In 1976, Kodak was the leaders in their field and their name was synonymous with photography. In 2012 they filed for bankruptcy and, although they exist today, they still struggle. In 2000, Blockbuster sat at the top of the video rental industry with thousands of retail outlets and millions of customers. Today, Blockbuster is nothing more than a distant memory. National Geographic, one of the most respected brands in history and the pioneers of showing never before seen images, has been slowly vanishing into the Fox media empire and is no longer a brand on its own.
If the Kodak bosses heeded the warning of many of their employees and started to evolve with the times embracing the digital era, they could still be on the forefront of photography. If the CEO of Blockbuster were open to the idea of Reed Hastings (the founder of Netflix) in 2000 when he proposed a partnership and not laugh Hastings out of the room- Blockbuster’s would’ve been a 28-billion-dollar company today. And if National Geographic executives did not refuse the idea to start a National Geographic cable channel in the 1980’s (by a group of producers that went on to start the Discovery and History Channels), the channel they eventually started in 1997 would’ve been a much bigger success.
The commonality in these stories? The decision makers weren’t willing to adapt and did not want to accept change, which proved fatal for all of these (once at the top of their game) companies.
In my previous blog I touched on the importance of accepting change because change will forever be part of our existence. The sooner we learn to deal with, and accept this fact, the quicker we can turn every inevitable change into a positive. Propelling us forward instead of holding us back.
I always find myself wondering about the successful people – it seems that some people got very lucky and caught all the big breaks. But this is not the truth, far from it actually. We only see the success and have no idea what it took to get there. I also quickly discovered that the most successful and happy people usually have one trait in common – they are ABLE to adapt easily.
No wonder that during a study done in 2018, 91% of HR experts listed adaptability as one of the major criterions for recruitment in any sector. An IBM study found that “the willingness to be flexible and adaptable to change” was the most critical skill for workers in 2019, up from 4th place in 2016.
The ultimate example of adapting to change to ensure a positive outcome will have to be when Jesus came to earth to live amongst us. The son of the King, royalty!!! adapted and became a servant in the likeliness of you and I. Was it easy? NO- not even for the son of God. Was it worthwhile? YES!!! A million times yes. It ensured that sinners can go to heaven not because they are perfect but because the price has been paid and a way has been made by a perfect and almighty King.
By now you might be thinking that being able to adapt is a talent, only gifted to a select few. Fortunately, this is not the truth. Adaptability is a skill that we can practice, it’s something you can become better at and master as time goes by. In Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul wrote that we should be transformed by the renewal of our minds. This is exactly what adaptability refers to, to mentally be prepared for whatever life throws at you and to be flexible in your expectations whilst holding onto your values in norms in the process.
Adaptability expands our capacity to handle change, no matter how serious it might be. It is the ability to embrace our reality, to look change straight in the eye, to stare it down until it becomes a trusted ally. Instead of throwing away energy trying to change our circumstances, we should change ourselves from within, renewing our minds to be able to thrive in any situation we find ourselves in.
No matter how much we would like to deny it, our happiness, satisfaction, progress, success and the ability to build quality relationships are largely dependent on our willingness to adapt. An agile mindset is one that recognizes that the price of admission for a meaningful life is being able to adapt to change.
Ok, so we can’t avoid change but we can change our relationship, our MINDSETS towards change. Here is a few “tips” on how to become more adaptable:
- STOP complaining: It is a waste of energy.
- Identify the source of your resistance AKA know yourself, be self-aware.
- Start being BOLD: Try to do things in new ways.
- Be POSITIVE towards change (even if no one else seems to be): A change can (and should be) “as good as a holiday”.
- Have multiple plans: Don’t stick with a plan that’s not working, try plan B,C,D… (you catch my drift)
- Positive SELF-TALK
- Think BIG: Break through those self-limiting beliefs.
- Quit the BLAME game: Stop blaming yourself (and others) if things do not go the way you have hoped or planned.
- Acceptance is KEY: Accept the situation, take action and find positive ways to cope and get through hard times.
- Change your daily routine: Changing up the things that is in your control will make it much easier to cope with changes that is out of your control.
- See change as an opportunity to grow.
- Be curious: don’t just accept the way things have always been done, ask questions and try to find better ways of doing “old” things more effectively.
- Get in the habit of feeling energized when challenges arise.
- Be open to new information and new ways of solving problems: See opportunities where other people sees failure.
This might sound hard, but it really isn’t. Start today by adding the mantra “I am adaptable” and “change is my ally” to your list and remind yourself daily that on the other side of AND in the transition towards accepting what is inevitable, is a life with more positivity, passion, blessings, creativity and overall joy.
God is still very much active and with us in periods we perceive as transitional, in moments where we are adjusting to change. The great news is that some of the very best things God will do in your life will not be in your calendar, on your plan or written on a dream board. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
It always seems impossible until it is DONE, so let’s give this a go. I believe that you can learn to become more adaptable, embracing and cultivating this skill and in doing so, reap the amazing benefits in every sphere of your life. Let it become part of the essence of who you are.
You are SO worth it.
Until next time, remember to #beablessing to yourself and ultimately everyone around you.