Why do people choose to be complacent?
“The greatest temptation you will ever have in your life is to give up on what you truly want because it seemed too difficult to have. If you put your loyalty into anything, put it into believing in yourself.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Are You Settling?
We often make decisions in life by comparing our actions to previous situations. It actually doesn’t matter if that situation was successful or not, we will compare ourselves to the people around us (often to those who have more than us), we will compare our experience to other people’s experiences and our emotions according to events in our lives.
It is in people’s nature to settle for mediocrity on a daily basis. We accept the love we are given even if we want more, we stay at jobs we hate because the situation on the market is hard, we have friends who constantly push us over and disappoint and we stay in bad relationships because we don’t want to be alone.
Why Do We Settle?
BECAUSE IT IS A LOT OF WORK TO ACHIEVE WHAT WE ACTUALLY WANT!
Our brains have been rewired to seek confirmation and recognition but without us doing the hard work to achieve it.
We seek benefits but aren’t prepared to pay the price it takes to get those benefits: healthy communication in interpersonal relationships (friends, family, romantic), after hours at work, volunteer work etc.
Why seek the amazing when there is good enough?! Right? Wrong! It is a known fact people are terrified of change, what it brings, how it changes our life, the lack of control.
From that psychological state, it is a very long, dark and lonely road to success, and it will take a lot of failures, risks and tall obstacles we will have to jump over. The problem is the expectation (from ourselves, from what we think others will expect).
So, automatically we will make unrealistic goals that are predetermined to fail just so that we can complain about ourselves.
It’s easier to complain than to try 100 times.
Why Do We Do That? What is the Thing That Drives Our Motivation?
Psychologists have gone over many different ways of thinking about motivation, reasons why we do what we do, and that is including one method that involves looking at whether motivation arises from outside (extrinsic) or inside (intrinsic) the individual. So when it comes to these two, there is a primary difference you are supposed to understand.
External motivation or extrinsic motivation by that definition is the motivation when we engage in a behavior, or action, we use to receive awards or avoid punishments.
Example: Cleaning your room, so your parents won’t punish you
It often involves the desire to do something that comes from outside, but it can be used for good. We have all been there in school just sitting in some class, bored out of our lives, just looking at that clock, waiting for it to ring, so we can go and do what we actually enjoy just for the sake of it (intrinsic motivation). But, when we are given an A, the class isn’t so bad after all. The bad part is that the reward positivity doesn’t last a long time, so it has to be repeated often or it decreases. Also, rewards may lead to the feeling that what we are actually doing is mandatory, work oriented, or something we MUST do, so the internal motivation disappears even if it was there at the beginning.
Also, rewards may lead to the feeling that what we are actually doing is mandatory, work oriented, or something we MUST do, so the internal motivation disappears even if it was there at the beginning.
Internal or intrinsic motivation, on the other side, involves engaging in a behavior and performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.
Example: Playing some sport because you like it, and it is fun.
As we mentioned before, rewards are good to a certain point, but it is usually better to have a firm base before you decide to build a house, sorta say. Internal or intrinsic motivation comes naturally from you and your desire to do something just for the sake of it.
You wanna go for a walk?
You just do.
You don’t actually do it because you want nice legs, but because you enjoy the walk. Our biggest successes in life, come from a steady flow of internal motivation that constantly feeds us energy and will to do something, to plan a strategy we are going to stick to rather than just give up after 5 out of 10km triathlon.
Even though the external motivation will keep your hopes up, and be an instant flow of juice, the first moment you reach an obstacle you will expect a bigger reward to continue. What do you think will happen when you don’t get it?
You will SETTLE!
Expectation is a Double-Edged Sword
As we said before, a lot of our behavior is co-dependant of expectation. But if it isn’t bad to expect success, where does it all go wrong?
As well as goals, expectations can be wrongly put and perceived. It takes a lot of patience, motivation and will power to imagine and realize a goal. That goal always includes the expectation. Logical right? If we have a goal we expect ourselves to achieve it successfully!
Digression: Everything, and we do mean everything, in this world has a rhythm: radio waves, the sea, the sky and clouds travel. Right? So, why would success be any different? The reason we are saying this is because we expect our success to be made of just triumphs and zero failures. Which just isn’t possible.
Example: The Apple Company puts out a new iPhone7 on the market. While the public is amazed by all its potential, someone behind the scenes is already sent a report of the performance of the new iPhone8.
