How to adapt to change

Change has always been the most natural thing for me.  My outlook on life is that circumstances can change within an instant and when they do, you just have to change along with it.  However, I’ve come to notice that change can be one of the most frightening things for many people.  Which made me wonder what the foundation of being able to adapt, is.

Foundation

(The content of this section is based on results obtained through the Strengthsfinder test.)

The foundation of adaptability, balances on your ability to “live in the moment”.  Indirectly, it implies that you do not necessarily see the future as one fixed destination, but rather that you live with the conviction that all the choices you make now, will determine your future.

Another fundamental truth about being adaptable, is that you don’t resent sudden and unforeseen obstacles.  Rather, you expect them to happen.

And lastly, there is the necessity of having a flexible nature.  This implies that you are an extremely flexible person.  That you are able to continue to stay highly productive in environments which might seem to pull you in multiple directions, all at the same time.

It is important to know though that Adaptability is only one out of 34 other strengths.  I am also not implying that in order to successfully deal with change, all people should have this strength.  I merely want to clarify what adaptibility is and, furthermore, how this ability can help you to face change.

Facing change

So, how can you better face change?  Here are three action steps that might help you through the process:

1) Expect it

Life is ever-changing and unexpected things happen all the time.  No matter how well you plan and schedule things to try and eliminate the unforeseen, life still happens.  So, if you can slowly just start to teach yourself to expect things to change, the fear of the unfamiliarity and uncertainty of it all, will eventually fade.  Expecting change is by no means a call to make you more anxious about life.  Rather it is a way to equip you to cope with the change when it does come.  Whether this is in your business, family or personal life.

2) Breathe

When you do find yourself in an unexpected or unplanned situation, the first crucial thing to do, is to take a deep breath.  I know it might seem like the silliest little thing to mention, but honestly it works.  Breathing, slowly, will allow you to calm your mind which is running in a million different directions, trying to make sense of what has just happened.  So, when you breathe deeply, more oxygen is transported to your brain, which assists you in figuring out how to deal with this change and what the next step should be.

It’s one of the easiest things to do, yet most people forget about taking a breath and some even end up in a state of hyper-ventilation…

3) Involve others

You were not created to face and live life alone.  When you just stop and take some time to look at the people who are in your life, you will quickly notice one or two whom never seem to be frazzled by the slightest thing.  These people might very possibly have the strength of adaptability.  It is truly important that we invite other people into our journeys; inviting them to do life with us.

I find it absolutely crucial to involve others in our moments of conflict and uncertainty.  Different people have different approaches to life and challenging situations.  So, by inviting others into our own uncertainties, into our vulnerability in this way, will definitely just give us clearer perspective on the different possibilities with which we can address our current state of involuntary change.

Bottom line:

  • Don’t fear change, rather expect it.
  • Don’t panic, rather stop to take a couple of deep breaths.
  • Don’t try to solve it by yourself, invite others into your journey.

Have you had to deal with unexpected change?  How did you do it?  I would love to hear your tips in the comments section below.

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2 thoughts on “How to adapt to change

  1. I love this! I am fine when circumstances change around me at work—I’m a strategist. But when they happen close to home or in my personal life…aaaaaaaaaaaaah! I wonder why that is.

    Loved the “Breathe” suggestion. So true.
    Loved Involve Others. We’re better with wise counsel, especially when that counsel is of the holy kind.

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