Is Your Lack of Adaptability Holding You Back?

February 3, 2016

You’re darn right it is. 


Adaptability is “an ability to change something or oneself to fit to occurring changes”.  How important is it to be adaptable or flexible in today’s world?  Very. 


We start out as very adaptable creatures.  Take babies for example.  My little guy Henry teaches me lessons in this area every day.  While preparing for a trip to Minneapolis over Thanksgiving weekend, I started stressing about how he would manage these 4 days (in typical first time Mom fashion).  Would he sleep?  How would the flight go?  What if a major blowout happened on the plane? Would he be dressed warm enough?  My 3-month old at the time did just fine.  Why?  Because he’s adaptable.  As long as he has Mom, Dad, milk, and somewhere comfy to sleep… he’s golden. 


As we age, many of us become less flexible.  Less adaptive.  More set in our ways.  Does this hold us back?   In so many ways! 


If we could only return to our roots, like Baby Henry.  We are actually highly adaptive, humans. 


I’ve begun to run again in the past few months, after ¾ of a year off.  It is tough re-establishing cardiovascular fitness post-baby.  Tough on the body, tough on the mind.  So cut to my long run this weekend, part of which included a run up Bell Road (a long, gradual hill that never seems to end).  As I started up the hill, the effort felt like an 11 on a 1-10 difficulty scale.  My mind was shouting things like “you’re not fit enough for this” and “you’re still out of shape” and “you ran this so much faster last year”.  But something interesting happened as I continued to run.  By 2/3 of the way up the hill, I had adapted to the difficulty of the hill and found myself picking up my pace and thinking, “this hill isn’t so bad really”.  I am regaining fitness after all! 


That subtle shift in mindset produced a very positive effect on my pace and overall attitude.  How cool to harness that and be able to use it at will?    


I don’t pretend to be an expert in this subject.  Adapting to change is actually an area of constant improvement for me.  But, the realization of this is half of the battle.  What is the best way to return to our roots of adaptability?   It just may be as simple as adopting the mindset of… what do I have to lose?  Put yourself out there.  Do things that scare you.  Get out of your comfort zone.  I’ve committed to doing this in 2016 – and you can too. 

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