Developing a healthy sense of curiosity can help you create with less resistance, bounce back from setbacks, and be more resilient and perseverant in your work.
What does it mean to approach life with curiosity? Today we’re going to talk about curiosity and how being curious is not the same as being analytical.
Curiosity is, by definition, a strong desire to know more about something.
When we have an inner desire to learn, we approach problems differently. If you feel anxious or tired during a task, rather than saying “I hate when I get like this!” or “What is wrong with me?” you instead might say, “Huh. I wonder what this is about?”
Being analytical is, by definition, investigating a topic in detail, using logical reasoning.
Being analytical can be helpful at times. We might want to deeply explore something and understand it from a rational standpoint. But if we don’t balance this with an open sense of curiosity, it can become rigid, stressful, and exhausting.
There is perhaps no better place to apply this than to the creative process.
When we are experiencing creative blocks, the way we talk to ourselves is IMPORTANT. If we push back, we might make the resistance worse. We want to flow through a block and get back on track quickly. So let’s look at what self-talk might look like if you are dealing with blank-page syndrome in whatever creative work you are doing.
Judgmental: “I’m so terrible at this. I’m not creative at all. This always happens to me. So stupid!”
Being judgmental is basically just smacking yourself in the face, basically. It’s ineffective.
Apathetic: “I guess this is a sign I need to stop or pivot. Time to do something else *opens social media*
Apathy is just giving in to resistance and assuming it means you should or need to stop. It treats your resistance as always being correct (and since resistance is so common to the creative process, this leads to very inconsistent output).
Analytical: “What is wrong with me right now? I need to figure out why this keeps happening. This is wasting precious time! Do I need to drink more coffee?”
Being analytical is looking outward and trying to fix the problem using logic and reason.
Curious: “I’m noticing that this is difficult right now. I wonder what is coming up for me. Time to slow down and listen, and see what I might learn.”
Being curious is approaching issues that are coming up as informative and potentially a learning opportunity. In a way, curiosity doesn’t see the problem as a problem at all. It looks as the blocks as interesting and worth exploring.
The next time you feel stuck, notice your self-talk. Are you being judgmental, apathetic, or analytical? Is there a way you can shift your thoughts more to a place of curiosity?