There is something very fascinating about this reptile. From its veiled head used to help attract mates and collect water, and its swiveling eyes that provide a 360 degrees vision, to its famous color-changing skin used for camouflage – it attracts attention far and wide. The chameleon possesses a host of physical attributes that makes it a master of adaptability. But how is this relevant and why is it important for you to become a chameleon (become adaptable)?
The chameleon is most remembered for one thing – change.
Change is an imperative and always-to-be-expected condition of our lives. It is always around us and can’t be avoided. In fact, technological advancements have made change appear to be even more prevalent today. Most notably, the evolution of story-based learning with digitization, the growing impact of globalization, and digital/robotic disruptions.
There are those who are resistant to change. They see it as an obstacle; always wishing its end so they can enjoy the familiarity of their comfort zones and the peace of the status quo. They end up being swept off the ground by the unending tides of change.
And then there are the chameleons; those with the willingness to embrace uncertainty. They have honed their adaptability skills in response, allowing them to keep their footing and change directions when needed. Because adaptability is crucial in this ever-changing world, chameleons not only survive, but they thrive.
Benefits of Being a Chameleon
1. Improving your adaptability skills will help you bounce back more quickly when you falter.
2. An adaptable mindset makes you more aware of new trends like story-based learning; and open to incorporating these trends into your life and work setting.
3. You will start seeing challenges as a window of opportunity rather than an obstacle.
4. Adaptability is linked to effective leadership.
5. You will remain relevant by shaking up traditional ways of doing things.
6. You will become more satisfied with life even when you are facing challenges.
How to Become a Chameleon
While you certainly cannot develop 360 degrees of vision and color-changing skin that the chameleon possesses, you can adopt some behaviors that will make you more adaptable.
- Keep learning
“Learning never ends”, and if you wish to decrease your stress response to change, you need to learn continuously. You can learn completely new skills, learn new ways of getting your work done, and learn from your friends, your colleagues, and even your competition. Test alternative solutions and try new trends like story-based learning. And you must be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Learning is central to being adaptable.
- Be open-minded
This is easier said than done, because it is not always easy to shake off deeply rooted beliefs. However, this is a necessary step. Sometimes, in order for you to learn new things, you need to unlearn outdated things. This will be one of the most uncomfortable, yet transformational phases of your life. Make peace with the fact that conventional ways of doing things might not always be the best. Don’t shy away from listening to conflicting ideas. You might not always agree with them but take the time to listen and assess accordingly.
- Find the silver lining
“Bad companies are destroyed by crises; good companies survive them; great companies are improved by them.” – Andy Grove.
How do you perceive challenges? Do you see them as obstacles? Or do you see them as steppingstones? Do you remain paralyzed because you are only focusing on its negative aspects? Or are you able to maintain equanimity in the storm in order to find the silver lining? For you to become a chameleon, you might need to reset your perception of challenges and reframe your focus. Once that is done, it will become easier for you to extract the positives, learn from your mistakes, and become more adaptable.
Becoming more adaptable is a soft skill that will positively transform your personal and professional life. The only way to stay afloat when the storm of change hits, is to ebb and flow like a chameleon. It won’t just help you survive but also prosper in chaotic times.