So many people are reevaluating their lives right now, personally and professionally. That’s a great thing! Taking time to reevaluate is critical for growth, because if we aren’t self-aware we can find ourselves settling and getting too comfortable. Human beings are afraid of the unknown. We’d rather stay in the known place, even if it’s not serving us as much as we deserve. We settle because we don’t like to be uncomfortable
Trade Complacency for Creativity
I would argue settling would be staying complacent. Complacency is a word that none of us like to talk about. That’s the issue, complacency by definition is accompanied by unawareness. That’s what makes it dangerous. That’s why it’s so easy for it to creep in like an invasive weed and take root in your life. Before you know it, complacency has taken over.
How can we be intentional about being aware of our moments of settling and complacency? Where can we pull back and get creative? We need to trade complacency for creativity. Getting creative may require change and that we get uncomfortable. But we can’t settle and get stuck in a place that does not serve us or the people around us.
My Father Understood the Power of Discomfort
When I was younger, I drove an old, disgusting station wagon. It was perfect for driving in Michigan with all of the snow. In my parent’s minds, I could slide into anything, and I would be okay. One day, I was backing out of the driveway of the house I grew up in going way too fast because I was running late to school. When I got to the bottom of the driveway, I realized I had fully ripped off the side mirror on a row of bushes that line the driveway. It was dangling by the wires. I was scared to death that my dad was going to string me up for it.
I went to school, came home, and showed my dad. He just looked at it and left to grab a roll of duct tape. He shoved the mirror back in place as best as he could and taped it all around it. He looked back at me and said, “You’re good to go.” He did not want to write a check to get it fixed, nor could we afford to write a check for it. My dad was always so creative, and he didn’t care if we were uncomfortable. He didn’t care about embarrassing me a little bit with duct tape on my mirror. He understood the power of discomfort.
On another day, we were driving up to Northern Michigan. My brothers and I were sitting in the car, and we were two or three exits away from where we would sometimes stop for ice cream. My dad turned and asked us if we wanted to stop and get some. My brothers and I said yes and started talking about all the different kinds we wanted to get- Superman, blue moon, chocolate, vanilla, etc. We were going on and on, and then he just drives right past the exit. My brothers and I were like, “Dad, that was the exit. Why’d you pass it?” He turned back and smiled while saying “I didn’t tell you we were stopping. I was just curious if you wanted something.”
When We’re Afraid of Being Uncomfortable We Settle
My dad always made sure we knew how to be uncomfortable. At some level, he was creative about it. I think that when we are afraid of being uncomfortable, the result is that we settle. We stay stuck. So, my challenge to you is to go for more. Identify the little moments and the big moments where you have an opportunity to trade complacency and settling, for creativity and ingenuity. Trust me. Try it and see what it unlocks. I think you’ll find it’s pretty awesome.
More on Creativity and Ingenuity
- 5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Change
- How the Drive to Get Better Keeps the Best at the Top
- Episode 118- Luvvie Ajayi Jones on Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams, and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. The Energized Leader Training helps you and your team align your energy with the important and avoid costly burnout. Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Her Leadership Huddles are a monthly group coaching community to guide you towards your full potential. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.