Photo by SunsoakedCreative of Octopus taken in Santa Luzia, Portugal View image

How many times do we make a decision based on nothing but our better judgement? We assume we'll hate a certain place, film or that dish of squid in its ink as it looks so awful! And yet, when we let our curiousity win, we can be pleasantly surprised! 

I’ve realised that it’s really difficult for people to be curious

“People seem intent on working out the answers for themselves without really listening. Without the ability to question and listen in a clean way, we go through the world confirming our already established ideas and learning little that is new“ (Sue Knight – NLP)

Even when we think we are being curious and listening to how someone else views the world, our tendency is to already be thinking about our response which is how we see things.

I regularly coach people who spend a lot of time agonising over making decisions before they have spent any time finding out everything there is to know about the situation. I spend a lot of time convincing people that staying curious around a situation is the best course of action, why would you make a decision without finding out more about it? 

There isn’t any risk in being naive, present, open, not knowing, alert, fascinated, eager to learn and selfless but people seem to think there is, in fact they spend more time evaluating the negatives of being open and finding out more and convince themselves that they will find themselves in a situation that they don’t want to be in just because they asked more about it.

Instead of believing being curious is an opportunity to learn, we sometimes feel that by showing a deeper level of interest we are committing to something or somebody and we might not want to, we feel more comfortable leaving a bit of distance and filling in the gaps ourselves. Just think about how many times you have met someone new and instead of just listening to what they have done, you have physically or mentally jumped in and made assumptions about their experience?

I am well-travelled and I am curious about so many things but when it comes to food I prejudge everything

I do this with food on a regular basis. I am well-travelled and I am curious about so many things but when it comes to food I prejudge everything, I decide just by looking at something that I’m not going to like it and I won’t budge. It’s something that has surprised many people who know me and drives my husband up the wall. I never made the connection between something like this and being curious but of course it’s exactly that, now I’ve made that connection I am consciously trying a different approach. Even though I instinctively say I don’t want it, which of course is habit, I trigger my open mind and summon up the courage to want to know more.

Many things I’ve tried are not as I imagined and I feel a lot better that instead of making a snap judgement that I wasn’t going to like something, I gave it a try. I’ve also noticed a different reaction from my husband and friends, people really like it when you are curious. You open up, you don’t know everything and people see you are happy to be in the vulnerable state. It makes them want to be curious about other things.

Think about something you could be curious about and go do it, you will feel great and the ripple effect might surprise you.

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