Adaptability is a key trait for navigating our modern world. It's truly an unmatched asset, particularly as technology continues to influence how we work, learn, live and love. Other factors, like socioeconomic, geographic and environmental, are increasingly shaping the ways we interact and earn a living as well.
The choice is to either adapt or remain stagnant, risking missing out on valuable opportunities and connections.
And if the past year has taught us anything, it is that the ability to change our behavior, thoughts and actions – to be fluid instead of rigid – not only affect our personal and professional livelihoods, but also those of our friends, family, colleagues and strangers.
But change is hard, right? It's uncomfortable, messy, infuriating at times. And occasionally, it's downright scary.
We hear you! We all have a vision for the future that we hold near and dear and expectations about how things will pan out. When something comes along that threatens that image, we naturally become defensive.
Frustrated, even angry.
Sometimes we take those feelings out on others through an offhanded comment or by withholding our love and attention. Or we bury our heads in the sand, dig in our heels and refuse to budge at all, grinding progress to halt. Occasionally, we feel compelled to give up or give in and respond in one of the most gut-wrenching ways – by walking away from our dreams.
But none of those behaviors are likely to bring about a positive change in the world or within your smaller version of it.
So, how can you sustain yourself through those challenging times, without hurting others or losing sight of your goals and motivations?
Research shows that resilience and flexibility can do just that! Individuals exhibiting these characteristics fare better during uncertain, stressful and demanding times.
Being resilient in the face of change and willing to adapt helps:
- Reduce stress, anxiety, depression, burnout and sleep problems;
- Highlight the value in others' ideas and viewpoints;
- Boost your productivity as well as job and life satisfaction;
- Improve your outlook and relationships with friends, loved ones and colleagues;
- Introduce you to people and opportunities that you wouldn't have connected with otherwise; and
- Address adversity in a productive manner, instead of falling back on self-destructive habits, like avoidance or attack mode.
Resiliency is the armor that shelters you from any storm.
Learning to Bend, Not Break