Adaptability – the ability to adjust to different conditions or circumstances.
How adaptable are you?
Do you find it easy to pivot when things don’t go as planned, or do you have resistance or even a full-blown meltdown sometimes?
I think that being flexible is a great attribute. It helps us from being stuck in doing things only one way. It keeps us more open-minded. It gives us more freedom to learn and grow when we adapt easily.
There have been times though that my adaptability has gone to the extreme and looked more like people-pleasing. Many times in my effort to be compliant, I stuffed down my real feelings about what I agreed to or said. I went along with other’s ideas so I would fit in or at the very least not ‘make waves’. Has anyone else changed plans they really didn’t want to change just to accommodate and make life easier for someone else? Not sure who else needed to hear this (besides me), but here it is…
Being flexible has served me well. I am able to reset quickly and move on without much disappointment most of the time. Although, as I’m writing this, a flood of memories come to me of times that I handled things by being ‘flexible’ because it was the easy way out. I would not encounter any confrontation if I was flexible enough. And believe me, I would run miles around something before I would confront it.
So, when does adaptability turn into people-pleasing?
When is it okay to change your plans to accommodate others? When does that become taken advantage of? What’s the key?
I have learned to pause. In that brief moment, I ask myself if changing my plans is okay for me or am I doing it only to please the other person? How important is what I have to give up?
Most of all, I check in with my body.
What is my body telling me, how does it feel? Do I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach? Or do I feel good about being able to help someone out? Do I feel resentful or ‘heavy’?
Your body will tell you if you get quiet and tune in. It is instantaneous, unlike checking in with your head. My head is busy with so many thoughts of why I should or should not do something that it’s hard to discern how I really feel. I have found out that my body tells the truth, I just have to be willing to listen and trust it, and then follow through.
When we change the world changes.
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