Are you too complacent to see audacious success?

The Next Normal is providing tremendous opportunities. Will you be one of those who succeeds? Will you be one of the rare individuals who use this as their breakthrough? Will this be the time when you realize your audacious success?

Murfield Coaching works with leaders and entrepreneurs in Real Estate, sales, and business leaders by thinking bigger and reaching higher to do what others considered “impossible.” One of the ways is by helping my clients examine their thoughts, language, and action. These words, often unspoken, become the language and action of their success or failure.

This is the continuation of my recent theme on audacious success. You may want to read previous posts such as asking audacious questions and how curiosity plays a part. In this post, we will examine how complacency prevents you from your breakthrough success.

CAUTION: This post is not intended to provoke civic or personal incivility or illegal activity. Instead, it is intended to encourage those who have been passive to see that they can enjoy their ultimate success by making the world around them much better. Disruption is not destructive in spirit. Instead, disruption is good people working together to create a world that is so fantastic that no one wants to return to the old way of living.

Rude Boldness

Audacious is good but in other ways, it can be unpleasant if not irritating to those that don’t want to think boldly. One of the definitions of audacious is “rude boldness.” On the surface, that is off putting to those of us that believe in being compassionate and collaborative. As I’ve said before, “Great things happen when good people work together.” But doesn’t rude boldness counter compassionate collaboration?

No. Here’s why.

To do what others can’t, won’t, or don’t, we must think bigger than they are willing to think. In that way, being audacious is anti-social and alienating. It may be the straw that breaks their audacious camel’s back.

“Why would you recommend that I become anti-social? That is central to my success?”

To seize pivotal opportunities, those opportunities that provide the best chance of getting what we ultimately want, we must be bold enough to counter popular opinion. We will never think outside of our comfort zone if are complacent, happy in that safe, predictable world. We have no need to leave it. We believe that

  • “if it feels good, do it” or,
  • “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken,” or
  • “if there are no consequences, why change?”


That’s the problem. We don’t see the consequences of not changing or not making a radical change. We are only focused on the present moment, not the future.

That leads to another problem. Our comfortable world won’t last.

Like it or not, we will be disrupted at some point. We get so comfortable that we rely on that safe, comfortable, predictable little world for our livelihood. Then something major like a health pandemic, recession, or corporate buyout threatens it. No wonder our personal lives are shattered when something or anything, disrupts us.

  • Economic slowdown.
  • Recession.
  • War.
  • Outsourcing.
  • Loss of a job.
  • Relocation.
  • A friend leaves.
  • The leadership changes.
  • Policies change.
  • Health problems.
  • Death of a loved one.

Notice how the cultural and organizational problems become personal traumas.

Depending on your attitude, each of these could be debilitating. Most of these disruptions strike without notice as we are surprised with a rumor, email, text, phone call, or meeting. Personal traumas, including the loss of something or someone important, shatters our safe world suddenly and unexpectedly. The trauma itself is rudely bold, audaciously defying our treasured comfort zone.

Defying Complacency

To survive those outside disruptions, we must adopt an audacious strategy. It is learning to live again when we can’t imagine living without that loved one. It is finding meaning in horrible events, learning lessons to build a better life, rather than being consumed by them. In those moments of despair, those times where we are convinced there is no hope, we find our future with an audacious thought, “This will get better. I can help others through this.”

The opposite of audacious is suicide.   

We commit suicide a bit each day when we refuse to change. We kill our opportunities by saying those negative, fateful messages.

  • “We have never done it that way before.”
  • “That will never work.”
  • “I prefer the old way.”

Instead, audacious defies convention.

  • “Let’s not judge this too quickly. Let’s hear what they have to say?”
  • “I wonder what would happen if we tried . . . ?”
  • “It’s a serious problem that needs to be solved. Let’s be the ones who solve it.”
  • “Why not me?”
  • “Let’s work together on this.”

Rude boldness is refusing to knuckle under to external or internal habits of thoughts, words or actions. It is standing up to the boundary bullies in our lives. Bruce Wilkinson details the boundary bullies in “The Dream Giver” (2003). As we seek to be audacious, those that love us most, or rely on us most, will work the hardest to keep us within those “safe” boundaries. They use seemingly loving words and phrases to persuade us.

