Published on April 13, 2021

What Are Adaptability Skills And How To Upgrade Yours

What Are Adaptability Skills And How To Upgrade Yours

There is one secret to success that no one talks about by name—it’s the power of adaptability. And when you find how to upgrade yours, there your greatness lies. So, what are adaptability skills, and how do you upgrade yours?

Adaptability is a reflection of your confidence, presence, and willingness to grow and endure. As Natalie Fratto, a venture capitalist, presented in her TED Talk, “I look for signs of one specific trait. Not IQ. Not EQ. It’s adaptability.” You can check out her full TED talk in the video below.

Depending on who you ask, adaptability has a variety of meanings. Google defines it as “the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.” Natalie Fratto says it’s “how well a person reacts to the inevitability of change and lots of it.” Then, you can include the simple flexibility and versatility, the duo which shapes adaptability.

What if change could help you succeed in life? What if the one constant could lead to the one skill that sets you apart from the crowd?

Keep in mind that adaptability is not something you have to like or enjoy. It’s the ability to perform and produce from a multi-faceted perspective, giving you an expansive position on a platform you continue to create.

What Are Adaptability Skills?

The challenge lies within the scope of habitual skills. The more skills that are rote, the less thinking that is involved. Yet, this can lead to complacency and a lack of high performance. Interject adaptability and see your opportunities explode in your life.


Adaptability skills, as defined by Indeed, is an overarching category that includes, but is not limited to:[1]

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creative and strategic thinking skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Organizational skills

These skills help you to customize your response and actions to what is necessary to impact the life and work you love.

The Appreciation

All of these skills are essential life skills that set you up for success. And the good news is, you can acquire them in your everyday life. Adapting to change and incorporating the ideas effectively in your responsibilities opens the doors of possibilities in accepting new challenges.

Even though change is a constant, it doesn’t make it any easier to apply. For many of us, there is a resistance to change. When change is requested, most people run and hide. It’s easier to do what you know than learn what you don’t.

Why work harder when life can be easier? Because adaptability presents the simplicity of what makes change a not-so-invasive hurdle. If you make space for flexibility and versatility, it all leads to adaptability.


Flexibility is the ability to bend easily without breaking and the willingness to change or compromise. This is where you can adjust quickly and change your focus in a situation or project. If you can be flexible in your comings and goings, your calendar, and in your every day, your skills will exceed other’s expectations merely for the fact of your adaptability, being able to respond with specificity to any situation or project.



Versatility is the ability to adapt to many different functions or activities. This is best described from the aspect of one who wears many hats. You might be experienced in the kitchen and cook incredible foods, not because you’re a great chef but because you can follow detailed instructions. Take this trait and use it to execute a marketing plan for a business.

Flexibility and versatility are the dynamic duos of adaptability.

Here is where success is redeemed with the hard work of simply adopting change as a positive reflection of adaptability.

The Acquisition

Below are seven ways to develop and advance your adaptability skills. Be sure to expand your knowledge and experiment within your own strengths and weaknesses.

1. Connection Is King

There is more than you in the world. So, be responsive to those around you. If you do not know someone, then make an introduction. Use questions to get to know that person. As you learn about the needs, wants, and interests, you will be able to make a connection that will allow you to serve with genuine actions.

2. Escape Your Comfort Zone

If you are comfortable, you are living within your zone of comfort. Go beyond the feelings of knowing and experience the freedom of growth by expanding your reach. What you see is not always what you get. To stand out, you have to be willing to stand apart. Therefore, escape your comfort zone, all the while inspiring yourself to serve others.


3. Cheers to the Cup Half-Full

When you look at a glass of liquid, how do you see it? Half-full or half-empty? Most people tend to lean toward the negative, half-empty. But when you choose to see the cup half-full, that’s where the story changes. It’s the blend of the good and the bad with a specific outlook to the positive. Don’t limit yourself to what you know. Stretch your perspective in seeing what’s possible.

4. Think Outside the Box

Innovation starts in the mind. So, get out of your own way and think bigger and broader. You can always fine-tune the focus. Broaden your horizons by trying something new and different. Outstretch the common and embrace the uncommon. There you will discover a limitless mindset to grow your adaptability.

5. Simulate What’s Possible, Not Probable

Positivity goes a long way when you are looking to make a change. Where there is hope, change is more easily accepted. Be a product of positivity and simulate what’s possible. Even if it doesn’t make sense after giving it further thought, looking at the situation or circumstance with a positive twist allows you to continually adapt what’s possible and not limit you to what’s not.

