I spent this glorious, sunny, lovely autumn morning with a group of equally glorious, sunny, lovely friends discussing the topic of change. It sure seems that change is the one constant thing in life. It happens in our relationships, in our perspectives, in our lives, and in the world around us. All the time. Whether we like it or not.
As we chatted over coffee, painting emerged as a comparison to our approaches to change. One friend shared that she had found two paint colors for redecorating her living room and she tested out a little splash of each color on the wall. She considered the options for a few days and then took action and loves the results. One friend mentioned that she once chose a color, painted the room, then decided to paint over it three times. One of us admitted she doesn’t even like to paint. And one of us says she picks a color, sticks to it, and sets the painting project in motion right away. I sort of proudly shared that I drop hints to my husband right before leaving town, hoping to return to the project being completely done by him, which usually works out wonderfully for me.
Holy paint party Batman! Painting equals change in this analogy. At least the way we choose to approach the painting process may align with the way we choose to approach change. Some of us narrow down options, test results, and then move forward. Some jump in and are completely fine trying again if it isn’t what we’d hoped for. Some may prefer to keep things the same. Some may move forward and make an all-in commitment. And some may consult others in hopes that they will take the lead.
Painting patterns aside, in my life, I tend to handle change differently depending on the situation. If I can see the obvious benefits of change, I tend to welcome it and embrace it and take steps toward it. If it is an undesirable, unexpected, or unwelcome change, the opposite is true. I have been known to dig my heels in and fight against it with all my might. And sometimes, if the impact to me is vague or uncertain, I just stay happily and apathetically stuck in my routine.
So what is our superpower when it comes to change?
Adaptability allows us to see change, recognize it, make appropriate decisions regarding it, and roll with it, no matter how we emotionally feel about it.
We are not going to love every change we encounter. And that’s okay. The power doesn’t come from enjoying every change, every time. The power comes from surviving every change, every time.
There are plenty of changes in my life that I thought were disastrous at the time, but I was able to adapt and thrive despite my initial hesitation. In fact, with some of those changes – the forced and unplanned ones – I can later look back and see them as the beautiful game-changing gifts that they were.
Can you think of any of those unplanned changes in your life that ended up being blessings? I think we can all find evidence of those in our lives. And my bet is that your adaptability with that initially unwelcome change is the very thing that got you through it.
We could choose to resist change. We could decide to avoid it. But when we approach change with the willingness and ability to adapt is when we tap into the heart of our superpowers.
What is your typical response to change?
What type of life changes do you easily adapt to?
What kind of changes challenge your adaptability?
Thank you for joining me in this celebratory journey about our superpowers! Sometimes we just get wrapped up with life and forget all the things that make us awesome. During the month of October, it is my mission to remind you! Every day. For 31 days.
*This is the 4th post in a 31 day series called “Celebrating your Superpowers”. Catch the series from the beginning by clicking here and you will be directed to an introductory post containing links to each day’s topic. Join me in celebrating your superpowers this month!
Special thanks to Aubree Bowman for sharing this cute Spiderman photo!