Flexibility Can Be Developed: Why It Matters and Tips That Work

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Among the many skills that ensure success in every field, adaptability stands out. It’s easy to get frustrated not having control over things, but with flexibility, one remains graceful at dealing with changes. With this skill, revamping from any setbacks or any unpredictable occurrences can be easier.

In fact, flexibility is one of the leadership skills. Kids with leadership skills tend to outdo their peers in the future, becoming more successful in most fields. But flexibility isn’t just about leadership; it’s one great tool to streamline your life.

Flexibility Has Three Types

At high school, college, work, or any place, it’s crucial to cultivate flexibility. It can get handy any time, putting you at an advantage in every situation. There are three types of flexibility—emotional, dispositional, and cognitive—all of which combined are traits of being a leader.

Emotional flexibility refers to the ability to deal with your emotions and others’. You can easily get through the grieving process or face resistance, not dismissing them or stopping the conversation when issues arise. Even with changes, you always have a way to move things forward.

When you can be realistic and optimistic at the same time, you have dispositional flexibility. This means you can see the reality, both the negative and positive sides, yet you remain open to a better future. You’re not blinded either by optimism or cynicism but are well able to remain between the two. Changes, the way you see them, will be an opportunity instead of a danger.

Lastly, cognitive flexibility is the ability to use various ways of thinking in your decision-making, planning, and daily tasks. With different mental frameworks, you can easily recognize and navigate through any kind of situation, create a change, discard old approaches that don’t any more work, formulate new approaches, and work well with new people.

Accepting Changes Is a Skill

Whether we like it or not, changes are bound to come, and for those that resist them, they’ll find themselves without other options to direct their life. Instead of proactively facing the changes and making them, they just react, not act.

There’s no way you can avoid life’s crisis. Challenges in life force us to step out of our comfort zone, learn, grow, be stronger, and develop resilience. And it starts with the right mindset—seeing them as opportunities, not obstacles. The secret to leading a satisfying life, to thrive and not just survive, is to embrace change.

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Tips for Practicing Adaptability

Here are some strategies that can greatly help you navigate your life despite changes:

Thrive with the right mindset

Normally, we like falling into a routine or ordering menus that we are familiar with. These are just some examples of how much we want to like staying in our comfort zones. While there is nothing wrong with these, it’s unhealthy to just stick to what you are familiar with and not be able to adapt to changes when they come.

No matter how much your subconscious wants to avoid the unknown, step into it. Flexibility can be always developed, so equip yourself with the right mindset—to see challenges as opportunities, that there are some things you can’t control, and spot how you can turn the table to your advantage.

Find the humor in your situation

There’s no reason to take life so seriously. If anything, it may just make you more resistant to change. Psychology backs this strategy as studied by Rod A. Martin. Humor, according to the study, in the form of witty banter can actually enhance social interaction and lighten the mood as long as you stay polite, respectful, and inclusive.

The general rule to not offend anyone is to avoid making others’ situations a laughingstock. You can make your own a source of laughter, seeing your situation in a new light. It can greatly help make others feel better.

Accept what’s been done but fight for what can be done

There’s nothing you can do to change the past. Certain challenges in life are inevitable that all you can do is to accept and learn to live with them. The good thing is that we are always free to decide what we do with our lives for the next part—we have all the freedom to create a better future nevertheless.

See changes as a normal part of life

No matter how we work for stability, it may always get disrupted anytime, but practicing flexibility, keep in mind not to expect stability. Take for an example Salvatore R. Maddi’s research on a company that went through so many changes. Some managers thrived; some didn’t. Those who thrived tend to view changes as a normal part of the human experience.

There are so many ways you can practice becoming more flexible. Make it a goal to practice being accepting of change anytime.

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