Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It (2023)

Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world. Read full profile

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The one constant thing in our lives is change.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future” – John F Kennedy

We cannot avoid it and the more we resist change the tougher our life becomes. Change as John F Kennedy quoted is a Law of Life. We are surrounded by change and it is the one thing that has the most dramatic impact on our lives. There is no avoiding change as it will find you, challenge you and force you to reconsider how to live your life.

In this article, we will look into the importance of adapting to change and how you can adjust yourself to an ever-changing life.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Do You Have to Adapt to Change?
  2. 5 Strategies for Adapting to Change
  3. Final Thoughts
  4. More to Help You Adapt Change

Why Do You Have to Adapt to Change?

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” —Jim Rohn

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Change can come into our lives as a result of a crisis, as a result of choice or just by chance. In either situation, we are all faced with having to make a choice – do we make the change or not?

I believe that it is better to be prepared for change because we have more control over how we react to the change we are having to face in our lives.

When you are unprepared and resistant to change, then you have no control or choice as to how you want to live your life. You live your life as a reactionary rather than an activator of change.

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” —Lao Tzu

We cannot avoid the unexpected events (crisis) in our lives, as it is these events that challenge us and force us to step out of our comfort zone. If we ignore or hide away from the challenge of change, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow.

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” —Henri Bergson

Our resilience in life can only grow stronger when we embrace change and manage these challenges in a positive way, rather than hide away and ignore the opportunities that change can bring to our lives.

There is no escaping the impact that change can bring into in your life. Managing change in life is key to living a life where you are not only surviving but thriving as well.

5 Strategies for Adapting to Change

These 5 strategies below are the key steps that will enable you to adapt and successfully manage change in your life.

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1. Changing Your Mindset – Your Power Choice

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.— George Bernard Shaw

We like to live our lives in our comfort zone. Our subconscious likes this because it is the “known”. Embracing change is stepping into the unknown and our subconscious will does not like the “unknown.” so it will resist.

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Our fear and self-limiting beliefs will kick into action when we are faced with the disruptive consequences of change. There is no escaping the fact that change is a disruptor and it feels uncomfortable and scary. However, it is our power of choice that enables us to activate positive change in our lives.

We cannot control the events of change in our life, but we can control how we react to the impact that these events have on our lives.

“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” — Graham Brown

The more you use your power of choice and the more you focus your mindset on positively adapting to change, the more resilient you will be to dealing with impact that change will bring to your life.

2. Find Meaning In Life

“Step out of your comfort zone. Comfort zones, where your unrealized dreams are buried, are the enemies of achievement. Leadership begins when you step outside your comfort zone.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Knowing what is important in your life gives you purpose and sets the direction of how you want to live your life. With a sense of purpose and meaning in life, you have clarity and focus and both these elements are essential to you being able to successfully adapt and manage the impact of change in your life.

Having no purpose or meaning means that you tend to drift in life within the confines of your comfort zone. Purpose and meaning in life gives you the courage to step out of your comfort zone – which is where you will find change and the opportunities it can offer to you.

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3. Let Go of Your Regrets

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli

Regrets have a huge impact on how you respond to change and they hold you back in life. Letting go of your regrets is key to you being able to move forward in life.

It is the events of change that present opportunities in life, so if are looking back at your past you may miss the opportunities of the present and the future.

You cannot change what you did or did not do in the past so let it go. The only control you have now is to choose to live in your present and future life.

A great exercise to deal with regrets in life is to blow up a heap of balloons and on each balloon write a regret. Then, let the balloon go. As the balloon drifts off, out loud say goodbye to that regret.

Very simple but an effective way of dealing with the pile of regrets that you have collected in your lives.

4. Write a List of Scary Things to Do – Then Go Do Them

Change is scary and it is all about stepping out of your comfort zone into the unknown. Our subconscious needs to get familiar with us stepping out of a comfort zone and doing scary things. In fact we want to train our subconscious into believing that stepping out of our comfort zone and doing scary things is a normal thing for us to do.

