Question Everything: The Surprising Benefits of Being Curious

Do you have the urge to listen to your gut but find yourself following the crowd instead?

Do you ever find yourself following the crowd, even when you're not sure it's the right thing to do?

In this episode, we dig into the importance of curiosity and challenging perspectives, even when others think we should stick to the status quo. There are some surprising benefits of being a curious contrarian and this episode is sure to show you how going against the grain can lead to success and positive change. Prepare to be inspired to question everything and unleash your inner rebel.

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(02:11) Challenge yourself to ask for what you need.

(04:02) How many times have you done the right thing and then realized it actually hindered your growth?

(06:24) By listening to myself, I wound up meeting my husband.

(07:42) How do you start to tap into your curiosity?

(10:09) Expose yourself to new experiences and new information.

(11:57) Challenges that come from challenging the status quo and the positive outcomes.

(13:45) Why you need to embrace your natural curiosity -.

(16:37) How can you be curious?


Paula Shepherd 00:01

Hey, welcome back to another episode of The confidence sessions. I was on a walk this morning. And here's how my day went. First of all, I want to give you a peek behind the curtains, of what things look like for me in the morning. Most people have, or some people maybe have morning rituals. And because I have children, my best planned morning rituals, like yoga in the morning, wind up with my six year old doing an extra me or jumping on me or dogs in my face. Or turning on the light to write in a journal because everyone is asleep, just to have everyone jump up at the same time. What I'm saying is, I can never really plan that out well, and sometimes my day starts out differently than I had imagined. Today was no different. I wound up going for a walk, which I highly recommend, if you're in this state of chaos, in your mind, don't just push yourself to just move forward and sit down at your desk and do the work. If it's possible for you. Give yourself a minute to move. Even if that's listening to one song and moving around to it. You know, sing into your hairbrush, I don't care what you do, take a walk around the block. It doesn't have to take a long time, but just something to settle yourself into a new state of mind. But as I tell you that there's a little hypocrisy there because I'm human. And when I came back in from my walk, immediately, I thought I haven't done anything today. I haven't done any work today. I haven't sat down in front of the computer, I didn't record the podcast, I all the things that I didn't do. And I started adding those things up. Which completely counteracts everything that I'm doing on a walk, right? Where I'm telling you to go out and move your body and I'm doing the same thing. And instead of getting angry with myself, I started to get curious and really challenge where is this coming from? Who says you have to be in front of your computer by 9am? Who says that the workday ends at 5pm Who says that you only get so many breaks during the day, okay, I get it. If you're you're working in a corporate job and you're in the office, or you're working in retail or restaurant, like I understand the fact that you have responsibilities and you're on the clock for a specific amount of time. But I'm specifically here talking to people who are working hybrid jobs, where they're in the office, and then at home, people who are working full time at home. And just or anyone that has a little bit of flexibility in the office. Okay. And it is about asking for what you need. So for me, I had to say, Where did this come from? Why do I believe this? And is this true? How do I know it to be true, and essentially had to work myself through this proving myself wrong? Or proving myself right. So I thought it'd be really important for us to talk about curiosity and challenging perspectives when it comes to doing what other people think is the right thing. And a lot of this is stems from people pleasing. But some of it is just truly conditioning. So as humans as people, we are wired to seek approval, we are wired to seek validation from society, from our peers. And there are so many times that we conform to those societal norms, and we just do what other people think and consider to be the right thing. But how many times have you done the right thing? And realized it actually hindered your growth? And really limited your potential? Is there an example of a time that you can think of where you did the right thing? And then you said, Man, I really shouldn't have I should have gone and done the thing that I said I was going to do, I should have taken that path less traveled. I should have done that trip across the country. In my car, I should write all those things that we thought we should have done. So think about one of those times where maybe you plan to do something a little bit differently. And then on the other side of things, maybe there is a time that you made a decision that was against what your friends, your family colleagues thought was the right thing. Or maybe they thought it was a little crazy. There are definitely times that I've done that. So when I moved in 2013, from Maryland, to Austin, Texas. And I've told this story a few times, you know, as a single mom did not have much of a savings account. I wasn't able to transfer with my job. All the odds were stacked against me. And yet, all I wanted to do was move here with my kids. And essentially, there there were a lot of