My Greatest Fear: Complacency

North Bend, Washington

Recently, a reader named Michael asked me this question: “Does anything scare you?”

Wow, great question. Sure, you’ve seen me jet off with nothing but a backpack. Jump out of a plane. Appear on television reporting the news. Perform on stages in front of hundreds. Trust strangers. Bare my vulnerabilities and failures online for all to see. I’m totally kickass and courageous, right? Ha.

I do have a fear, and if I were to boil it down into one word, it’s COMPLACENCY.

I’m afraid of becoming complacent. Because it’s easy to do. It’s easy to go through the same motions, to get comfortable, to do what’s expected and what we’re used to. It’s human nature to gravitate towards the safe and easy. We’re hardwired to save our energy, to expend as little as possible to survive. The three-mile run, always at the same speed. The job you can do with your eyes closed. The after-dinner couch, Netflix, and glass of wine habit. The, one-day-when-the-timing-is-right-I’ll-________… but not today. Sound at all familiar?

Guys, all this “courage” doesn’t come naturally to me. My norm is not to push the envelope or live outside my comfort zone. My courage is cultivated, and didn’t happen overnight. I seek challenges, I test myself, I try (and sometimes fail) to rise to the occasion… because handling all these things PREPARES me for the day when some kind of disaster inevitably WILL strike. And preparedness can come in many forms: physical stamina. Emotional strength. Personal and professional relationships you can lean on.

If you want to be grace under fire, practice walking on coals. Cultivate courage, seek out challenges, in whatever form they take. (It helps to start with what makes you feel uncomfortable.)

Complacency is no match for resilience.  

Agree or disagree? Leave me a comment below!

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2 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear: Complacency

  1. I liked, “My courage is cultivated”! It seems our vices grow like weeds, but any virtue requires careful attention to a lot of (insert lots of gardening metaphors here) to make them grow.

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