Being flexible is something that many athletes are encouraged to work on for many reasons. It prevents injury and enables greater movement are just two benefits to being flexible.
Do you remember the scene in the movie Bambi when he first went out on to the ice? Bambi was flexible and because of that he did not get hurt when his feet slipped out from under him. I know this first hand because, being a figure skater myself, I did a “Bambi Swizzle” one time. I did not get injured because I stretch daily.
When an athlete is flexible it shows in their lines and extension in everything they do. Ballet, figure skating and gymnastics are enjoyable to watch when the athletes are flexible.
Physical Flexibility vs Mental Flexibility
Another side to being flexible is mental flexibility. The more mentally agile and pliable you are the more grace you will have in meeting challenges.
Take a moment to think about your attitude to challenges. Often our first reaction is to resist it, to fight it and maybe even run from it. This often takes the form of blame on something or someone outside of ourselves.
Whatever you resist persists
Instead of resistance, take a different approach by asking key questions like:
What is this challenge trying to teach me?
How can I get better through this experience?
Is there another side to this story? (Another way of looking at it)
Is there another way to do this?
Sometimes our challenges are just revealing that we are approaching our current limitations. Those may be mental or physical.
If that happens get excited because it means that you are poised for a breakthrough. Any form of excellence is about finding your limits and learning how to move past them.
Mental Flexibility opens the door to multiple answers
Oftentimes challenges are a call to do things differently. There may be multiple ways of solving a problem. Be open to other courses of thought and action.
See also our related article on problem solving.
Be open to possibility.
Now- go stretch.