We can’t talk about stretching outside your comfort zone without mentioning adaptability. Just as a person might bundle up when moving from California to Alaska, outside influences require you to make some internal changes. An easy example is generational gaps in the work force. Even though texting has become a perfectly acceptable way to communicate in this day and age, it is not always appropriate. If I text my coworker that is on board with communicating that way, that is great. If I text a coworker that is not a fan of texting, I’m silently demanding that they use my mode of communication. Who am I to demand that they change? Yes, we can argue that technology changes everything and they should go with the flow, but let’s not forget that I, too, have a choice. Rather than force my way of doing things on someone else I can adapt to that person’s style and pick up the phone and call them, if I know that way is their preferred method. I’m not saying either is “right,” but we often ask people to change for us and don’t really consider changing for them.
Life is this awesome network of intertwining lives and events. Getting out of your comfort zone and jumping out of your fishbowl involves a STRETCH. True living is when you adapt as much as you ask others to change. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but learning and living is about considering the tiny tiny chance that maybe you are wrong. Maybe your way isn’t the only way to do it.
Adaptability is very important in relationships, whether they be romantic or otherwise. Something as simple as driving directions can make or break a relationship. I will never forget going to see the Turtle races with a friend one Thursday. I lived on the outer outskirts of the city, so it was a good 1.5 hr drive to get downtown of this city. I’m a huge planner, but this was my friend’s things and I wanted to be spontaneous and go with the flow. He picked me up after work and we drove. Once we got there, we quickly found out that turtle racing season had ended. What happened next is what really defined my relationship with this person. We both burst out laughing. Yes, someone should have checked, and I guess we drove 1.5 hrs (3 hrs roundtrip) for nothing, but we made the best of the night and hung out in hip downtown. And to this day I will never forget how much fun we have in spite of not following a plan. If he had gotten mad or I got mad that would have killed the mood and ruined our awesome drive back. And to be honest, I don’t regret that we didn’t look it up ahead of time, because if we had we never would have gotten to know eachother in that long car ride.
There are so many other sections of life where adaptability plays a huge role. The main point is to consider another’s opinion and consider that you may be wrong. When we walk around claiming to know everything we really aren’t stepping outside our comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable to think that you may be wrong, but it might spark ideas and thoughts that you never considered before.