Everyone experiences changes in their lives, whether big or small, and the stress that comes along with these changes can either hurt you or allow you to grow stronger. One of the best ways to manage this stress is to learn to be more adaptable.
When you’re able to adapt, you’re less likely to feel stressed by minor or major changes that happen in life. Here, 13 members of Young Entrepreneur Council explain how you can adapt to whatever comes your way so you can fight off the stress of new circumstances.
1. Be Open-Minded
Most people think that they’ve always been like this or have followed the same processes since time immemorial. When someone is set in their ways and not open to change, it can lead to anxiety and stress when things don’t go their way. When you’re open-minded, you’re open to improving and learning and are more accepting of other people’s ideas, thoughts and opinions.
2. Practice Gratitude
Practice gratitude, no matter what’s happening in your life. List down the things that you are thankful for daily because every day is an opportunity for better things. No matter how hard things can be, there will always be something to be thankful for.
3. Develop a Disciplined Mindset
I like to work on my mindset. I think that nothing will affect you in a negative way if you build and work on developing a strong and disciplined mindset. How we craft our personality and who we tell ourselves we are dictates how we react to events in our lives. Are you the type of person who overreacts to traffic or are you a cool cucumber no matter what?
4. View the Bigger Picture
If you feel stressed by changes, try to zoom out and see the bigger picture. Most of the time, the things that seem like they’re going to be a major problem turn out to be relatively minor bumps in the road. Think back to other challenges you’ve faced and how you were able to get past them. Take a step back and you’re more likely to come up with a creative solution.
5. Care for Your Mental Health
Maintain a personal mental health routine. I meditate, exercise and eat lightly during the week when my schedule is the most demanding. When I am in a zone of taking on daily challenges with fresh energy and creativity, minor and major changes do not take up a big and scary space in my mind. Maintaining practices that keep my mind agile and not jumping into a fear space is best for adaptability.
6. Take Time to Process the Change
Take the time to absorb and learn new things to easily adapt to change and plan ahead. We tend to be scared of changing our routines and lifestyle because we don’t have that much time to process the changes in our lives. We have a hard time adapting since our minds are usually afraid of changes, thinking that things can go wrong. Allow yourself to process the change, and savor and enjoy each chapter.
7. Focus on Your Goals
Focus on the highest level, most important metrics. If you get thrown a curveball and have to change your plans, this can help you adapt while preserving what’s important about your vision. It’s easy to get stressed when your plans get messed up, but if you have this guiding light in the middle of uncertainty, all you have to do is ask yourself again, what’s the best way to accomplish this goal?
8. Plan for Worst-Case Scenarios
You can be more adaptable by planning for outcomes outside of your best-case scenario. A little preemptive planning makes it easier to shift your focus when things inevitably don’t go according to plan.
9. Look for the Opportunities in the Changes
When changes happen, look for the positive outcomes rather than the negatives. Hopefully, this way, rather than feeling stressed about what has been lost or what will no longer be the same, you can get excited about the new opportunities that have arisen or how the changes can affect things for the better.
10. Embrace Risks
To become more adaptable, it’s important to embrace taking more risks and going with the flow. You can’t predict what will happen in the future or what obstacles will come your way. So, if you change your mindset and learn how to view taking risks as a positive thing, you can better adapt to new situations.
11. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Regularly
The best way to be more adaptable is to push yourself to step out of your comfort zone. This will challenge you to face different situations, some of which may even intimidate you. When you learn to handle such situations, you become more confident, flexible and adaptable in difficult situations. This will make you less stressed, no matter how tough times are.
12. Remember Everything Is Temporary
To improve your overall adaptability, remind yourself that your current situation or feeling is temporary. You can acknowledge that the feelings and obstacles you’re facing are difficult but are still completely normal to experience. When you accept where you’re at, it’s easier to reduce your stress levels and find a solution.
13. Keep Your Plans Flexible
To cut your stress down, always keep your plans flexible. As business professionals, we always like to make and stick to plans. Although we thrive on plans, we have to understand that they rarely play out as expected. I don’t know a single successful entrepreneur whose plans were carried out to a tee. There are always outside forces that exert changes on our plans, so keep flexibility in mind.
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.