Curiosity: Where would we be without it?

Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.

James Stephens, poet

One of the things I love about the counselling process is when I see clients start to be curious about their lives; about what makes them ‘tick’; about how they came to be the unique individual they are; about who and what is important to them; about what challenges they’re willing to take on in order to live a rich and meaningful life.

I love seeing people move away from self-critical, judgmental or harsh self-talk towards a new acceptance of themselves, their strengths and vulnerabilities, and towards the people and things that really matter to them. And it starts with curiosity.

Now here’s the important thing; curiosity is not the same as nosiness or prying; it’s not sticking your nose into someone else’s business! says this:

Curiosity is the state of being curious: inquisitive, wondering, ready to poke around and figure something out.
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I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

Eleanor Roosevelt, humanitarian, U.S. First Lady

Curiosity – the human superpower of wondering – is a gift that all of us have, but often as we get older the pressures of adult life can drain it away. Remember the bottomless well of a child’s curiosity? ‘Why is the sky blue?’ ‘Where do snails find their shells?’What’s around the next corner?’

We forget to be curious and wondering about our lives and about our own selves, but to be curious is to be profoundly human. Where would humanity be if our long ago ancestors hadn’t wondered if the hunting grounds might be richer in the next valley or the one beyond that? Or if Sir Alexander Fleming hadn’t wondered about the mould growing on a sample in his lab and so discovered penicillin? Or if thousands of philosophers, psychologists and thinkers over more than three millennia hadn’t been curious about ‘what makes us human?’.

Curiosity is the essence of human existence. ‘Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?’… I don’t know. I don’t have any answers to those questions. I don’t know what’s over there around the corner. But I want to find out.

Gene Cernan, Apollo astronaut

Are you ready to be curious?

You may be reading this and thinking, well, I’ve no idea where to start with being curious about myself or my life! That’s ok – I can help with that. Let’s think of the counselling process as setting out together on a voyage of discovery, full of wondering and curiosity, figuring out how you came to be who and where you are; what life is like for you in the present; and how your new voyage might be different in the future – who will you be travelling through life with? What will you be doing? What will you be feeling? And just as importantly, who or what will you leave behind?

Be curious!

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For more information or to book a session, please send me an email.

Take good care.