How do you feel when you go to your favorite exercise class and someone is sitting in your spot? Are you low-key burning up on the inside?
Let’s say you go to Sephora to get your favorite face cream and they’ve discontinued it…are you really bummed out?
Does change make you uncomfortable, especially when you have no control over it? If so, then this episode is for you.
You’ll learn about the power of becoming more adaptable and how adaptability is one of the keys to cultivating more happiness in your life.
We can’t talk about adaptability without first touching on fear of change. Our ability to be flexible and adapt to circumstances out of our control is directly related to our relationship with change.
If you struggle with changes, big or small, you are in no way alone. Human beings are hardwired to resist change. Our amygdala (or “lizard brain”) releases hormones to protect us from the “threat” of change because, in the past, it could mean potential life-threatening danger. When faced with unexpected change, our brains can put us into a fight, flight, or freeze response.
Our ability to adapt has certainly been put to the test facing a global pandemic over the past few years. Undoubtedly, some of us handled the enormous changes we had to make better than others.
Are some people born naturally more adaptable? From my perspective, adaptability is a combination of nature and nurture. If you know yourself to be particularly resistant to change, learning how to accept it more readily will improve your level of adaptability.
Why is it important to be more adaptable? There can be a tendency to get stuck in our ways or to become overly attached to habits or routines. When those attachments are too rigid and out of balance, they can block us from creating happier, more fulfilling lives.
It is very common for people to stay in unhappy relationships, unfulfilling jobs, or difficult situations because it’s kind of like that saying, “the devil you know,” right? Some people are so risk-averse they don’t take any risks, even if they aren’t happy.
If this resonates with you, the first step to making a shift is to raise your awareness of how you relate to change and how adaptable you are.
Think about the way you relate to change. The truth is the way you perceive and experience change is a construct. It is a paradigm created in your conscious and unconscious mind. This means you can change it! As Wayne Dyer would say, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Reframing can be a powerful tool to help you flex your adaptability muscle. Can you reframe your fear of change into anticipatory excitement? Even though doing something new can be scary, it can also be invigorating and exciting. Let’s say your favorite restaurant closes? Sure, you can be disappointed, but can you also look at it as a new opportunity to discover a new favorite spot?
Yes, changing requires energy, effort, and bandwidth, which is part of why staying the same can be so appealing. But in order to continue creating lives we love, we have to be able to step outside of our comfort zones. Don’t let your comfort zone become a comfortable prison.
This doesn’t mean we must challenge ourselves to do extremely stressful things all the time. However, it is in your best interest to raise your awareness around your comfort zone. Where in your life are you keeping yourself small because you want to stay comfortable?
Here’s the thing about being uncomfortable because of change: change will happen anyway. It is inevitable. Reframing your relationship with change will help create more emotional elasticity and durability. You can decide to get proactive around changes that are inevitable.
For example, changes in life like aging or your kids growing up are unavoidable, but what if you decided to get in acceptance and ask yourself- how do I want this to go? What am I willing to do?
There’s no way to stop the hands of time, but there are choices you can make so you’re not living in denial or avoidance of the inevitable. Adaptability means living life with your eyes wide open. It’s grabbing the inevitability of change by the lapels and getting proactive about making plans for things you can control by making conscious choices.
The first step to making a positive shift in your life is always raising your awareness. When it comes to adaptability and the way we relate to change, we all have a unique blueprint. That is, the things we learned and behaviors we witnessed modeled for us while we were growing up.
How adaptable were your parental impactors (the adults who raised you)? Were they adventurous or extremely habitual? How did they react when something changed? The answers to these questions will give you more insight into why you relate to change the way you do.
Inside this week’s downloadable guide, you’ll find more clarifying questions to help you uncover your own adaptability or fear of change blueprint. I’m also giving you some ideas on how you can continue to build and flex your adaptability muscle.
Even if you feel like you’ll never be comfortable with change, I want you to take a look at what you’ve experienced over the past two years as evidence that there IS a spark of adaptability in you. You survived. We didn’t have a choice, but look at what you’re capable of when things get really, really hard.
I’m curious to see what your thoughts are about adaptability? What is your relationship to things changing? Drop me a comment here, over on YouTube or connect with me on IG @terricole and let me know!
I hope you have an amazing week opening yourself to new possibilities, and as always take care of you.