is a simple understanding that complacency can happen.
Fortunately, the third condition reduces the chances for complacency to set it. Back to the 50-year-old. Simply being 50 does not mean that you cannot be as agile as a 25-year-old. Knowing complacency is around the corner, acknowledging that fact and agreeing that it is true, affords the opportunity for us to act.
Activity keeps us sharp. Remember to hedge trimmer? Sharpen the blade and it is as good as new. Exercise daily, eat right, engage your mind and at 50 you can be as agile as you were at 25 (although maybe not as fast).
No comfort zoning
It is when we stay in our comfort sone that practice breeds complacency. We must challenge ourselves daily to commit to actions that will keep up from comfort. We can be comfortable; however, we must remain aware of our comfort level.
Comfortability has its place. It is important for rest, resetting, rejuvenating. When we stay there for too long, it will become a concern. Perhaps not today or tomorrow. But, someday. And that day may come sooner than you think.
Take some time right now to think about areas of your life or business that have become complacent or maybe are bordering on complacency. Take that awareness and agree it is present. Now, create an action plan to mitigate it.
If you need help, I am here.