That absolutely doesn’t mean the boss will accept the prototype as a definite version and say: ¨You know what, just put it out on the market.¨ Of course not! It will take a lot of trials and errors to make the new phone perfect in their eyes, but you don’t get to see that, you just get the final version!
We often forget this picture, because of expectations, because of the MUST’S we pour onto ourselves and because we forget that as long as we don’t compare ourselves to someone else, the problems and the failures, are just the opportunity to learn some new strategy and to discover some new path.
Be a Reacher
If we look at ideas for a new beginning as seeds of a plant, we have to understand that they need nurturing. If you take seeds and put it in dirt, and leave it in your basement, without watering it, without adding the fertilizer, just how much can you expect it to grow? But, if you put the fertilizer, leave the plant where it has natural light, the Sun, water it, trim it if needed, it will have a completely different effect. It will flourish.
So how can we translate that into people talk?
- Conceive the idea first
- Believe (have fate in yourself, in people around you, in your potential)
- Take action towards manifestation of that idea (go over your goal, see that it is measurable, achievable, put a time frame, see that it is realistic, go over the strategy, brainstorm it, be creative) and you are good to go! But don’t forget, seeding and reaping periods are not at the same time, so your idea and goal will need some time until you see the results. It also very much depends when your idea will start to manifest, again, leave the plant in the dark or water it when needed, will bring different results. The amount of will you have will determine just how much your idea will flourish!
There is really not a lot of need to further explain this one, but here it goes…
As we talked about it in our article about how to achieve success, it doesn’t matter how many times you fail, take the opportunity to learn from it. There is no need to make excuses to why you aren’t going after your dream. If you are thinking right now: ¨No, what happened to me weren’t excuses, it’s life¨. We really do understand life happens sometimes, but why aren’t you doing anything to achieve it right now.
Find what motivates you and be hungry to achieve it. After all, a goal is a dream with a date.
Stop Blaming The World
It is easier when we face failure, to just blame it on everything else than to look inside of ourselves and find what we did wrong. Taking responsibilities for our actions and accepting the mistake will have a better effect on you then to avoid looking the problem in the eyes.
People today, are rejecting their responsibilities when bad things happen, they always will find a way to look for excuses, they will push a knife in your back, and the government will do what it does, so why give them a voice and power? More so since they aren’t the reason you aren’t going after you want. In life you get to make choices every day and it’s what we make of them that defines who we are as a person. We may not always choose the circumstances that can affect the situation, but it’s up to us to determine the quality of the life we live.
Leave The Fear Behind
Do us a favor. Imagine yourself doing anything you want and not feeling the fear of failure. Would you do it?
Fear comes from our brain, to be more exact the amygdala, which loves to remind us of past experiences when we weren’t so successful as we would like, so it triggers our emotions, and they just tell us to not even try, since we will fail – the past is the proof. The thing is, we don’t live in the past, we live in the now! So please set the amygdala aside when it starts sending you signals and focus on the now and what you want in the future because failure will happen. This will not make you fearless, so use it to your advantage and try and define where does that fear starts and why.
Were you punished a lot by your strict parents, did you get bullied at school, did you get beaten up when gotten a bad grade? See how your brain reacts reminding yourself of these situations and see where it all came from. Now try seeing it as someone who is a witness to it all. You weren’t really to blame, were you? Don’t try to overanalyze or overthink it all, that will only add anxiety and stress, just simplify your memories and see if you actually do have a fear of failure.
Fear of Success is a Thing
Who is afraid of success right? Guess what? Most of us are.
It is easy to miss because it looks a lot like procrastination. So postponing your work, might actually be because you are afraid of what will happen once you achieve success. I know it still sounds silly but it is real and it makes people shut off completely right before the finish line. So it is actually a form of self-sabotage. And it is worse than it sounds because after not achieving what you wanted, you have to deal with guilt, who keeps yelling at you that you could have actually done it, but you messed up!
Example: You know you would be good at your job, but you are afraid of how others will judge you if you choke at work on some important task.
You can work on that fear by explaining to yourself what success is to you, and what does that actually mean, what is scary about you achieving success. It is the same with fear of failure, you need to define the fear, then you can work on it. Otherwise, you are just flying in the dark and the problem will always be there.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Pretty self-explanatory huh.
You can decide if you want to live brave and not regret anything, or if you will let fear dominate you, your decisions and make you regret asking ¨what if¨.
Even if you decide this isn’t for you, try and do it once, you can’t lose anything right?