You don’t have to look too far to see that you hold thoughts about yourself, others, and life’s circumstances that you’ve repeated for so long that they’ve become difficult to recognize. And it’s hard to change what you don’t want to admit.Clouds

There are times when these beliefs limit what you’re doing, or at the very least limit your desire to reach out and achieve—especially if there’s anything that will make you look bad.

Beliefs can then block any positive efforts, while confirming your self-defeating thoughts. For example, you sabotage your job performance, thus creating anxiety. You allow yourself to be lethargic at work, because you feel like you’re capable of so much more. You become anxious about what you can see in the future, yet at meetings, you don’t speak up because you don’t want to say something stupid or draw attention. You don’t want to look bad—and so you remain unfulfilled in your job.

The ego wants approval. However, worrying about what others think of you does not inspire. It holds you back.

Assessment is a form of judging, and it’s based on cultural ideas of what you should look like and how you should act. Judging can also dull one’s inspiration, because it’s a way of looking for what’s wrong.

Looking for what’s wrong is a distraction from getting things done, or even from taking responsibility for who you’re being. Every situation has the potential to be a threat to how you look. Moreover, if you’re worried about how you look, then you’re not paying attention to who you’re being. And if you’re not paying attention to who you’re being, then you’re less likely to overcome your impulses.

Now that’s not an absolute truth, but if you’re not overcoming your impulses, then you’re certainly not focused on what you want, much less the empathy required to relate to whomever you’re addressing.

Often you check your look in the mirror, not just to see if you look OK, but also to reassure yourself that you still look good. You like the way you look. That should be enough, but you find yourself constantly looking for reassurance. And you know that that vain concern keeps you small and inhibited. You rationalize it by telling yourself that “it takes me a while to warm up to people,” but deep down you know that’s not true. It takes you a while to focus on relating to others long enough to forget your own insecurities.

There’s nothing empowering in worrying about what others may think. If everyone were just a brain in a vat, would you still worry about whether your vat looked good? If someone doesn’t like your vat, does it really matter?

Complacency is being satisfied with oneself. I wonder if being satisfied is a weakness. It’s not a weakness if you’re still running the race, but if you stop and become satisfied with standing still, then yes, that’s a weakness. So letting go is not strength. It’s not wrong; it’s just a desire to remain unnoticed and drift further away from having the good life. Therefore, to be complacent is to lose focus on what you want.

Looking good is related to complacency. If everything looks good, then you’re tempted to give up trying any further.

So, complacency is also about being satisfied with current circumstances. It’s when you stop trying to accomplish anything. It’s not only a lack of awareness, but it’s also a way of losing that edge that keeps you focused. Therefor my use of the word complacency is not about being happy. Rather, it’s about no longer having the desire to push oneself.