Practicing how to be more flexible takes willpower and practice because you will need to address things that probably make you uncomfortable. If you’re looking for some things to try, here are some tips and examples you can put into play on how to be more flexible. They can help you reframe your approach and determine how to best address changing requirements or circumstances in your personal and professional life, allowing you to be more flexible.
1) Embrace Uncertainty
Accepting that life is unpredictable and full of uncertainty can help you develop greater resilience and is a big part of being flexible. One way to do this is by actively seeking out new experiences and challenges, even if they make you feel uncomfortable and uncertain.
To embrace uncertainty, you could commit to trying one new activity or experience each week. This could be anything from trying a new type of food to taking up a new hobby. By intentionally seeking out new experiences, you can build your resilience and adaptability over time.
2) Build Your Resilience
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, and it is an essential component of being flexible. You can build your resilience by practicing self-care, maintaining a positive mindset, and cultivating strong relationships with others.
For example, you could make a list of self-care practices that help you recharge and stay centered, such as taking a hot bath, journaling, or spending time in nature. You could also focus on building positive relationships with friends, family, and colleagues, as these connections can provide support and encouragement when you need it most.
3) Build a Supportive Network
Having a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues can help you navigate challenges and adapt to new situations. One way to be flexible and implement this is by actively seeking out opportunities to connect with others, such as joining a club or attending networking events. You could also attend or volunteer for a local community event, or join online groups related to your interests. This can help you meet new people who share your passions and can provide support and encouragement when you need it.
4) Stay Curious
Curiosity can help you stay open-minded and adaptable to new experiences and challenges. Make a habit of asking questions and seeking out new information and perspectives, even in areas outside of your expertise.
Some examples could be trying to learn a new language, reading a book on a topic you're unfamiliar with, or attending a lecture or workshop on a subject that interests you. By staying curious and open to new experiences, you can expand your knowledge and familiarity with a wide array of subject matter, allowing you to be more confident and flexible in a variety of situations.
5) Cultivate a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is the belief that you can learn and expand your abilities through effort and practice. Cultivating a growth mindset can help you become more flexible and resilient in the face of challenges, as it allows you to see setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning.
In an attempt to be flexible and cultivate a growth mindset, you can start by reframing your perspective around challenges and setbacks. Instead of seeing them as problems or failures, view them as opportunities to learn and improve. Oh, and let's not forget the opportunities that will arise as you develop new skills and knowledge through ongoing learning and development!
6) Seek Out Feedback
Being flexible and asking for feedback from others can help you identify areas for personal (or professional) growth and improvement, and can also provide valuable insights into how others perceive your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to seek this feedback from trusted people, because the most valuable feedback is honest feedback, and sometimes that can be difficult to receive and process.
That said, a 3rd party's perception of something can be extremely eye-opening and valuable to your potential growth. For example, you could ask a trusted colleague for feedback on a project you're working on, or ask a trusted friend for their thoughts on a personal challenge you're facing. By seeking out feedback and being open to constructive criticism, you can learn and grow from your experiences, and become more flexible over time.
7) Focus on What You can Control
Focusing on what you can control, rather than what you can't, can help you maintain a sense of flexibility in the face of challenges. To focus on what you can control, one could start by making a list of the things that are causing stress or anxiety. Then, divide the list into things that you can control and things that you can't. Focus your energy on the things that you can control, and let go of the things that you can't.
8) Take Calculated Risks
Taking risks can be a little freaky, but it is often necessary to break through and achieve growth or progress. However, it is important to take calculated risks, not just any risk, meaning that you weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.
For example, you could take a new job that offers more opportunities for professional growth, even though it means leaving the security of your current position. By taking calculated risks, you can push yourself out of your comfort zone, essentially forcing yourself to be more flexible, and training yourself to become more adaptable in the face of change.
9) Practice Problem-Solving
Developing your problem-solving skills can help you become more flexible. One way to do this is by breaking down problems into smaller, more manageable pieces, and brainstorming different solutions for each piece.
Maybe you're facing a difficult project at work. You could break it down into smaller tasks and then brainstorm different approaches for each task. This can help you find creative solutions and adapt to changing circumstances as you work through the project.
10) Practice How to be More Flexible in Small Ways
It's important to practice flexibility in small ways, simple ways you can try any day. For example, you could try a new food, take a different route to work, or dare we say, change up your daily routine to shake things up a bit. By practicing flexibility in small ways, you can build your capacity for adaptability over time and become more comfortable with uncertainty and change.
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