6. Infuse a Growth Mindset

Every day can benefit from a growth mindset. But that requires the removal of seeing only what you know—a fixed mindset. Step away from what is holding you back and lean into what will stretch your perspective. Having a growth mindset pushes you to examine the situation or project from all different angles. It’s not just what you know but what you can imagine beyond what you see.

7. Unlearn to Relearn

One of the most challenging aspects of growing as an individual is unlearning to relearn. And this is key to developing adaptability skills. It takes much effort to be willing to adjust previous actions so you can flex your versatility muscles. Further, it unlocks the potential for greater growth both personally and professionally.

Remember, there are always two sides to every coin. This means there is more than one way to do something. Being too rooted and attached to your actions and responsibilities limits your production. In all you do, make something new. Life is not about habits but embracing the change that enacts adaptability to make every day great.


The Application

“One step at a time leads to miles of greatness.”—Kristianne Wargo

These miles of greatness come with intention.

Take a stone and just not any stone, but a smooth, sleek stone with perfectly rounded edges that has been through some seasons. Stones are not created smooth. They are tumbled, tossed, and twisted about in the environment. This causes the stone to appear buffed and polished due to its adaptation to what’s around it.

You, too, can be the stone that changes and embraces the power of adaptability. Take the good with the bad and learn how to be flexible and versatile to rise to the top. Leave the old behind and celebrate the new. Change is a blessing in disguise. Don’t treat it as a disease. Embrace it by expanding your adaptability skills. It’s here in the ocean of change that you will rise from what was to what will be.

Adaptability is found in your presence. Getting too far ahead leaves behind what really counts in your every day. Trying to finagle what works to your benefit and strength cancels out what truly matters.

Be present in the ebbs and flows of life. The journey may be windy, but by upgrading your adaptability skills, detours won’t be a surprise but a welcome expectation. Change becomes simpler because you have become adaptable.

Do what matters with a touch of presence and adaptability. Adaptability promotes freedom in your thoughts and mind, making way to diversify your actions in the life and work you love.

More About Adaptability Skills

Featured photo credit: Akson via


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Kristianne Wargo

Lifestyle Strategist, Executive Coach, Podcaster, Writer, Speaker and Best-Selling Author who walks with the everyday woman in her every day to live, love, and impact.

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are human. This means that there is likely a time or two when you have not taken responsibility for something in your life. We’ve all been there. Maybe you broke an item at a place of employment but didn’t fess up to it, or you missed a deadline and blamed the reason why on someone else, or perhaps you decided a responsibility was too great to face.

Accepting responsibility can be challenging because it doesn’t always feel good. It can require time we think we don’t have. Feelings of shame or inadequacy can surface. Rather than face those feelings, it’s much easier to not accept responsibility.

This is all understandable. But it may not be serving us and who we want to be in the long run.

Accepting responsibility has benefits at work, home, and all aspects of life. When we demonstrate to ourselves that we can be responsible, we show our strength of character, our leadership qualities, and even our adulting skills.

Knowing that doesn’t make accepting responsibility any easier, does it?

Using the example of pretending that you live in an apartment with multiple roommates where you all have to share the kitchen, we will look at seven tips on how to accept responsibility for your life.

1. Stop Playing the Victim

You’ve just cooked a big meal involving several pots, pans, and cooking utensils. You reflect on feeling overwhelmed and stressed by life right now and decide that you just don’t have the time or energy to do your dishes right now. The next time you or your roommates want to use the kitchen, there’s a big mess and a lack of options for pans and cutlery to use.

Maybe one of your roommates will do it for you? Superman to the rescue? I hate to break it to you, but Superman doesn’t actually exist.


Why insist on crushing every childhood fantasy? Because when we wait for someone else to fix our problems, we are playing the victim, and if Superman doesn’t exist (or Spiderman or Wonder Woman, or Black Panther, etc.), then we will be perpetually tied to the proverbial train tracks, waiting for someone else to save us.[1]

What we can do in this situation is acknowledge and validate our feelings. In the above scenario, you’re focusing on feeling overwhelmed. This feeling isn’t “bad.” But it does affect your motivation to accept responsibility, keeping you in a victim mindset. It isn’t just the dishes that you need to face. You also need to take responsibility for your emotions.

Acknowledging and validating emotions help you to understand what you’re feeling and why. You can then redirect the energy you’re wasting on being a victim and redirect it toward more productive things in life. Like doing your own dishes.

There are many different ways we can develop the skill of self-acknowledgment and validation. One of the best is to write about what you’re experiencing. You may be surprised by how you describe the “what” and “why” of your feelings. You may even uncover other times in your life when you felt this way and find that your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are based on that past. You might even heal an old experience as you deal with the present circumstance!

2. End the Blame Game

“If my roommates were more consistent about doing their dishes, then I would feel like I could do mine.”

