We hear that change is good, that we must progress into the unknown willingly. Being human, we resist change. It goes way back in our consciousness. Somewhere along the line we questioned why should we change? We like normal, status quo. Most people don’t really want to do things differently because they are comfortable with what they’re doing. Unfortunately, we live in a time where being able to adapt to changes in our environment is a core competency for success.
When we hear of great inventors, geniuses, we are told of all the mistakes they made on their way to that one right idea that yielded a breakthrough. Unless we are able to adapt to different ways of doing things and change, we will never arrive at that point.
Adrienne was with a company for five years in an accounting role. She wasn’t happy in her role or the company environment and when a recruiter called to propose a position with a different company in the technology interested, Adrienne was on her way. At the new company she’s finding that they do everything differently from what she was used to. She wanted the change, but when it was finally facing her in this new situation, Adrienne resisted it.
We hear this story often, you might be happy at your company and then they go out of business: you are forced to change. Or you may be successful but looking to advance more rapidly than your current company allows. There is an extreme expression: change or die. This is the story of evolution: if you don’t learn how to do things differently, you are going to be on the losing end of change. It will happen without you. Change is constant, the earth is moving, and we need to learn how to move with it. We can pick the speed, but we really can’t refuse to adapt, because that’s a path that leads nowhere.
So how can we encourage ourselves to be more adaptable? One way is to listen to what’s going on around you. Choose to do something differently, like taking another route home, or sitting in a different place. You can try a new dish at your favorite restaurant, or even try a new restaurant. Attempt to learn a new skill, or relearn one you know in a different way. If you’re a cook, try something completely different than your regular repertoire.
Being adaptable is an attribute that you want connected to your personal brand. It shows that you are up to the challenges coming your way, that you are able to survive in the midst of turmoil and chaos. We all love the stories people tell of how they faced adversity and overcame it. That was because they were able to adapt. It doesn’t mean giving in, it means being able to surmount obstacles and achieve success. Giving change a chance isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.