Have you ever thought one thing in your brain and stopped it from exiting your mouth? Do you have situations or circumstances that trigger this mental battle for you? The conflict between knowing what you want to say and valuing what’s appropriate to say. The struggle is real.

The Filter in Your Head 

This is what stops you from saying something even though you were thinking it. Behaviorally, the filter is known as emotional intelligence, reaction index control or empathy. No matter what you call it, it’s the relationship between knowing when and how to deliver a message in a way that’s constructive versus destructive. Developmental ahead of judgemental.


And for all of the filters that we use to help us not offend others, there are times we simply need to say what needs to be said. Dispense with the filtering in favor of increasing someone’s awareness about their cluelessness because that will give them the best opportunity for success.

Self-awareness is a gift that has the potential to benefit someone for a lifetime.

Stop Being the Victim

Complacency is driven by a lack of awareness of deficiencies. Mediocrity is the result of existing with or tolerating low quality, value or ability. There’s a direct relationship between complacency and mediocrity. Which came first the chicken or the egg?

While I’m appreciative of friends with filters and their ability to soften the blow; I’m truly appreciative of friends who will tell me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear. These are people who are unwilling, and unable, to let me be the victim because they know the truly negative outcomes of this mentality.

While some are content in mediocrity, they wonder in amazement why coworkers who they’re competing against for promotions and pay raises are breaking through barriers and advancing their careers. Think about how many people look at what others have with little to no awareness of the effort that was required and expect to receive the same outcome apart from the work.

That being said, here’s a bit of unfiltered feedback that needs to be heard as a part of the development track for people who are the victim of their own complacency:

Complacency will kill your career. The sooner you recognize that the complacency you’re not confronting is driven by your tolerance of mediocrity and lack of awareness, the sooner you’ll be on the path to truly definable growth both personally and professionally. You’re not the victim. Stop playing the victim. You own you, so start defining you differently.  Better yet, start defining you so others don’t.

Definition and Accomplishment

The good news is there are many solutions to existing with complacency, and it starts with knowing what you want to achieve and pushing past self-imposed boundaries.

  • Knowing what you want in the long-term and creating short-term goals that will turn that vision into your reality is key. This starts with having a specific plan for each day. Create a mental or written checklist of what you’ll accomplish that day, and don’t settle for less. Better yet, don’t settle for only accomplishing those items. Overwhelming? Start with a list of three items that have to be accomplished every day. No compromise. These are the “must achieves”.
  • Surround yourself with people who don’t accept mediocrity from themselves and certainly won’t accept it from you. Who you hang out with defines a portion of who you become. Ask your coworkers, friends, and family to hold you accountable to your goals. Identify and connect with a mentor of excellence. Someone who’s succeeding in a way you admire and engage them in a conversation of awareness. Rather than resenting someone for their accomplishments, be receptive to the methods, habits and qualities that have led to their victories.

“It is remarkable how much mediocrity we live with, surrounding ourselves with daily reminders that the average is acceptable. Our world suffers from terminal mediocrity. Take a moment to assess all the things around you that encourage you to remain average. These things keep you powerless, unable to go beyond the limits that you have arbitrarily set for yourself. Take your first steps towards mastery by removing everything in your environment the represents mediocrity, removing your arbitrary limits. Try surrounding yourself with friends that expect more of you than you do. Didn’t some of your best teachers, your coaches, your parents expect more of you?”

An excerpt from Mastery by Stewart Emery

Final Thoughts

If you know someone who gets out of bed to do something poorly, consider the positive impact on their life if you helped them understand the value of getting out of bed to do it well. After all, the cure for cluelessness can be found in awareness.

Don’t ever let complacency kill your career. The only person you’ll have to blame will be you.


Come on… give me your comments. Agree or disagree? Jump into the conversation. What do you think?