The laws of nature govern the movement of the earth, the cycles of the seasons and the currents of the river. Nature didn’t make these laws; it adapts to and lives by them. A tree in a high wind, doesn’t resist, it bends to move with the wind. When we apply the Law of Flexibility, we stop resisting circumstances in our lives and accept, adapt and learn from them.
Some flowers, like tulips and daffodils, do better if they winter in frosty soil than sitting in your nice warm house. Likewise, we sometimes need to have difficult conditions to help us grow. A challenging financial situation may help you develop better financial management. A difficult person may help you develop patience or listening skills. A health problem may lead you to healthier habits in life. A career setback may help you strengthen your knowledge or skills.
Common Reactions to Adversity
When people experience painful situations in life, they tend to have three reactions. Some people choose Résistance and react with denial, anger or fear. Just like trees are uprooted when they are unable to bend, these people suffer the most in adverse times.
A second group accepts the difficulty and is resigned to live through it. Instead of abiding by the Law of Flexibility, they choose Resignation. They feel powerless to change it so they suffer in silence and live in fear that it may happen again.
The final group adapts to the difficulty and identifies how to turn it from tragedy into a valuable experience. These people not only grow from setbacks, they feel stronger and more capable as a result of it. When you apply the Law of Flexibility, you turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones, difficulties into challenges, and problems into opportunities.
How can you apply the Law of Flexibility in your life?
- Take action that is aligned with your purpose. Define what is most important to you and then take action to achieve that outcome.
- Identify Best Practices. Seek out others who have turned this situation into an opportunity. What did they do?
- Think of a situation you resist or that causes you stress. Consider how this situation helps you grow in your life. What aspect of your character is it strengthening? What new skills can it help you learn?
- Ask yourself; What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen? How would I behave if I believed that the “best” scenario were a certainty?
By seeing everything as a potential lesson that may, in the long run, make you stronger, wiser or more purposeful, you give up expectations or judgments about what should be happening. As a result, you reduce the stress in your life because you stop thinking you should have the supreme knowledge of how things are supposed to be. You, like the tree in a storm, bend with the winds of change and become stronger and more resilient in life.
Through our change leadership approach, we enable individuals and organizations to turn adversity into opportunity. For more information, email Kareen Strickler at Kareen@ConcordiaConsulting.com.