MEvery day you have a choice. You can show up as the best you can be or you can slack off and do just the right amount to get by. You can choose getting by or getting ahead.

Some of us are capable of accomplishing our daily tasks on auto pilot. We are used to the job. We are well acquainted with the process and the rules, and we know our colleagues pretty well. We understand the expectations and it’s not a struggle to meet them. We can get away with doing the minimum and still perform fairly well and collect our pay check. If this is the case, it’s easy for us to slip into complacency without even realizing it.

But every day you have a choice to rise above complacency and be the best you can be. That choice requires intention and focus. It takes an extra effort to step out of your comfort zone and stretch to request new assignments and acquire new skills; to exceed expectations and push yourself to be better than average; better than you were yesterday.

It takes courage to step out of complacency. You must be willing to take risks and make some mistakes along the way. It can be uncomfortable territory when you don’t always have all the answers. But the upside is that every day you challenge yourself you get better and better, and your efforts fuel your self-confidence. As you move out of your complacent zone, you begin to realize that you no longer need to settle for being mediocre. You don’t need to settle for just getting by. Your unique talent blossoms once nurtured and challenged, and the hard work pays off.

You begin to notice that others are showing you new respect. They are asking for your opinion. They recognize that you are a major contributor and you add value to the business. Now you can be proud of your work because you are really working, not acting on auto pilot. Every day there are some new accomplishments. Every week you are doing new things you never would have attempted before. You feel better about sharing your achievements because it involves hard work and commitment and you’re proud. You may be exhausted and exhilarated at the same time.

Are you up for the challenge to be the best you can be?

Ask yourself this: What is the best I can be? What does my best look like?

Let’s not opt out of success. At the end of the day you want to be proud of what you have accomplished. You want to feel good about yourself and how you contribute to the success of the business. You feel good about yourself when you know you have taken the extra effort to be the best you can be.

So you do have a choice every day. What will you choose? Getting by or getting ahead?