In a world that seems determined to be divisive. Where fear is weaponised to grab our attention, and raise our anxiety and doubts about ourselves and others, I believe Curiosity is a vital cornerstone we need to build a safer, kinder future.
Big I know. But I truly believe in the power of Curiosity for you, for me, for humanity. Here's why. Let's explore, together.
What Curiosity Is And What It's Not?
There's wanting to know about something and then there's a desire to dive more deeply, with the intention to understand, without bias or filters; with an open heart and mind. Otherwise, that wanting to know more is merely having an interest.
Intent is the difference. Curiosity is a mindful practice. It's the source that fuels and energises wanting to know more. Beyond thinking, Curiosity is about feeling and that's why some experts regard it as an Emotion that drives those feelings.
Recall from previous Emotions Editions that Emotions are actually in the driver's seat. Emotions kick in first, then we Feel, Think and Do.
"Interest is a cognitive openness to engage with a topic or experience.
Curiosity is recognising there's a gap in our knowledge about something that interests us and becoming emotionally and cognitively invested in closing that gap through exploration and learning. Curiosity often starts with interest and can range form mild curiosity to passionate investigation." (Brene Brown).
Curiosity requires having an interest. But having an interest does not mean we are Curious, with a genuine appetite for truth and meaning that starts with having an interest and then goes deeper.
The other fascinating thing about being Curious is that the more we desire to know, the more we want to know (see the dopamine reference below).
Why Be Curious?
Dowse Fear: With a Curious open heart and mind, without judgment, seeking to understand, to grow and find meaning, we can dowse fear. Whether that's fear that we have for ourselves, a situation or others. Fear about being in a bathing suit in public. Fear about others judging us because we don't look like they do. All the stories we tell ourselves.
Truth & Trust: Beyond the stories we tell ourselves, there's 'fake news'. It's everywhere. On social, on TV...and now with AI on the scene (here to stay) there will be incomprehensible volumes of information out there to feed our interests. Curiosity calls us to not merely take that information on board, but to go deeper - to explore the why, the motivation. From there form our view and make our move.
Furthermore, "when it is suspected that information or opinions are being hidden or curiosity is being stifled, trust is eroded and disdain soars." (If They Lead With Curiosity We Might Trust Them - see link below)
Brain Health & Memory Recall: Recent studies suggest that when we are Curious:
- We are better at learning that information – not only in the very short term but also after a 24-hour delay
- the easier it is to remember not only information about that topic but also other unrelated information shown at the same time.
- there is increased activity in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory.
- there is increased activity in the regions of the brain associated with reward when curiosity is stimulated. "When you explore and satisfy your curiosity, your brain floods your body with dopamine, which makes you feel happier. This reward mechanism increases the likelihood that you'll try and satisfy your curiosity again in the future." (Britannica Curiosity Compass).
(**from How Curiosity Changes Our Brains).
How To Be Curious
Being Curious starts with having an open heart and an open mind.
Be authentic and honest, admitting you don't know it all. That you were wrong. To acknowledge that you don't have all the answers (you have knowledge gaps), that your perspective may not be the only one, nor that it's true/correct.
Prepared to feel and be vulnerable as you surrender to the uncertainty and explore.
Ask open-hearted questions - without judgement and always with respect. "I'm curious. Tell me more."
Listen without judgement too.
Keep searching for understanding even if it goes against what you have previously learned or your personal beliefs and values. That can be tricky particularly to remain unbiased and open to all possibilities.
Foster a love for learning. Life-long learning habits. Dedicate time in your day, your week, your month...to learning something new. Something future-focused. Go down the rabbit hole and go deeper.
Where to from here?
Imagine opening the door to welcome Curiosity and standing next to her is her dear life-long friend, Empathy. What a catch-up that would be! That's where we'll go next. Re-visiting Empathy. It's so important.
Continue to learn more about and talk about Emotions in our private Facebook group Women 40+ Self Love, Body Love, Summer Confidence.
Not a fan of social media? We've started a new private community off social media - The Summer Confidence Society. It's early days but I'd love for you to join us over there and get involved. It's becoming increasingly challenging to reach our community on social media where we are at the whim of ever-changing algorithms. That's why we are slowly making the move to our own private community in Kajabi.
You'll need to be a member to join in. It's easy to do. Click here and become a Gold Member. It's free, quick and easy and you only need to do it once.. If you're already a member, thank you!
Become a Platinum member for Monthly Masterclasses and more. Topics around STYLE, MINDSET and WELLNESS. Find out more about joining this beautiful community here. I'd love to see you there.
Take care, and be kind to you. Stay connected. To going down the rabbit hole.
Founder & Owner : Sequins and Sand
p.s. if you'd like to go deeper with understanding your emotions particularly those that can hold us back from getting into a swimsuit and diving into our summer lives, then I invite you to join a beautiful, kind, supportive community that is The Platinum Summer Confidence Society. Here's a little more about it. I hope to see you there. I'm in there every week. It really is a wonderful place to gather and learn. Axx