Being adaptable is not as popular as it should be since it is one of the most important traits we have as humans. The thing that doesn’t make adaptability as popular as it should be is that it is not as cool as being as you are and expecting other people to like and accept you.
Most people will not say they are adaptable because it seems like they don’t know who they are and what they want, which is not true. The fact that you understand that you have to adapt to different situations and people in your life shows that you know that not every circumstance is the same and that you are open-minded.
Saying that “you are who you are and everybody has to accept that, and you will not change” sounds cooler than saying that you are adaptable and you will treat every situation in your life differently because they are different, but the first one will limit your chances and opportunities in life a lot.
Why is adaptability important?
Adaptability is important to achieve success and happiness in all plans because we don’t know the future, and all we can do is adapt to what it brings.
Being adaptable helps you when you encounter unexpected difficulties but also when you get something better all of a sudden.
Everybody talks about how important it is to adapt to new challenges and difficulties in life, and they are correct because it is very important. However, a thing that is not discussed as much is how important it is to adapt to unexpected good things in our lives. Some would think it is unnecessary since we all can handle good news, but it is not true.
A change is a change, and you have to adapt to it, no matter in what direction, and we all know people that couldn’t handle good changes. The clearest example is with the lottery winners, almost all of them didn’t handle well that incredibly good news because they couldn’t adapt to the new reality, of course, this is more nuanced than that, but it is a good example.
But we also know people that react to good news with”how long can this last?” or”what’s the catch?”, or “seems too good to be true” even if it is not as big of good news as winning the lottery, and you can only imagine that those people will do their best to get to the state were they were comfortable.
Circumstances can change – In some situations, your principles and ideas might not be wrong or false now because you were wrong from the beginning, but if the circumstances change, you will have to change them to adapt to the new situation. So you don,t have to feel like you did something wrong.
A good example is how we change our principles, values, and habits as we age. When we are teenagers, we say many stupid things, think we know how life works, and don’t like to have someone telling us what to do. As we get older, we understand that we are not good at everything, we have a lot more to learn in any aspect of our life and someone telling us what to do is not as bad, especially if they are knowledgeable, does this mean that we were wrong at that time?
No, at the time, the most important thing for us was to look cool and get popularity points by impressing people around us. And we would not accomplish that too easily by being the responsible person that knows that other people are better than us and so on. So, when our principles in life change, we have to adapt to the new circumstances; otherwise, you end up being the one that says, “I don’t like to be told what to do” while you are being told what to do at a job and that is a bit cringe for most adults. I bet you know those people if you are of working age.
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5 Benefits of being adaptable
Many changes happen in life, and in almost all cases, you have only two choices: The first one is to adapt and try to get as much as you can out of the new reality, or the second one is to be frustrated and feel like something is wrong, or you don’t deserve this.
The first one will make you happier since you will feel more comfortable and less stressed for more time than someone who cannot adapt to new circumstances. As I said before, the worst part is that some people will feel bad even when life brings them the unexpected good news, not only bad ones.
2. More opportunities
This one applies especially in career but not only there. It’s easy to see why many people will prefer to promote a more adaptable person since a new job comes with new challenges that you have to adapt to and overcome. Also, when someone has an opportunity they want to share with people around them, they will go first to people willing to adapt to new circumstances since a new opportunity means a new challenge and new things you will have to learn.
Being adaptable will also bring you more friends, or relationships since you can do better and be more attractive in way more circumstances than someone unwilling to adapt.
3. You can overcome unexpected events
Life is about overcoming unexpected events, which is hard to do, and that is what being adaptable is all about: adapting to unexpected or different circumstances.
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4. You will better understand other people
Being adaptable will make you pay more attention to other people around you and make you understand them better since you will have to see their points of view.
Being adaptable means that you are willing to accept that someone else knows better than you in certain situations, and you might have to change your behavior accordingly. But in order to get there, you have to listen to other people and put yourself in their shoes to understand why they see things differently, which will make you more emphatic over time.
5. Wider view
Being adaptable will always give you more chances and opportunities because you have a wider view.
For example, if you know you are adaptable, you might think about other jobs, other cities to move in, or making new friends, which can significantly improve your life. At the same time, if you are not adaptable at all, you will look only in the same direction over and over again.
5. Better leadership skills
Leadership is about being able to communicate efficiently with different people, you can’t be short-sided and be a good leader at the same time since you will encounter a lot of different people with different personalities and principles in life, so you have to adapt.
Being able to communicate with every person in a way that your message will get to them, even if it is not the same from one person to another, is a crucial skill a leader must have.
How to improve your adaptability?
There are a few things that can improve your adaptability:
1. Acknowledging that adaptability is important
Understanding that it is important to adapt to different people and situations is the first step you can take to improve your adaptability.
Once you have done that, you can make a plan and actively work on improving your adaptability.
2. Be more open-minded
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – be emphatic even if you don’t agree with that point of view, you can still hear it and try to understand why the other person might see things differently(we have different information and education).
Understanding that you don’t know everything and you can learn from every person is crucial when it comes to improving your adaptability. In order to change your beliefs and behaviors, you have to believe in other people.
3. Do more research
You might change your mind on a topic when you get to know it better. I know that it is hard to change our minds in many cases, but taking the time to better research a topic will make us make the better decision even if, in some situations is the opposite of what we believed before doing the research.
So being able to hear contradictory opinions is a sign that you are adaptable. That doesn’t mean that you always have to change your mind, but you should be at least willing to do more research before making a decision.
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Adaptability has a lot of benefits, and it is one of the most important skills in life since life is not a linear process.
Being able to adapt to different people or situations doesn’t mean that you are weak, fake, or anything like that, but rather it means that you are emphatic and open-minded, which are great qualities in life.