Do you constantly hear people telling you to “go with the flow,” but are unsure of what exactly that means? Maybe your life is so busy that you feel unable to truly adopt that mindset. Or perhaps you stubbornly refuse to be flexible, believing that one set path is the correct one and declining to accept any other. Going with the flow is about being willing and able to adapt your plans to your life circumstances. Rather than giving up on your dreams after a setback, when you allow yourself to be changeable, you can come up with new angles to approach your goals, or maybe even find entirely new ones. In this article, we’re talking about the importance of being adaptable, how it can improve your life, and how to overcome some of the biggest problems people face when learning to approach life with an open mind.

You may have difficulty with being versatile because of the fear of change. It’s something that nearly everyone struggles with. People like to be comfortable, so they avoid putting themselves into situations outside of their usual routines. This is the reason you might be resistant to so many things—from something small, like a layout update on a social media site or app, to something bigger, like getting married or having a child. While this aversion to the unfamiliar is normal, in order to lead a life where you are truly fulfilled, it’s essential to be able to rearrange your priorities when you need to. You can try as hard as you like to stay in the same place your whole life, but even if you do, something will happen that takes you by surprise. Our lives are constantly evolving, sometimes without our consent, but you can learn to make those developments serve you, rather than letting them bring you down.

The first step to becoming more flexible in life is to accept that change is inevitable. You will find yourself having to contend with unanticipated switches that are out of your control. This could be a new policy at work or school, the sudden loss of a loved one, a breakup sprung on you when you thought the relationship had been going fine, or any number of other examples. In those situations, the best thing to do is roll with it. You can mourn, of course. Feel free to let yourself be upset for a while, but eventually, you need to find the courage to stand back up and come up with a new plan. 

Remember that there are still parts of your life where you have authority: yourself and your own actions, for example. It may seem like having a go-with-the-flow attitude means giving that up but in reality, by being willing and ready to adapt to what life throws at you, you have more power to take control of your life than if you rail against every new change. Flexibility allows you to discover new paths to take in order to chase after your goals. It allows you to remain in the driver’s seat even when the road turns.

Maybe instead of fear, what you are struggling with is an overly rigid mindset. Perhaps you’re the kind of person who makes plans and follows them exactly, unwilling to waver from the predetermined path. You may think that this is good because it gives your life structure, but with that disinclination to bend on anything, you might end up missing out on great opportunities outside of the plan you’ve made for yourself. 

To help combat this mindset, learn to accept that there is more than one way to achieve any goal, and that your initial plan may be a bad match for your personality or lifestyle. Or perhaps due to circumstances out of your control, you are unable to pursue the goal as you originally intended. By allowing yourself to change your approach, you may be able to find a way that works much better for you. 

During this process, be patient with yourself. It’s difficult to build new ways of thinking, especially if you’re a stubborn person. It may be frustrating, but it’s okay to lapse occasionally, as long as you catch yourself and make an effort to get back on track. When you find yourself behaving a little too single-mindedly, take a step back and consider other possibilities. It might turn out that what you wanted to do was the best option, but by stopping to think for a moment, you might realize there is an even better one. Flexibility in life is the key to success. By doggedly following one path or refusing to adapt even when you know there are other possibilities, you are limiting yourself and making achieving your goals unnecessarily hard.

When you are versatile, you have much more control over the direction of your life than when you insist on sticking to the same old ways. Flexibility gives you the chance to choose from many different possibilities and find which method is truly the best one for you. It opens your mind to view hardship and change as learning opportunities rather than roadblocks. If you would like more tips on adopting an adaptable mindset, you can listen to our radio show titled “Learn how going with the flow can set you free to Live Full Out” by going to https://www.spreaker.com/user/8258120/learn-how-going-with-the-flow-can-set-yo. We believe that with an adjustable outlook on life, you can live full out.

Contributing Author: Ariel Zinkan