Increase Your Flexibility
Chapter | 4
The fourth chapter in a series of articles to the end of the year will increase your flexibility or in other words, your ability to recover quickly and move on.
What Is Flexibility? (And What It Requires Of You)
Flexibility is the ability to return to the original shape after bending stretching or shrinking.
It's the ability to recover from illness, depression or distress.
In your everyday life, flexibility means being able to face problems, broken hearts, shattered dreams, financial crises, a loss of a person you cared about, failure of a plan and also becoming ill.
How would you cope if you lose it all today?
What would be your next step?
For how long would you be depressed, upset and angry?
What would make you take hold of yourself and start all over again?
From 1 to 10 - how flexible are you?
Could you handle it?
Could you learn from your disappointments and start over, on more time?
What it will require of you?
It will require you a lot of self-discipline.
It will require you a lot of self-encouragement to raise the positive energy that will allow you to start again.
It will require you a lot of concentration to block the noise, the mess, your negative voices trying to influence, and the negative voices of others around you.
It will require you a lot of discipline to balance between fear, anxiety, and the knowledge that if you did it once - you can do it again.
It will require you a lot of confidence.
Whether the reasons for your failures are because of you (or not) – it is certain that your future success has a direct connection to your actions. It takes a lot of confidence to avoid accusation and instead deal with solutions.
What happened in the past is history. You'll just have to continue with your life and start over.
It will require you a lot of faith.
If you lose it all tomorrow, find the courage to try again - it will require you a lot of self-esteem.
You have to know deep in your heart you have the skills and the strength to try once more.
Flexibility is the ability to bounce back from adversity, no matter if it is large or small.
You lose a client, one of your major ones.
This client was responsible for 25% of your profit.
The loss of this customer is going to hurt you, financially and mentally.
This loss is going to negatively affect things for a while.
The first thing you should do is figure out why you lost this customer. What role did you played and what's your responsibility for the outcome?
You can not afford to go crazy and yell at everybody in the office.
Even if it was someone else's fault, you can not behave like that, because it's not professional. You'll lose peoples respect for you and respect is hard to regain once you lost it, whether it's respect from those who work with you, respect from colleagues or the respect of people who are always there for you.
You have to approach things in a rational way, in order to think about how you are recovering from this loss.
You need to assess the situation, and then think about a plan to bring back the lost client.
Alternatively you can think how to increase your market share, or consider talking with colleagues to help you find a similar client, or even a better one.
You can not sit back and whine about what happened.
You must return to the market and bring back what was taken from you. Stand on your feet and replace what was lost.
Maybe your loss is a personal loss.
Maybe you had to deal with the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a loss of a special friendship.
If your loss is personal and deep, you must deal with the situation a little differently - you must be patient and give yourself time to cry, time to grieve, and time to pick up the pieces.
The steps we go through a loss, are well defined by Elizabeth Kubler Ross - whether it be the death of a loved one, a death of a relationship or death of your business, the steps are similar:
Denial, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance.
By going through these steps, you will be able to rise up and move on.
Children And Flexibility
We know that children are more flexible than adults. Why is that?
Maybe it's because they do not look at the current situation, based on past experiences.
They use a fresh approach, a new way. In a consciousness level, they cope with loss better than adults.
There are children growing under unfortunate circumstances of poverty, abuse or neglect and against all odds become a success story.
If these children can succeed and thrive in terrible conditions, they can grow anywhere.
If they can, it is certain you can grow, prosper and succeed, despite your present conditions.
Take it as a fact: Of course you can grow, prosper and succeed in spite of your losses - Be flexible.
A flexible man never gives up.
A flexible person will continue to succeed, despite all obstacles and breakdowns.
For the summary I bring the study by Steven and Sybil Wolin about flexibility.
In their study, they found seven characteristics that constituent the flexibility, they summarize well the article:
1. Flexibility requires insight. You should develop the ability to ask tough questions about yourself and be honest in your answers. If you had losses that were because of you - take responsibility for them.
2. Flexibility is independent. As flexible person, you can count on yourself to recover and get up on your feet.
3. Although flexibility is an independent, it's also linked to others. The more people under your responsibility, the greater your motivation to start again. The stronger reason - the stronger the action too.
4. Flexibility invites initiative. You should develop the ability to take responsibility for the situation, take charge. You have to get up and do whatever it takes to get back on track.
5. There is an element of creativity in flexibility. With the help of flexibility you can look at the situation creatively, and decide the best way to take action.
6. A flexible person is a person with humor. Your sense of humor has an important crucial role in changing your life for the better.
You should take your goals seriously; you have to take yourself seriously.
But you must also be able to laugh at yourself and your situation from time to time.
They say: "One day you'll laugh about what happened to you today" So... Maybe today is the day to start laughing about it.
7. A flexible person has a strong sense of morality. Whatever you do get back on your feet, whatever you do to get back on track, make sure it's moral. Make sure that your success is in the service of others, not at the expense of others. Your success, if you want to keep it, must be in the service of others.
The more you deal successfully with obstacles, the more you deal with failures and return back on track, the more you deal with more difficulties, and win – the more you'll naturally develop your flexibility.
Nothing can stop you, if you're flexible.
I invite you to visit here next week to read the fifth chapter in the series.
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