I often speak of the importance of being curious. Outside of love, it is our best defense against fear.
When we are worried about something, the fear center of our brain is activated. Perceived fears can be just as powerful as real ones, and so we can easily become fixated on the worry, eventually choosing avoidance over curiosity.
Take someone for example who is afraid of change. Most of us are to some degree, but if someone has experienced traumatic or especially difficult times in their life that produced immediate change, they can develop a sensitivy to all shifts, even transformative ones.
Curiosity tempers that process. It is a gentle way to ask ourselves “What are the alternatives?” It allows us to simply set aside the grip of avoidance, without commitment, to the possibility of something different, better.
Curiosity promotes growth because it also tickles our creative nature. It awakens our sense of agency. It gives us faith in ourselves. Combined, it leads to action. As this quote by Mario Testino reminds us:
“My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.”
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@andrewtneel