From the day we are born, we begin creating our belief systems. Influenced by our parents, teachers, religion, communities and ultimately our experiences. Every encounter causes us to develop a new belief or reinforces an existing one. The challenge is whether those beliefs are empowering or disempowering. Do they help us get closer to our goals or hold us back? These beliefs affect the way we perceive everything, acting as a filter in which we view the world. The older we get, the more filters we have and the more difficult it becomes to see things as they are and not how they seem from our point of view.
A friend once told me, what if we looked at everything from a position of curiosity vs judgment? It took me a minute to realize how profound it was and how much potential it had to change my life as well as others. In a world where people can’t wait to share their opinions and judgments on just about everything, how would that impact us if everyone was simply curious first?
When we come from a place of curiosity, we stay open to possibility. The inquisitive interest fosters openness to learning about ourselves and others and a willingness to discover new things from a different perspective. Curiosity is a state not easy for most of us to live in. Especially in a professional world, we rely so heavily on our need to be right and to have all the answers. Some may say the need to be right is what fuels our “ego.” When we step back from our ego and ask more questions we are able to explore possibilities that we may have not seen otherwise. If we are honest, we never really know all there is to know about a situation or another person. Living in curiosity in more aligned with reality rather than pretending to have all the answers.
While there are times that making a judgment is necessary, most of the time we don’t actually have enough information to accurately judge the truth of a situation. One of the many challenges with living in judgment is what it does to our thinking. It closes us off from any additional learning or understanding. Because we have already made up our mind about what our truth is, we are no longer open to possibility. Even worse, we create distance between ourselves and anyone else that may be thinking differently than we do. If the definition of relationship is; the way in which two or more people are connected, or the state of being connected, than judgement has no place in relationships. Whether its relationship with patients, co-workers, significant others or friends, judgement has a much higher probability of pushing people away than bringing you closer together.
If we look at the relationships in our lives that are struggling more than others, we may find there are more judgments than curiosity. For most of us, judgment comes naturally and we make judgments about ourselves and the people we hold dear without even being aware that we have done so. If you have children of your own or have the opportunity spend time with young children, you will see the strong spirit of curiosity. My two year old is curious about everything and is eager to learn about the world around him. I have heard that many times, that we often learn more from our kids than we teach them and in this case, I completely agree. If I can be even half as curious as my son is today, my world of possibility grows exponentially.
Stay curious my friends and you may be surprised with what you find.