Just below this posting, is part one of this riveting mini-series. You might want to read it first.


That may be the only word needed in this post. But, then you’d already be done reading. And, I want you to stay longer.

In today’s world, successful people are able to enter new situations and environments, get a quick but farily robust understanding, feel “at home”, and make those situations and environments better. Simply, they adapt. BUT, they adapt without losing themselves.

There is a misnomer today that adaptation means you leave yourself “out” in order to accomodate the enviroment or situation you find yourself “in”. Bad idea.

If you leave yourself out of an unfamiliar situation, you lose the one thing that is familiar to you and most likely needed: YOU! You need YOU in the new environment and so do others. When you adapt, you bring yourself to the situation, read it, and determine HOW to bring your unique gifts and skills to bear. You also turn up the volume on your curiosity.

Curiosity is the gateway to learning. And learning is critical to adapting fast. When you are curious, you open yourself to see what others miss. When we are rigid or fragile in new situations, our vision is impaired. We can’t learn and inculcate knowledge because we are too focused on the awkward feeling produced inside of us. We pull in and protect rather than reach out and explore.

When you’re in a new situation, be more grounded in yourself. THEN from that grounding move out and adapt fast.

Say this to yourself,

Oh, I’ve been here before. I mean the furniture is different but underneath it all, the dynamics aren’t that different from other situations I’ve navigated with success. What do I possess that is needed here? What have I learned in the past that will help me here and now? What new knowledge or skills should I develop fast to enhance my success? 

A number of years ago, I was leading a seminar for real estate agents. The workshop was about qualities of success that are needed to succeed in the real estate world. By the way, the qualities needed to be successful as a real estate agent look surprisingly similar to those needed to be successful at other endeavors. Which is my whole point!

A new real estate agent confessed in the workshop, she was scared that she wouldn’t be able to develop the skills needed to “make it.”

I asked her, “What is something you think you’re really good at?”

“I’m a good parent,” she returned.

For the next 15 minutes the group brainstormed what qualities of parenting were adaptable to real estate success. It was an amazing conversation. Scores of ideas were generated and the new agent left thinking, “I already have most of what I need, I just need to adapt it.”


Bring yesterday’s experiential confidence (the familiarity of success) into today’s new space. Then, bring yourself to the party. Once there, then adapt your words, actions and feelings to sync with the new environment based on other successful situations you’ve navigated. THEN, turn up your curiosity and learn, learn, learn, what you don’t know. 

Don’t delay.