It’s time to get more curious. More curious about what motivates us. More curious about our responses to situations. More curious about why our lives function as they do right now. This curiosity is where change begins. It brings awareness to those responses and areas of our lives that are not helping us to grow and thrive. It highlights patterns that we haven’t seen or acknowledged before. It allows us to explore our part in how our world works.
Ever get curious about why we aren’t more curious? I admit to getting frustrated with people at times. I see their actions and responses and see glimpses of what is driving that. I listen to the same complaints and excuses frequently. I think to myself that it would all be so different if they just stopped to reflect and explore their own actions and beliefs more. I wonder why it is so hard for them to do that. And then I go through another season of being challenged to do this in my own life and peel through another layer of excuses, actions and patterns. Then I remember why relatively few people choose to pursue this curiosity.
This kind of self-exploration hurts. It requires high levels of vulnerability and humility. It demands commitment and follow-through. We have to be serious about wanting to grow and change to put ourselves through this process in depth. We can’t hide behind a mask or pretend if we truly engage.
As much as it is uncomfortable and hard, it is so worth it. I reflect back on the most flourishing seasons of growth in my life and I see how a time of getting curious, getting real with who I am and rooting out the patterns I allow in my life is always a part of it. I am more and more convinced that this is the foundation of change and growth.
Now you might think that self-exploration and curiosity means doing this on your own. Maybe you picture a silent retreat out in the mountains somewhere or a meditative day alone. While time alone to reflect and learn from resources (like books, podcasts and personality assessments) can be a valuable part, it is not where I have found my biggest breakthroughs. These have come through relationships and the investment of others speaking into my life.
It is in the day to day encounters with other broken and fallible human beings that our own faults and patterns of thinking are most triggered. It is in the wise words of a mentor or close friend pointing out a pattern they can see in us that our eyes are opened to blindspots. It is in the challenge of a coach that we realise the language we are using perpetuates excuses.
How will you get more curious today?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Spend 15 minutes writing down all the thoughts you are aware of when thinking about a particular situation.
- Find a book, website or podcast on the Enneagram and figure out what some of your default patterns are.
- Ask a close friend or mentor to get really honest with what patterns and excuses they see in your life.
- Sign up for an Ignite group with Lead Different for a serious investment in your own growth (tell them I referred you and say hi for me!)
- Get a copy of “Stepping Up In Leadership” (through my shop or Amazon) and actually journal through the questions on the Your Turn pages as you read.
Imagine where our exploration can take us- the dreams we can grasp hold of and the difference we can make in our world when we see those areas holding us back and take action to change.