  • “Don’t you think it would be better if you played it safe?”
  • “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
  • “A reasonable person wouldn’t do that.”
  • “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
  • “Don’t take too many risks. I don’t and my life has turned out well. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Think of the quest to audacious success as writing your screenplay. What role do you play? Do you want to play a minor character? Of course not. This is YOUR story. Would you want to play a supporting role while a mother, father, sister, or brother play the lead? No, again, this is YOUR story. You want to play the lead. Rethink that. You NEED to play the lead role in your own story.

Unfortunately, many people are complacent with playing lesser roles. Too many have been convinced that is their destiny by boundary bullies. Boundary bullies squelch your dream because it threatens the role they want you to play in their story. They may be kind and loving people that want the best for you. That’s what makes it difficult. We want to please them. We don’t want to hurt them. However, we aren’t living their lives. We are living our own lives.

Defying complacency may be an audacious thought for you. Recognizing that you have the choice to live your life may be beyond your comfort zone. I know it was for me. As I’ve raised the issue over the last few decades, I’ve found that it has been an audacious thought for many others.

Audacious Success is Your Choice.

The audacious thought is that you and I have choices. We can enjoy audacious success.

That sounds obvious, right? But it wasn’t. I didn’t realize that I had choices because I was raised within a poverty mindset. My parents, relatives, and neighbors lived through the great depression of the 1930s. They struggled to find the basic necessities. Jobs were difficult. In my relative’s case, they were farmers. The Dirty 30s gained its name because of the dust storms that blew across the middle of the country. My grandfather planted three crops in one year and never got a harvest. In three of four years, he never received a crop.

Imagine what that was like.

My family grew up without having many choices. From then on, they savored every opportunity, were frugal with what they earned, and avoided big risks. Is there any wonder they played it safe? Cautious living was the smartest move. Caretaking of their scarce resources became a closely held value.

No wonder I was raised to be complacent with what I received from the world. “Be happy with what the world gives you.”

So what changed?

Complacency stopped working. Or maybe it never worked for me. I was working revolving shifts in a milk drying plant that required working three of four weekends and changing shifts every week. The job was dirty, so dirty, that on certain days I arrived home smelling of sour milk. I disliked the job, hours, and location yet, my aunt said“ you’ve got a good job, just stick with it.”

At that point, I had to ask, “Whose story was I living?”

For many, listening to others and playing by the rules isn’t getting them where they want to go. They can’t see their success because they are blinded by complacency. Like the photo above, they are content in their current circumstances to see the impending problem. Many don’t even know they have choices to do what they ultimately want. I know I didn’t until that train almost hit me.

Your Choice

Bold rudeness is playing the lead in your story. That is defying convention. Defying convention is going against the way others think it needs to be done. You are the screenwriter that chooses how your story ends. It’s not entirely dictated by the outside world. It should not be dictated by the boundary bullies in your life. Instead, you make the choice.

As you can read in my soon-to-be-released autobiography, I made bold choices that some considered rude. Without those bold choices, my potential for audacious success would’ve been drastically reduced. Instead, I’m not playing the role in my story that I’ve always wanted.

What role do you want to play?

How do you want your story to play out?

The change will likely take days, months, or even years to play out. Creating audacious success begins with your choice to leave your own comfort zone, and to play the role you want in your life. Audacious success is rooted in the ability to walk away from complacency with popular opinion.

Are you bold enough to defy that convention?

Or are you complacent?

Are you content in your comfort zone?

THINK BIGGER: Recognize your success is your choice. You don’t have to be controlled by family, friends, or external circumstances.

REACH HIGHER!: Seek out new opportunities. Start with small changes that are easy to adapt. Make your choice to do what you know is right.

DO THE IMPOSSIBLE: Consider new opportunities that can provide what you have always wanted. Play the role you want in your story.

Loren Murfield, PhD

I work with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales, and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success. Contact me to begin thinking bigger.

Check out my new venture, Podcast, online courses in Real Estate, Sales, Leadership.

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Stay tuned for the release of my autobiography.

Pitchfork to Ph.D.: Loren Murfield's journey from "I AM a chore boy follower" to "I AM a disruptive leader."

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