Make a list of scary things that you would like to do but have been too afraid to. Put a plan in place and then go do them. Go have fun, challenge yourself and get yourself use to the feeling of being scared and stepping into the unknown.

Public speaking is one of the most frightening things for me and for many other people to do. To overcome my fear of public speaking, I joined Toast Masters My first speech I gave was a nightmare. My knees were knocking (didn’t know that was possible – but it is!) and I broke out in a sweat and my voice was a whisper when I started my speech.

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I got through it and though it wasn’t the greatest speech the exhilaration of actually overcoming my fear was amazing. I kept going and know enjoy public speaking so much that I jump at any opportunity to speak.

5. Focus on Living a Balanced and Healthy Life

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Living a balanced and healthy active life builds our resilience and ability to successfully manage the disruption that change can have on our lives.

Stress is a normal response to dealing with changes and challenges in daily life. In the short term, stress can help you perform better under pressure, but constant stress can pose problems for your health.

Finding positive ways to deal with the stress and pressure that we face daily is key to our survival on both a physical and emotional level.

Some healthy lifestyle actions you can use to successfully manage change and disruption in your life are:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Practice mediation regularly
  • Take time out and disconnect from technology
  • Learn how to relax and have fun
  • Connect with others. Spend time with people who have a positive impact on your life.

There are many more things you can to do to live a health balanced life. The key is that you commit to activities that enable you to be resilient, optimitic, physically and mentally fit to successful work through the impact that change can bring to your life.

Final Thoughts

We all desire to live successful, happy and long lives. To achieve what we all desire we need to be proactive about how we mange the change we face in our lives.

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Denial and resisting change will only result in you living a miserable life. This is why it is so important to learn how to be adaptable, resilient and bold in life because these 3 things are key to you successfully adapting to the constant impact that change will have on your life.

(Video) Episode 5: How Well Do You Adapt to Change

More to Help You Adapt Change

  • Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?
  • How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late
  • How to Conquer Your Fear of Change and Transform Your Life
  • 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

Featured photo credit: diana spatariu via unsplash.com

FAQs

Why it is important to adapt to change? ›

Adaptability expands your capacity to handle change, no matter how serious it might be. Instead of throwing away your energy trying to change your circumstance, you will change yourself right from within, thus making you thrive in whatever situation you find yourself.

How do you adapt to change examples? ›

What Does It Mean to Adapt to Change? Adapting to change is a skill that allows you to face new challenges and situations as they arise. For example, you may have to shift roles at your company or start a new job that requires you to develop different skills or take on unfamiliar responsibilities.

How do you adapt to change five helpful tips? ›

7 Tips to Help You Adapt to Change
  1. Find humor in the situation.
  2. Talk about the problems more than feelings.
  3. Don't stress about stressing out.
  4. Focus on your values instead of your fears.
  5. Accept the change and fight to make it happen.
  6. Celebrate the positives.
  7. Seek support, if needed.

What is a good example of adaptability? ›

Examples of adaptability in the workplace include being willing to adjust your plans in response to shifting strategic company priorities, new roles and responsibilities, new systems and technologies, process improvements and policy changes.

Can you give me an example of when you had to adapt to a new and sudden change in the workplace what happened? ›

For example, 'I recently had to do an entire project by myself because my co-worker quit unexpectedly. ' "(Situation) Last year, we changed our patient check-in process. (Task) I was required to learn a completely new software system in a short amount of time.

Can you give me an example of when you have adapted to a change at work? ›

Examples of adaptability in the workplace include being willing to adjust your plans in response to shifting strategic company priorities, new roles and responsibilities, new systems and technologies, process improvements and policy changes.

How do you show adaptability at work? ›

5 Ways to Demonstrate Your Adaptability at Work
  1. Staying calm and responding quickly to unexpected situations. ...
  2. Knowing when to push and let go of your ideas. ...
  3. Taking on different roles and responsibilities when needed. ...
  4. Upskilling and reskilling yourself. ...
  5. Changing your communication style based on who you're talking to.
Feb 17, 2022

What is the ability to adapt to change? ›

ADAPTABILITY - The ability to adapt and respond to changing work situations and environments.