It’s so easy to come up with excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than anyone else. We find interesting ways to blame others for why we can’t do something. This becomes another way to avoid taking responsibility, and we can do so out of a perspective of anger.[2]

Anger can be energetically compelling, but it’s not always rooted in reality. It can keep us stuck and prevent us from having the life and relationships we really want. Much like being the victim, it’s important to ask yourself how being and staying angry is serving you. Again, it’s important to acknowledge and validate these thoughts and feelings too.

Perhaps you’re really feeling mad at someone at your workplace who isn’t taking responsibility for their own projects. You end up taking on their work, allowing anger to build up. By the time you get home, you need a place to let that anger out. And so, your anger is directed toward your kitchen and your roommates.


This may help you feel better for a little while, but it’s not sustainable. There are so many ways of dealing with anger. It would serve you and others around you well to learn how to manage and work with any anger you have in your life so that you can resume your acceptance of responsibility.

3. Forgive Yourself and others

After reading tips number 1 and 2, perhaps you are now adept at practicing acknowledging and validating your feelings. Because of that work, it’s easier to forgive yourself and others.

For instance, without the feelings of victimhood and blame, you have the energy to see things from a perspective of forgiveness and tolerance.

From a place of forgiveness, you see that even though your roommates don’t take care of their dishes right away every time, they do so more often than not. Plus, you can see that all of you have challenging things happening in your lives right now, so why should your challenges make it so that you can slack off? You may even remember times when your roommates have helped you out with cleaning the kitchen even though the mess wasn’t theirs.

As you forgive others, you forgive yourself too and take ownership of your own tasks.

4. Use Responsibility as a Way to Help Others

Shirking our responsibilities can actually affect others’ well-being. We can step into a space of considering how our actions, or lack thereof, might be burdening or harming others.

For example, not doing your dishes and leaving the kitchen dirty means that when another roommate wants to use the kitchen to make a meal, they may have to clean the kitchen first to have access to the pots, pans, and utensils required. They may feel annoyed that you didn’t take responsibility for your mess, which affects your relationship with your roommate. A confrontation may be on the horizon.

However, if you can put yourself in the frame of mind to consider things from your roommate’s position, you might think twice about leaving the dishes. By taking responsibility and doing your part to keep the kitchen clean, you are taking care of the space and your roommates.


A lot of people find it easier and highly beneficial to do things out of a sense of responsibility for others.[3] Thinking about things from another’s perspective can be a motivating factor and can provide us with feelings of purpose.

5. Look for the Win-Win

When we choose not to take responsibility, we are choosing a zero-sum game, meaning nobody wins. What if you looked for the win-win opportunity of taking responsibility instead?

Maybe there have been times when your roommates have saddled you with a messy kitchen. If you now decide to leave your mess, nobody wins. Whereas, cleaning up after yourself now means that you are modeling how you want the space to be treated by everyone. You are also ensuring that your roommates can trust you to take responsibility for your cleaning tasks, and the next person who wants to use the kitchen will be able to do so.

In this scenario, you will be taking responsibility, cultivating a relationship of trust with your roommates, and making it so that nobody else has to clean up after you. Everyone wins.

6. Make Taking Responsibility Fun

Another vantage point from which we could look is the place of joy. Yes, joy.

It’s easy to paint “cleaning the kitchen” in a negative light when shows are streaming on Netflix and downtime activities calling. But what could happen for you if you made the task of doing the dishes fun?

How can it be fun? This is where you get to be creative.

Some ideas could be playing some of your favorite music as you clean, invite a roommate to chat while you clean, or you could play that show you’re binging on Netflix as you scrub. Have Airpods? Call a friend as you clean!


Finding a way to make it fun helps you lose track of time and get the job done faster. It could also provide some necessary “play” time. We don’t play enough as adults. Get back to your childhood roots and find ways to incorporate play into your daily routine, and get the dishes done at the same time!

7. Choose Your Own Adventure

When we approach responsibility from our highest self, we can be at choice for how we want to accept it. This requires an awareness of what we intend to accomplish or learn in any life experience.

For instance, when faced with a responsibility, you could consider all the ways of looking at it (from a place of victimhood, blame, forgiveness, service to others, win-win, or fun) and decide which perspective would serve the highest good of all, yourself included.

When we can approach any life situation from the standpoint of having choices, doesn’t that feel better than feeling forced into a decision or action?


Knowing that you can make conscious choices at any time in your life hopefully helps you to feel freer and more energized for any life responsibility you choose to accept. These seven tips on how to accept responsibility will set you up for a good start.

More Tips on How To Be a Responsible Person

Featured photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado via


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