How adaptable are you?

Did you know that the ancient Chinese symbol for “crisis” is exactly the same as the symbol for “opportunity?” Seeing problems as opportunities is the best possible way to be successful in business and in life. It’s a matter of perspective, so shouldn’t you adopt the perspective that will lead to success and not failure?

Problems, change, stress – they’re all part of everyone’s life, no one is exempt. Adaptability means seeing these things as normal. Successful people develop a mental toughness which causes them to see adversities and failures as ways to learn lessons and improve. They expect challenges so, even before the challenges occur, they have the intention of facing them and finding solutions.

Basically, there are two ways to adapt to situations: the first is to adapt ourselves to situations that are beyond our control, and the second is to adapt situations so that they are better for us. One of these two options provides the solution to most problems, so, of course, you want to adapt either yourself or the situation in the most productive, worthwhile, way.

Adaptability is a CHOICE. It’s you making up your mind to be flexible, responsive, analytical, and solution oriented. Choosing to be adaptive, instead of fighting the issue means that you’re giving yourself freedom to take action to find a solution. Choosing to be adaptive means you’re the victor and not the victim. How adaptable are you?

Here are some techniques to help you increase your adaptive skills:

  1. How’s your sense of humor? It can be a great ally for you. One of the things humor helps you do is to get some perspective on yourself and your situation. Humor can help you see the fun in the situation when you make a mistake. It can make it easier for you to learn from your mistake.
  1. How well do you control your negative emotions? Negative emotions can get you into a lot of trouble. When you’re in a stressful situation and having a real hard time dealing with it, try to remove yourself until you have your emotions under control. When you’re calmer, deal with the situation.
  1. Do you see change as normal or does it throw you for a loop? Evaluate the way you react to unexpected events. Make a conscious effort to take changes in stride. This is a skill you can learn, and it will help you in many different ways.
  1. How good are you at saying “No”? If you’re stressed because you’ve overcommitted yourself, it’s harder to adapt to situations as they arise. Make your schedule work for you, not against you. Learn to say “No,” calmly and firmly, when you need to.
  1. Is your life way too complicated? Learn to simplify your life. Get rid of clutter and distractions that wear you out and get in the way. Decide what’s essential to you and what you really want to do with your time, and concentrate on that.

When you experience a violent storm, it’s easy to rail against the weather. The wind and the rain can seem terrifying, especially when coupled with the crash of thunder and the bright crackle of lightning splitting the sky. But ask any farmer, and they’ll tell you that even big storms have their benefits. The rain is necessary for their crops. And believe it or not, lightning, when it strikes the ground, puts nitrogen into the soil that’s so badly needed for things to grow.

Likewise, conflict in the workplace has certain benefits that we don’t always see initially.  However, as we open our minds, learn to control our emotions and acknowledge that there are other points of view, positive things will happen.

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