Becoming More Adaptable in Challenging Times

Tips to Being More AdaptableWe are living in uncertain times. It’s not the first time, of course. There has never been a time when people could be certain exactly how their lives would play out. That’s life. We can’t possibly plan for every outcome, so we must adapt when we are faced with new realities. Becoming more adaptable has become extremely important as we have  experienced uncertainty in so many parts of our lives since the beginning of the pandemic. Flexibility has become more and more important; I previously wrote about that here: Developing a Flexible Mindset When Uncertainty Reigns

What have you learned about your adaptability during the past couple of years? Have you strengthened your adaptability muscles? Or perhaps you are experiencing fatigue from all the adapting you have done and would just like things to stop changing so much. As we move forward, the challenges continue and we are being called upon to continue to adapt.

Here are 8 tips for becoming more adaptable. Some may be your usual ways of adapting, some may be new or forgotten concepts.

Have a Guiding Light

Life throws all kinds of surprising situations and obstacles in your path. If you have a guiding light or a purpose, you will find it easier to adapt and get back on track. Even if your short-term goals and plans are derailed, you will know your general direction and adjust accordingly. Perhaps your guiding light/purpose has shifted in these past couple of years. Find ways to keep your purpose before you in the midst of changes.

Have a Flexible Comfort Zone

We all crave some stability and things we can count on. It is the foundation from which we live our lives. However, it’s possible for that to become a rut, a place that we refuse to leave. When we are forced to leave our comfort zone as we have in many ways recently, we create new ones. Moving forward, be intentional about keeping your comfort zone flexible. Do some different things regularly so you will be more comfortable when outside factors mandate changes.

Practice With Low-Stake Activities

Adaptability is like any skill. You can hone and strengthen it through repeated use. If you aren’t good at rolling with the punches, try starting small. Becoming more adaptable can be making as simple as changing your route to work. And those changes provide new experiences that can be enjoyable.

Commit to Learning

Life always includes learning. A hallmark of adaptability is having a wide spectrum of knowledge. By making lifelong learning a priority you are building adaptability into your life. You will find it much easier to adjust your approach if you have the skills and knowledge you need.

 Stay On Top of Current Events

While watching the news every night can be hard, you should strive to stay on top of current events and trends. Spotting an emerging trend that might affect you will help you prepare for any adjustments you have to make. It also raises your awareness of opportunities that are important for your health and wellbeing.

Accept That Things Will Not Always Go As Intended

Life is going to be full of disappointments and mistakes. This is especially true if you are regularly forced to adapt to changing circumstances. Even the best-laid plans can be affected by forces out of our control. The key is to redefine these things from personal failures to opportunities to learn new things and try something else.

Say “Yes” More Often

People are often told they should “no” more often. Setting healthy boundaries is important. However, there are things we may need to say “yes” to more often also. By accepting new and different challenges, you will be training your adaptability.  Becoming more adaptable includes being intentional about what you say “yes” to as well as what you decline.

Let Go of Attachment

The idea of attachment is a key tenet of Buddhism. Our inability to detach from our ideas of how things should be can hold us back from a fulfilled life. This is good advice for those who struggle with adaptability. When you let go of your idea of how things need to be, you make it easier to adjust when things change.

 Becoming more adaptable is an ongoing effort. We always want stability and things we can count on. Balancing that with a desire for self-initiated change and ability to adapt to changes put upon us is a goal of life.

If you would like to explore more aspects of this, check out:

How to Survive Change . . . You Didn’t Ask for: Bounce Back, Find Calm in Chaos, and Reinvent Yourself by M.J. Ryan

I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be.

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