Throughout our lives, we’re faced with a variety of challenges. Some are simple to overcome, while others are much, much tougher.
Regardless of the situation, learning how to adapt effectively can help you navigate through changes and, often, emerge in an even better position for the long run.
Here are 5 ways to adapt during challenging times.
- Increase Your Capacity
During a time of increased uncertainty, some of the aspects that actually help us deal with stressful situations like healthy eating, exercise and getting enough sleep can be the first to drop off.
Whether it’s stress or comfort eating, being too busy to exercise or worrying so much that you struggle to get to sleep, each aspect of wellness is especially important when you’re faced with a challenging situation.
Be deliberate in how you go about increasing your physical, emotional & mental capacity during these times. Set specific times for exercise in your calendar, plan out your meals for the week, dedicate time regularly away from technology and train yourself in how to switch your focus from negative to empowered.
There are infinite possibilities here. Make sure your daily actions align to increasing (instead of decreasing) your capacity to deal with the uncertainty as it arises.
- Improve Your Flexibility
Adapting to change requires a high level of flexibility. Without it, you’ll find yourself wanting or needing things to go a certain way, wishing things were different, and struggling to deal with the challenges that come your way.
One way to improve your flexibility is to plan out your best and worst case scenarios (and every scenario in between) along with how you will deal with each situation, should it occur.
While many of these scenarios won’t be ideal and most will never come to fruition, knowing how you will deal with them allows you to proactively pivot when needed and helps reduce the fear that can otherwise be a driving force in your decision making.
- Master New Skills
What skills do you want to become masterful at? Maybe it’s communication in your relationship or leading a team effectively while working remotely. Perhaps you want to master your relationship with food and the choices you make.
Having clarity about this and then putting an action plan in place can mean that even during a time of crisis, even at an extraordinarily low point in your life, you still come out the other side stronger, wiser and better equipped to capitalize on future opportunities.
When faced with a challenging situation in your life, choose 2-3 things that you will become masterful at. Then dedicate time consistently to mastering those skillsets as you’re going through that challenge.
Building this into your life can help you feel unstoppable, because even in the most challenging of situations, you know you are benefiting rather than suffering from it.
- Nurture Your Creativity
All growth occurs outside of your comfort zone. It’s also where creativity & innovation lives. But with so much uncertainty happening in the world right now, fear can often creep into our lives and start calling the shots, holding us back from confidently stepping into the unknown.
Finding time for creative & innovative thinking is vital during these times of uncertainty, because in order to adapt and overcome the challenges you’re facing, you need a solution that you are yet to come up with… if you had the solution already, you wouldn’t have the problem.
To do this, dedicate time in your calendar each week specifically for creativity & innovation.
Then start with a ‘what if’ question to spark your curiosity. For example, ‘What if there was a way for us to increase sales by 10% without increasing costs?’ Or ‘what if there was an effective way to balance my priorities now that I’m working from home?’
Utilize these blocks of time in your calendar to brainstorm potential solutions, commit to what you will implement, and then action accordingly.
- Track Your Progress
What gets measured gets managed. Whether it’s your sales targets at work, personal finances at home or health & well-being goals, having a way of tracking your progress helps to give objective feedback into how on or off track you are to achieving your goals.
This is especially important during times of great change, because in order to avoid getting too far off track, there will be times that you will need to tweak or transform your actions & overarching strategy.
Determine how often you’ll track your progress (daily, weekly, monthly for example) and have a way of easily reporting that progress. This could be as simple as a basic spreadsheet.
Then build accountability into your calendar, where you check in on a consistent basis and ask yourself and/or your team the following four questions:
- What worked well?
- What didn’t? / What was challenging?
- What am I going to do about it / what will we do differently?
- What do I need help with?
Answering these four questions will help give you the clarity you need in order to build upon what is currently working, drop or fix what isn’t, and to also get any help you need.
By utilizing each component laid out above to adapt during challenging times, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with any challenges that come your way, regardless of how big or small they are.