Courage: The Cure for Complacency

You were born with courage. It was always with you as a small child when you were naturally curious and  always pushed to see what you were capable of. 

When it came time to walk you didn’t question it, you tried many times, and often falling until you got it right.  You always ventured beyond what you were comfortable with and or thought was safe. After learning to  walk, what did you do? You took it in stride and then began to look around for the next new adventure…  running, climbing trees, and eventually riding a bike. All things that required attempts, failures, and many  retries before finally succeeding. 

You will still make mistakes in life, it is guaranteed. So how is it that after childhood and learning the  elementary things in life, like walking, that you became afraid of mistakes and failure? Why not choose to start  thinking of mistakes as a feedback mechanism? Look at mistakes with the attitude of “Great! What can I learn  from this?” This is how you live a courageous life because in order for us to feel alive, we need to strive. 

Be willing to fail and to learn. Be brave enough to break away from the pack. Confidence comes from a  strong sense of self-worth. Instead of seeking that validation from others, start to validate yourself instead. 

Rise to the occasion when new opportunities and challenges are presented to you. Believe in yourself and  enjoy the satisfaction of learning new skills and mastering them. Complacency is when you stand still and do  nothing but when you are willing to risk failure and embrace new challenges life becomes very fulfilling. 

As you progress, never forget to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. If you are going to focus on what  you did wrong at least be willing to balance that out by looking at what you did right. 

Let go of the need to be perfect. It’s never going to happen. The need to be perfect only drives fear into the  moment. When the time comes to execute at a decisive point you will balk if you fear being less than perfect.  Strive for excellence, always, but let go of your need to be perfect. 

Complacency is born from fear. Fear of failure, fear of things that are new, and even the fear of not knowing  how to even proceed. Confidence, especially when confidence is paired with passion is the ultimate cure for  complacency. Remember, complacency kills. If you are not growing then you are either dying or dead.  Choose courage, growth, and accepting new challenges in life; then complacency will never be an issue for  you. 

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

Shotokan Karate Leadership School®


Marty Callahan has spent his life understanding and improving the lives of students both young and old. His passion led to the founding of Shotokan Karate Leadership School in Santa Rosa, CA in 1981 with a dream to awaken the extraordinary leader in his students. Having inspired, taught, coached, supported, and trained over 15,000 students in 40,000 classes in Santa Rosa, Marty has become Sonoma County’s preeminent martial arts leadership instructor. His students, hundreds of whom have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, appreciate his engaging, student centered approach to teaching and they believe you will too.