The Need for Adaptability
In an ever-changing world, where no day is the same, the ability to adapt to our surroundings is quickly becoming vital, although a difficult skill to possess.
In the wake of growing global civil unrest, climate change, financial debt, and a global pandemic; feelings of angst, stress and more than a little discomfort are rapidly becoming the new norm. It is fair to say that our lives are in an ever-changing state of fluidity.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom…we each have the power to do something about it! No one knows what the future will bring, but the ability to decide how you react to it is entirely up to you. You have complete control. By improving your ability to adapt, in addition to other important attributes including resilience and emotional intelligence, you will ideally begin to find comfort in the uncertainty of life and recognise increased control over your happiness, health, stress and well-being.
But what is adaptability?
Adaptability is not simply “rolling with the punches” or waking up and seeing what happens, but rather, includes a set of three components:
- Adjust the way you think and respond to instances of change
- Handle BOTH positive and negative emotional responses. Don’t get carried away in either direction
- Adjust your behaviour when required
By thinking about our thoughts rationally, and consequently acting on them deliberately, we can begin to encourage a growth mindset. That is a unique understanding of how we can best cope with an uncertain situation, through self-reflection, expansive thinking and deliberate practice.
What makes it so difficult?
The reason we don’t adapt this line of thinking automatically, is because it goes against our own individual status quo. We need to break out of our comfort zone to find where the real magic is. By breaking routines and experimenting with new possibilities, we can begin to embrace all of life’s challenges.
Yet our comfort zone serves a purpose. It reduces stress, anxiety and aims to minimise any risk in our lives. And all in all, it isn’t that bad. When times are tough, sometimes a little comfort is what we all really need. That safety blanket, or warm comforting meal that provides us with an an element of safety and security to know that everything will be ok.
But in order to continually challenge ourselves, to grow, and to discover our own upper limits, we must stray from that comfort zone from time to time.
In order to embody the best version of yourself, getting out of your comfort zone and embracing all of life’s uncertainty, will put you on the fast-track to success.
So how can we each demonstrate adaptability?
As discussed earlier, by embodying a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset, you will begin recognise areas of personal development.
For example, those with a fixed mindset focus purely on whether you’re currently good enough or capable at something. That people are inherently better than others based off talent alone, irrespective of effort.
Other characteristics may include:
- Hiding one’s flaws to hide from being judged
- Focus purely on external goals and outcomes, whilst losing sight of the process to achieve them
- Only undertaking activities or behaviours that you know you are good at, without considering doing another activity in which you might fail or look silly
- Being driven purely by performance and allowing that to define you
- Ignore feedback or react to it defensively
- Feel threatened by others’ success
However, a growth mindset, allows you to recognise that anyone can accomplish any goal, regardless of skill or ability level, with consistency, dedication and action.
Some basic characteristics of someone with a growth mindset:
- Consistently trying to learn something new
- Focus on the process required to achieve your goals, rather than the outcome itself
- Allow your effort to guide and dictate your purpose
- Recognise your perceived weaknesses and struggles as opportunities
- Accept and learn from past difficult experiences
- Become inspired from others’ success. Don’t allow yourself to minimise it as a result of anything other than effort and execution
- Incorporate mantras, and constantly remind yourself that you are capable, and you have the ability to learn whatever you need to.
In order to become more adaptable in life, we must at times act without certainty over the outcome. It is impossible to achieve the perfect outcome to every situation, but anyone can improve their personal experiences by incorporating more adaptive processes in their life.
We are all continuously developing and growing. By embracing our daily challenges, and constantly trying to learn from them, we can reduce any perceived limitations we have placed on ourselves. By becoming more adaptable, we can each achieve extraordinary things and overcome any obstacle put in our way.