CareerPersonal Development

How to Deal With Feeling Complacent in Life

posted on September 23, 2019 | by Dana Rae

How to Deal With Feeling Complacent in Life

In life, there are several instances in which we can feel complacent. It can happen in our relationships, our careers and our everyday lives. For me, it occurred during a huge transition in my life. Four years ago, I quit my corporate job and have been trying to navigate my next long-term career move since. With a few unsuccessful attempts at entrepreneurship, I’ve had to pull myself out of some low lows and deal with feeling like I was stuck in life.

No matter what the reasoning is, complacency is something that many of us deal with at some point or another. It can sometimes feel isolating and overwhelming. No one enjoys feeling like they’re at a standstill in life. And it can often take a toll on your self-esteem and overall motivation.

Here are some things I’ve found to be helpful when feeling complacent in life.


We all know the saying “Mind over Matter”. The first step in getting unstuck in anything is to change how you view your situation. It’s easy to let negative thoughts creep in, but don’t let those thoughts prevent you from making an effort to change. Know that you are capable of achieving anything you desire if you want it bad enough.

Start looking at your life in a more positive way and imagine what the possibilities are. Often the only thing standing in the way of us changing our circumstances is ourselves. Remind yourself that you have the ability to overcome this temporary phase. Give yourself an honest pep-talk and focus on having a more positive outlook.


One of the best things you can do when feeling complacent is to change your habits. We often feel “stuck” when we crave change or need something to look forward too. And it can be as simple as changing one or two things in your daily routine. Wake up early. Try a new workout. Listen to a podcast. Unplug from social media. Get organized. Network. Practice gratitude daily. Basically anything that helps keep you motivated.

Eliminate the things that distract you or prevent you from moving forward. Creating new habits can lead us to change our behavior, therefore bettering ourselves all together. You can always learn something new. And there is no limit on how many times in life you can reinvent yourself.


Ask yourself, what makes you happiest? When do you feel the most fulfilled? What motivates you in life? Make a list of everything that excites you including your interests, hobbies and passion projects. Then use that list to help you figure out what it is you really love doing. Allow yourself to be inspired.

And if you’re not sure what your passionate about, have a conversation with close friends and family. Ask their opinion on what they think you’re good at doing. Or what they feel your strengths are. It can often be a combination of things that make up what we’re passionate about. And usually that leads us to discovering our most authentic self.


Create short and long-term goals for yourself. Having goals in place is key to staying motivated and keeping yourself accountable along the way. But keep in mind that your goals don’t have to be complicated or outlined in detail to start. Try incorporating a daily journal to write out your intentions for the day/week/month. And then build from there.

Make sure to check in with yourself frequently to see where you’re at with the goals that you’ve set into place. Be honest with yourself in making sure that what you’re doing is in line with what you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t be afraid to change your goals and set new ones along the way. Decide what you want, create a plan and work hard towards it every day.

What did you find to be helpful during a time when you felt complacent? How did you deal with it and move forward?