How do you embrace and Adapt to change? ›

Here are 8 “Be-attitudes” to increase your adaptability:
  1. Be adventurous and try something new each day. ...
  2. Be an initiator of change practicing constructive dissatisfaction. ...
  3. Be flexible and embrace change with positive thoughts. ...
  4. Be a visionary that looks at the big picture. ...
  5. Be a strong communicator.

How do you Adapt to new things quickly? ›

5 Tips for Learning New Things More Quickly
  1. Be enthusiastic, not afraid. ...
  2. Be willing to relearn, or even unlearn, old stuff. ...
  3. Find the strength and courage to be a little uncomfortable. ...
  4. Learn in order to keep learning. ...
  5. Work on boosting your executive functioning skills.
Jan 26, 2016

What is the most effective way to make change? ›

Here are eight steps to take to make your next change initiative more successful:
  1. Identify what will change. ...
  2. Present a solid business case to gain buy-in. ...
  3. Create a roadmap. ...
  4. Gather data for evaluation. ...
  5. Communicate. ...
  6. Monitor and manage risk. ...
  7. Celebrate success. ...
  8. Continuously review and improve your process.

How do you adjust to changes you have no control over? ›

9 Ways To Adjust to Change That Is Out Of Your Control
  1. Change is a way to learn and grow. ...
  2. Allow little burst intervals: Change can be shocking and overwhelming to our system. ...
  3. Refrain from being self -critical instead embrace self-compassion: This can be a challenge if we feel responsible for the unwanted change.
Jun 6, 2019

What are 3 examples of adapting? ›

Examples include the long necks of giraffes for feeding in the tops of trees, the streamlined bodies of aquatic fish and mammals, the light bones of flying birds and mammals, and the long daggerlike canine teeth of carnivores.

What is the key to good adaptability skills? ›

Responsive to Feedback

Adaptable people respond well to changes, and that includes feedback from other coworkers and supervisors. Being able to listen, process, and implement feedback is a crucial skill that not only makes you a better team member but also makes your work better.

How would you describe adaptability as a strength? ›

Adaptability® is the ability to live in the present, freely and willingly able to respond to the demands and changes of the moment. When things change, people with the Strength of Adaptability® easily adapt and change—they are flexible. They come most alive living in the moment.

How do you prepare for and adapt to new and challenging situations? ›

Use these 5 tips to effectively adapt to change and guide your team forward:
  1. Be curious. Ask lots of questions. ...
  2. Don't get too attached to a single plan or strategy. Have Plan B (and C) at the ready.
  3. Create support systems. ...
  4. Understand your own reactions to change. ...
  5. Immerse yourself in new environments and situations.

What are your strategies in adapting yourself to different people? ›

These 5 strategies below are the key steps that will enable you to adapt and successfully manage change in your life.
  • Changing Your Mindset – Your Power Choice. ...
  • Find Meaning In Life. ...
  • Let Go of Your Regrets. ...
  • Write a List of Scary Things to Do – Then Go Do Them. ...
  • Focus on Living a Balanced and Healthy Life.

How do you say you are easily adaptable? ›

The best way to show you're flexible is to write varied accomplishments (i.e. which shows you dipped your feet in a lot of different things), and through listing different job titles (i.e. through a promotion, which shows you had varied leadership responsibilities too).

Why is it important to adapt to change in the workplace? ›

Change in an organization leads to many positive aspects – that lead to retaining a competitive edge and also remaining relevant in your business area. Change encourages innovation, develops skills, develops staff and leads to better business opportunities, and improves staff morale.

