Flexibility can help improve every aspect of your life - your work, relationships, health, family, creativity, success, and more.
How flexible are you? For me, it often depends on my mood, how much fear or resistance I have about something, how attached I am to a particular outcome, and various other factors.
The Importance of Flexibility to Reach Fulfillment
Flexibility directly impacts fulfillment in all areas of your life.
As I look throughout my own life (now and in the past), I realize that the situations, relationships, and experiences that cause me the most significant stress and frustration are almost always the ones where I’m not flexible. On the flip side, the more flexible I am, the more peace, ease, and fulfillment become available.
The massive changes brought to our lives due to COVID-19 have also put us to the test. These changes have challenged us to be flexible in every aspect of our lives. As a leadership consultant and executive coach, I see that now, more than ever, we are facing challenges that force us to be flexible – in our work, our relationships, and in every other important aspect of our lives.
However, due to our fear, resistance, stress, and obsession with being right, we often end up being inflexible to our own detriment and frustration of those around us (or so I’ve been told).
On my podcast, we discuss this a lot. I talk about how being flexible is not about being weak or passive. Flexibility is a conscious choice, a powerful skill, and a practical approach to the ever-changing, always-evolving world we live in.
We must be a positive force for change. We can be firm in our convictions, passionate about our beliefs, and clear about our intentions, and at the same time be flexible enough to make significant changes and be open to new ideas along the way.
Key Elements to Understanding the Importance of Flexibility
Here are some critical elements to understanding the importance of flexibility and expanding your capacity for flexibility in your life, which will lead you to greater peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Let Go of Your Attachment
Whenever we develop an attachment to something – a specific outcome, a particular way of doing things, a rigid opinion, etc. – we are, by definition, inflexible.
Letting go of our attachment to something doesn’t mean we negate our desire or intention. It simply means we let go of controlling every aspect of it, forcing the action, and our fixation on it is precisely the way we think it should be, which is a process of conscious “non-attachment” (letting go), as opposed to detachment (not caring).
Be Willing to Be Wrong
To reach fulfillment, we must be willing to be wrong.
Most of us love to be correct and will do and say just about anything to avoid being wrong. Our obsession with “rightness” and fear of “wrongness” often gets in the way of going for what we want, saying what’s on our mind, and letting go of our fixed ideas about how things should be.
When we’re willing to be wrong (not necessarily interested in or intending to be wrong), we free ourselves up and permit ourselves to take risks, try new things, and approach things (even essential things) with a creative, innovative, and flexible perspective.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Taking ourselves too seriously (something I know a thing or two about) creates unnecessary stress, pressure, and worry.
When we’re able to laugh at ourselves (in a kind way), keep things in perspective, and remember that most of what we deal with daily in life is not life or death – we can take ourselves less seriously and thus have a more balanced, peaceful, and creative way of relating to things.
When we stress out all the time, it puts us in a negative headspace. Being able to keep things in a positive light can bring a lot of peace into your life. You can learn more about how to do that here.
Go With the Flow
If we pay attention to life, there is a natural flow that exists (although it may not always look like it or feel like it). The more we’re able to tap into the natural flow of life, trust ourselves and others, and believe that things will work out – the more likely we are to allow things to roll off our backs and manifest with ease. As Esther Hicks says, “Most people are rowing against the current of life. Instead of turning the boat around, all they need to do is let go of the oars.”
Get Support and Feedback From Others
The support and feedback of others are invaluable in so many aspects of our life and growth, especially related to us being more flexible. We can learn from and model others who are more flexible than we are. We can also give people in our life permission to remind us (with kindness) when we get rigid, uptight, over-attached, and start taking ourselves too seriously.
Being flexible is something that’s often easier said than done for many of us. However, just as with our physical bodies, the more attention we place on expanding our flexibility, we are more likely to do it. As we enhance our ability to be flexible, our life can and will expand exponentially.
How can you practice being more flexible in your life right now? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more on my blog below.
I have written five books about the importance of flexibility, authenticity, appreciation, and more. I deliver keynotes and seminars (both in-person and virtually) to empower people, leaders, and teams to grow, connect, and perform their best. As an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, I teach techniques that allow people and organizations to be more authentic and effective. Find out more about how I can help you and your team achieve your goals today.
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This article was originally published on January 20, 2011, and has been updated for 2021.