Planning for the future can seem difficult in a rapidly changing world, but once you accept that change is inevitable, you can find ways to adapt.

We’ve always known that change is an integral part of life, and the past two years have made this crystal clear. While change makes many of us uncomfortable, it’s essential that we accept it and then find ways to thrive in it. This is why adaptability is the number one skill of the future.

“Simply put, adaptability is the ability to change your approach and pivot in response to changing circumstances,” says Joy Mitchell, psychologist. “It doesn’t mean you don’t get stressed out by change, but rather, that you can self-regulate, assess the changed environment and then perform well within that change.” The reason adaptability is being named to be the skill of the future is that the world is changing at a rate quicker than ever before, and this means you may need to adapt to technological, economic and environmental changes very fast.

Career upperhand
In the workplace, people who insist on things staying the same are going to be decreasing. “The days of work giving people a sense of security are almost behind us. Businesses of the future need to be agile and willing to change course quickly as needed. This means that the leaders of the future will be those who can do that and motivate their teams to do it too,” says Mitchell.

Personal wins
Change triggers anxiety and panic in many people. If you’re one of them, it’s important to develop coping skills and adapt your response to the idea of a fast-changing world, especially since it’s been shown that adaptable people cope better with life’s ups and downs.

“No one can protect themselves from life’s fluid nature. Changes will always happen and many of them won’t be positive. When you practise adaptability, you are able to see your changing circumstances for what they are and still maintain some level of mental balance. People who aren’t adaptable often get devastated to the point of not being able to move on and I can assure you that this lowers your quality of life,” says Mitchell.

Learn to be adaptable. Here are some tips on how you can make adaptability a regular practice in your life:

Listen closely to what the change is and then change how you feel by reminding yourself that it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world and can also lead to personal growth.

Find the silver lining
Look for the positive in any change. Focusing on the negative will only make you less likely to cooperate and accept the change.

Be a beginner
Adaptable people know that there is no shame in being new to something. Allow yourself to be curious and you’ll find that you start to look for solutions.

Forget about perfection
The need for perfection keeps many people stuck and unable to start afresh. Nothing can be perfect, so take that off the table and free yourself from pressure that can keep you stuck.

See it as an adventure
If you see life as an adventure, something that is fleeting and meant to be enjoyed, you will allow yourself to learn from every moment, even the challenging ones.