Adapting to Adaptability

We don’t have to look very far to understand why we have such an adverse reaction to adaptability. Everyday we are inundated with messages offering solutions, comfort, and belonging through consumerism. We are told the discomfort of change can be lessened by the products we buy–or by avoiding change all together.

Capitalism is structured in such a way that our reliance on comfort has mutated into a need for numbing. The more we disconnect from our own discomfort, the more industries and corporations profit by feeding our need to numb. Change is painful and adapting is hard. When your culture is telling you there is a shortcut, it can be understandable why so many of us avoid the difficulty of adapting.

The struggle with adaptability is not only limited to the dysfunctions of capitalism. Our government is also a place where adaptability is an endangered species. As a result, ineffective leaders consistently stay in office, progress has become cost-prohibitive, and those with power make sure the system remains self-serving. Individuals feel ineffective and this results in apathy and stagnation.

We are evolutionarily wired for connection. The predominant message our culture feeds us is about making life easier through checking out, escaping, and dimming our lights. So it's no wonder that our connections to each other become more about what we consume rather than who we are. When we connect through consumption, the world suffers. We don’t share ideas, overcome challenges, or enact change. In short, when we aren't experiencing adaptability we are stagnating and this takes a toll on our relationships with ourselves, each other, and our communities.

When our comfort levels make us averse to adaptability, we can disconnect from our insight and our awareness suffers. One of the reasons why adaptability is so hard is because change literally changes the chemistry of our brains, which can send us straight into fight, flight, or freeze modes. But if we’re able to stay present in these responses and identify when (and more importantly WHY) they come up, we will notice that being present gives us a window of space–an opportunity to get clarity and reset. Our predisposition to comfort is costing us our opportunity for growth and development.

The choice to do something differently will always be a challenge to our brains, but the more we practice adaptability, the more we are able to adapt to these sensations and we experience greater mental agility. The more we train ourselves to practice adaptability, the more we gain confidence, empowerment, resilience, and the benefits are more than emotional. The more we integrate discomfort to expand our comfort zone while practicing adaptability, the sooner we will see and feel the chemical benefits, as well. Each time we choose to break a pattern or deviate from a well-worn behavior, we actually increase ou