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  • Writer's pictureHassan Younes

5 Reasons Adele Thinks Complacency is the ‘Worst Trait to Have’

Adele is a talented singer who has achieved a lot in her career. She knows her talent would’ve gone to waste if she’d been complacent. That’s why she thinks complacency is the worst trait anyone could have.

It’s rare to see a singer with the raw talent and artistic ability as Adele’s these days. Her vocals are soulful, emotive and at the same time beautiful. She grabs your attention, pulls you in, and ferries you to a nirvana of her own design and choosing.

That’s why Adele has had so much success in her career.

She’s got 9 Brit awards, the British equivalent of the Grammys. She’s been nominated for the Grammys itself 18 different times and has won it an impressive 15 times.

Adele's 21 is the best-selling album of the 21st century, with more than 31 million copies sold worldwide. She’s got more than 100 million album sales in total, a major achievement for any artist.

But why do people love Adele’s songs? Let’s look at two reasons.

One, they’re crafted in a way that makes for easy listening. Secondly, they’re about events that everyone can identify and connect with on a personal level.

And this is because Adele draws inspiration for them from deeply emotional events of her life.

Rolling in the deep was written as a kiss off to an ex boyfriend. Someone like you was born out of the heartbreak of a devastating breakup. And in Woman like me, a song she released after her divorce, Adele swore off complacency as the worst trait to have.

Here are 5 reasons she thinks so.

Reason #1 - Complacency Makes You Lose Good Things

Before she released Woman like me, Adele had parted ways with many relationships, her marriage included.

Little is known about those breaks but the song gave a hint of what happened.

In the song, Adele portrayed the thoughts of a valuable woman who knows her worth but has a partner who doesn’t. Instead of consistently trying to improve themselves, they’re complacent and lazy.

Adele warned that any such man would lose that woman if they remain complacent and refuse to keep up with her. Some other man would get the love she had for them. And that’s what eventually happened with her ex partners.

Complacency is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t matter how many great things you have in your personal life or business. If you imbibe complacency as a trait, become lazy and fail to do the barest minimum to keep up, you’ll lose them.

Reason #2 - It Kills Your Growth

Apart from making you lose good things, Adele believes complacency also kills your growth. And she’s one to know this, given how she defeated complacency to grow her career.

Adele achieved lots of success with 19, her first album. It debuted as number one on the British album chart, and over 10 million copies were sold worldwide. But instead of being complacent, Adele kept growing her success.

Her next two albums, 21 and 25, were more successful than her first. They earned her Grammy awards and made her a star. But instead of relaxing, she doubled down on her efforts. She released 30, which is making waves and is on track to break more records.

In that album, Adele spoke about complacency in relationships. She said when a partner chooses not to grow, there’s no knowing how good the relationship would turn out to be.

If you embrace complacency in your life, it will affect your personal and business growth. It will stop you from achieving a higher level of success.

But that’s not all.

Complacency also kills your personal and business relationships. So, in addition to killing your personal growth, it will also limit the growth of your team and everyone else around you.

Reason #3 - It Makes You Draw Wrong Inferences

In Woman like me, Adele spoke about the many ills that complacency brings. But none of those ills felt as profound to her as making you draw wrong inferences.

That was why she spent the better part of verse 2 talking about it:

All you do is complain about decisions you make

How can I help lift you if you refuse to activate the life that you truly want?

I know it's hard, but it's not

We come from the same place, but you will never give it up

It's where they make you feel powerful

That’s why you think I make you feel small

Adele’s attack on complacent individuals here is obvious. They are hardly successful. They complain about their failures instead of working towards their desired success. And they draw wrong inferences when someone tries to uplift them.

When you’re complacent and lazy, you’ll feel easily threatened by trivial issues and other people’s success. As a result, you’ll draw the wrong inferences from harmless situations. This could destroy your personal and business relationships.

Reason #4 - It Makes You Lazy

Adele’s admonition against complacency wasn’t only to ex-lovers and people around her. She was also talking to herself. She thinks complacency is the worst trait because it makes you lazy.


Lazy people live in “uncomfortable comfort zones”. They’re unhappy with their lives but they are not interested in doing anything about their situation. Instead they complain and become miserable.

It’s because they’re complacent.

Complacency often creeps in when you start relaxing, especially after you’ve achieved some form of success. You’ll slide into a happy place - a comfort zone where you feel you don’t need to be a better version of yourself. As a result, you do less to keep up until regression sets in and you start wallowing in failure.

Having the life that you want or the success you desire requires consistent effort from you. It’s easier to be lazy than to put in this effort. That’s why you have to get up and stop being lazy.

Set daily reminders to stay grounded and focused towards your dream. Refuse to fall back into that “uncomfortable comfort zone.” Kick complacency out of your life and you’ll chart your path to success.

Reason #5 - It Kills Your Confidence

Adele also believes that complacency affects your confidence. According to her, complacency makes you feel small. This lowers your self esteem and eventually kills your confidence.

How this happens is pretty straightforward.

When you’re complacent you will procrastinate frequently. You won’t be able to take the necessary actions to achieve your goals. The resulting failures will affect your mental health, dampen your self esteem and then kill your confidence.

And we all know how important confidence is.

Confidence plays a major role in your success. If you’re not confident, growing your business to achieve success will be difficult. Maintaining that success will be near impossible. And as a result, you won't break revenue ceilings nor reach your true potential.

Kick complacency out of your life to avoid these.

Reject The Worst Trait And Be a Success

Adele has many achievements and accomplishments. She’s had a successful career as a musician. She is famous and recognized, with 15 Grammys to boot.

But all these wouldn’t have been possible if she was complacent.

Adele rejects complacency on personal and professional levels. She also rejects it in her close relationships. She believes complacency is the worst trait anyone could have because it brings many ills that eventually ends in disaster.

That’s why she keeps on winning.

You have to do the same thing to be successful. Focus on your goals. Don’t relax in your comfort zone. And keep working to improve yourself every day.

When you banish complacency from your life completely, nothing can stop you. However, doing this is easier said than done. The good thing is you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out and see how my speaking services can help you fight complacency.


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