Don't mistake contentment for complacency.
Many of us do make this association. If you do, you will deny yourself the experience of contentment out of fear of becoming complacent.
Definition of complacency: 'a feeling of security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.'
That is not contentment!
I often hear people say that they don't want to become content because they will lose any ambition to improve their circumstances. That's an example of not understanding the difference between these two states of being.
Being complacent is more synonymous with a comfort zone. Like sitting in an old raggedy chair can be familiar and comfortable. But, it is likely not an authentic representation of all you have learned, achieved, and deserve. That might well be something more like a beautiful red velvet chaise lounge.
Definition of contentment: a state of happiness and genuine satisfaction.
I don't consider contentment as synonymous with a comfort zone. I have experienced, and witnessed others experience, contentment as a starting place. A place in which to grow from. Rather than a place to get to. A place from which you can ask yourself "what do I want?" as opposed to "what do I need?"
Avoiding the experience of Contentment for fear of becoming complacent will perpetuate your thinking that contentment is something to find outside yourself and, therefore, never quite within reach.
Being content within and with yourself is, in my thinking, an experience associated with self esteem. And, as such, a solid platform from which to leap forward. Identifying where you're at in relationship to where you want to be is an essential prerequisite to finding this quality within yourself. The "where" in this case being as much an internal experience as an exterior set of circumstances.
Looking to find contentment within yourself rather than concerning yourself with the circumstances you believe to be the cause of it's lacking will often bring up fear. But, fear is an unavoidable experience of stepping outside your comfort zone....moving toward something unfamiliar yet desired.
Certainly it's possible to get stuck in fear. But, that usually is a result of wresting to get rid of it....as in the saying; what you resist, persists.
Complacency is alluring. Especially when we are confronted by fear. But, once we develop the understanding to see and experience fear as an indication of forward movement, we will stop wrestling with it and embrace it as sign of getting to where we want to be. And that could be content.