What is the best way to embrace change? ›

6 Ways to Embrace Change
  1. Take risks. Remember that even though change isn't easy, life is too short to stay stuck in your comfort zone. ...
  2. Have a coach or mentor. Embracing change isn't easy, but you don't have to go through it alone. ...
  3. Keep creating. ...
  4. Keep learning. ...
  5. Don't give up – persist! ...
  6. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Jun 22, 2020

What's a good way to create positive change? ›

33 Ways To Make A Positive Change In 2022
  1. Set goals. ...
  2. Give yourself a hand. ...
  3. Coach, don't direct. ...
  4. Don't change alone. ...
  5. Have that one action. ...
  6. Reward yourself. ...
  7. Go one-nil up early. ...
  8. Upgrade your workout.
Dec 31, 2021

How do you create a successful positive change? ›

6 Keys to Creating Positive Change
  1. Identify What You Want or Where You Want to Be. ...
  2. Identify Where You Are Now. ...
  3. Have a Sense of Urgency about Getting from Here to There. ...
  4. Develop a Reliable Sense of Personal Agency. ...
  5. Develop Effective Tools to Help You Get Where (and What) You Want. ...
  6. Learn How to Respond to Feedback.

How do you lead successful change? ›

These 3 C's unite effective change leadership:
  1. Communicate. Unsuccessful leaders tended to focus on the “what” behind the change. ...
  2. Collaborate. Bringing people together to plan and execute change is critical. ...
  3. Commit. Successful leaders made sure their own beliefs and behaviors supported change, too.

How can I improve my adaptability skills? ›

How to develop adaptability skills
  1. Improve your problem solving skills. Problem solving helps you resolve specific issues as they arise. ...
  2. Learn to embrace change. ...
  3. Keep an open mind. ...
  4. Leave your ego at the door. ...
  5. Practice mindfulness. ...
  6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Jul 12, 2022

Why is it so hard for me to adapt to change? ›

If changes in your life feel overwhelming, you may find it helpful to work with a mental health professional to find out why that might be. “Adapting to change can be more difficult for people who are neuro-atypical, have ADHD, have autism, or have had traumas around changes in the past,” says Ziskind.

How do you handle change in yourself? ›

10 Ways to Cope With Big Changes
  1. Acknowledge that things are changing. ...
  2. Realize that even good change can cause stress. ...
  3. Keep up your regular schedule as much as possible. ...
  4. Try to eat as healthily as possible. ...
  5. Exercise. ...
  6. Seek support. ...
  7. Write down the positives that have come from this change. ...
  8. Get proactive.
Jan 19, 2017

How do you adapt to change to a team? ›

At times of change, such people will seek out the tools required to help them adapt.
...
Here's how to encourage adaptability in your team in the weeks, months and years ahead.
  1. Model adaptability. ...
  2. Have a clear common objective. ...
  3. Encourage diversity of thought. ...
  4. Embrace innovation. ...
  5. Collaborate.
Apr 7, 2020

How do you embrace and adapt to change? ›

Here are 8 “Be-attitudes” to increase your adaptability:
  1. Be adventurous and try something new each day. ...
  2. Be an initiator of change practicing constructive dissatisfaction. ...
  3. Be flexible and embrace change with positive thoughts. ...
  4. Be a visionary that looks at the big picture. ...
  5. Be a strong communicator.

How would you adapt changes and stressful situations interview? ›

Common stress management strategies include:
  • Staying positive.
  • Using stress as a motivator.
  • Accepting what you can't control.
  • Practicing relaxation methods, like yoga or meditation.
  • Choosing healthy habits.
  • Learning how to manage time better.
  • Making time for your personal life.
Jun 29, 2021

How do you adapt to new things quickly? ›

5 Tips for Learning New Things More Quickly
  1. Be enthusiastic, not afraid. ...
  2. Be willing to relearn, or even unlearn, old stuff. ...
  3. Find the strength and courage to be a little uncomfortable. ...
  4. Learn in order to keep learning. ...
  5. Work on boosting your executive functioning skills.
Jan 26, 2016

What does it mean to adapt to change? ›

transitive verb/intransitive verb. If you adapt to a new situation or adapt yourself to it, you change your ideas or behavior in order to deal with it successfully. The world will be different, and we will have to be prepared to adapt to the change.

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