Both, adaptable and flexible are abilities people need. They are similar in the sense that both imply a change.
But sticking to change doesn’t describe effectively that there is a difference between both. Nor that the change will have a different reason.
People are adapting themselves to the circumstance they encounter. They may do this by developing the skills their role requires them to have, by dressing according to the weather conditions or by behaving as their peers do.
It’s a change that depends on the situation and on the material ability to adapt, may it be through knowledge, skills, tools or attitude.
Flexibility, on the other hand, is linked to more short term changes and mostly those linked to the person’s preferences and desires, which includes their values.
Having both abilities will make it more convenient for the person and their environment. That’s because being adaptable and flexible helps individuals to be open-minded, curious and eases their ability to master challenging situations.
With less balanced abilities in a given situation, it becomes more challenging to find a path to contribute. Lack of adaptability and flexibility means to be perceived as rigid and self-centered when it comes to change. If adaptability or flexibility is lacking, the person is likely to find themselves without motivation. Over-adapting to a situation without providing one’s own viewpoint means to put an emphasis on doing everything for others. Whereas fighting hard for one’s preferences with little consideration of the situation or others leads to not seeing the others.
It’s worth it to ask yourself if your current challenge with a situation is one that you don’t want something or if it is one that you can’t do something. Be honest with yourself.