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.

What Are Adaptability Skills And How To Upgrade Yours 7 Things to Be Passionate About for a Fulfilling Life

Trending in Success Mindset

1 17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd 2 Is There a True Measure of Success? How to Define Your Own 3 How Do You Measure Success: 10 New And Better Ways 4 50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn 5 8 Daily Habits of the Successful People (Which Are Rare)

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.


Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.


7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:


How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.


Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.


Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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