12 Questions to Getting Curious by: Tori Bradford

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it keeps humans living in transformation. 

Curiosity is a funny piece of the transformation process.  As I mentioned earlier in the month, the concept of curiosity initially annoyed me.  We live in a culture that says curiosity is a bad thing, or it’s only for artsy people.  As a right-brainer, I told myself I need to stay grounded and focused and assume there is no room for curiosity as I create boxes and “facts” and judgements all around me.

I assumed I knew what would happen from day today because I base it on my past experiences and my past experiences never lie.  Right?  As a mom, I began to get more concrete in my way of thinking.  I saw things happen that I didn’t like and because I was determined to create less stress in my life I would find patterns in how the “bad things” would happen so I could avoid them.  If the baby falls asleep in the car, he will not take a nap.  If the kids don’t go to bed even one minute after 7:00pm they will have nightmares. 

I thought I was creating a simple “schedule” or set of rules, but I was actually building bar by bar of my prison cell.  I now had no flexibility in my life, no room for spontaneity, and definitely no room for “thinking outside the box.”

Now, several years later, I see the room I had for curiosity that I was choosing to shut out.  If I had been a little more flexible and a little less rigid and went with the idea that things are more fluid than I thought they were I think I could have actually relieved the stress I was determined to relieve instead of actually creating more!

About 3 years ago, I decided to spend some time getting curious.  Curious about why I do what I do, why others do what they do, how I react to certain situations, how I interact with people I love, people I didn’t like, and people I didn’t even know.  I spent some time observing myself.  I used to be a pretty judgemental person, so this time of getting curious was a huge resource for me and became a massive base for the transformations I’ve seen. 

Even now, I still find that piece of my old machinery pop up and every time I get to choose interrupting it.  There are a few questions that have helped me that might help you live in curiosity too.

12 Questions to Getting Curious

  1. Am I 100% certain that it is what I say it is?

  2. If I’m NOT 100% certain that it is what I say it is then what could it be?

  3. What must have been occurring for them that caused them to react the way they did?

  4. What must have been occurring for me that I acted that way?

  5. What conversations am I having with myself about this situation?

  6. Am I choosing to believe something that might not be true?

  7. How might I be lying to myself or covering up what I really feel?

  8. What emotions am I experiencing right now?

  9. What could the emotions I’m experiencing mean?

  10. How do I want this situation or this relationship to work?

  11. Am I owning what I need right now?

  12. Am I allowing the other person to own what they need?

  13. Am I scared about something? If so, what is it?

  14. Is the thing I say I’m upset about really the thing I’m upset about?

  15. How am I impacting the people around me?

  16. How am I letting the people around me dictate how I act?

  17. What am I “being right” about?

  18. What am I pretending to not know?

  19. If I re-frame what this event means, what could be true?

  20. What resources might be available to me?

You may be wondering why I included twenty items on this list instead of the twelve that the title suggests.  If you are, I say “Good! I’m glad you’re getting curious and asking questions!” So often we lock ourselves into one way of thinking, or a specific path, but the beauty is in staying curious about WHAT COULD BE!

The next time you find yourself feeling “locked in,” or like nothing can ever change take a moment and run over a couple of questions in this list.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Or really...what’s the best that could happen?  Because usually, the outcome is more towards the “best” than the “worst” and you realize you’ve been worried for nothing.

So...what are you curious about today?