particulars around that convincing someone, my ex husband to move here and that that was the right thing. And luckily, we were able to make that happen, which was awesome. But there were so many times where people would say, Are you sure you want to do that? Or should you want to move your kids? Are you? Are you sure you're ready for that? Are you sure you want to leave this job? Are you sure? And And yet, in my gut, I knew it was the right thing. And the gift in that was by listening to myself by trusting myself. I wound up meeting my husband being in our beautiful home, having our youngest son together, all of these things that had I listen to other people never would have came to pass. So here's what happens. Now, I am not a scientist, I am definitely not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. But what I know to be true is that our brain has this tendency to seek out patterns. So we make all of these assumptions based on our past experiences and our perspectives. Which is why there is so much conflict, because we're all seeing the same thing, but seeing it differently. And this is really helpful in a lot of situations. But it also limits the ability for us to break out of our old habits. And then we're not able to be innovative and think creatively. You've probably heard of groupthink before. I hate the term, you know, like minded people. And I understand where people are going with that. But then, you know, it's like when people accept all the same ideas, and you know, yes, that's great. And and the the people pleasing and the Yes, yes. Without even challenging, providing any alternative. And because there aren't alternatives for consideration, we can make some poor decisions. But if we can start to think about challenging what other people think, and not challenging in a way, where we're being rude or disrespectful, but challenging in a way where we provide an option where we incite curiosity in ourselves first, you know, I wonder if I make this suggestion, what would be possible? So how do you do that? You know, how do you how do you start to tap into and foster that curiosity and challenge the perspective of yourself and for other people. And the first thing that I recommend is to ask questions, I know it's not profound, right, but like, we demonstrate this desire to learn and challenge everything we know to be true. So with everything that you approach, and you know to be true, you can question you can create something so much bigger, and it will allow you to find new ideas and have new insight. Okay, so that's the first thing I know it's It's Rocket Science, right? Ask questions. Ask questions is why I love coaching, asking powerful questions, pulling the threads, you're willing to take the chance to ask the question to maybe, you know, in your opinion, maybe look stupid. But really what you're doing is I Adding perspective, creating options, new ideas, gaining insight, you're giving other people the opportunity to do that, too. Okay. So another way that we can do that is expose yourself to new experiences and information. We all went through this thing called the pandemic, where the majority of us were at home for long periods of time. And it was hard. We weren't getting the new experiences, the information that we were getting was all digital. We weren't experiencing that through our own five senses. So let's say as an example, the only books you read, and this was me for a really long time, by the way, every book that you read is personal development. I mean, your eat sleeping and breathing out, you're listening to it and audiobooks are reading articles. You are reading books that stacked up on your nightstand? Yes, I'm talking to you. Maybe because it was me too. But when all you're doing is reading that kind of genre, your perspective is so limited, like all you're seeing is that one bit, but if you can, maybe choose something differently, right. So maybe you read a book written by women of color, maybe you decide to read a mystery. And now you're going to see nuances and new perspectives beyond what you would if you were reading informational, or how to or personal development, or autobiographies, or whatever it is that you're into. Okay. And I think there are a million examples that I could give you of challenging situations where, you know, people lead. They don't know there's positive outcomes, right, that came from challenging the status quo. And that's terrifying, because it means somebody has to go first. And it means there's potential of being ridiculed and ostracized, and, and maybe standing alone for a little while without having someone else there. And that is terrifying to come up with innovative ideas and potentially feel like you're being questioned, whether it's a decision that you make, or a suggestion that you make it work. But there are so many breakthroughs that have happened. Because and changes that have been made in the world as a result of these challenges. Now, you don't have to be bold and go stand at a podium in front of a crowd of people. And you know, speak your mind, if that's not your thing. We're not lobbying in front of Congress. Again, if that's not your thing, if it is cool, go do it. But it could be something as simple as sharing an idea that you think people might think is a little crazy at work. But you really believe in really, in your gut, you know, that there's something here, maybe not exactly as you were thinking it, but maybe if you shared it, other perspectives could help enhance and grow the idea. All right. So when we're talking about curiosity, this is absolutely a way for you to grow a way for you to have success. Because every time you do this, you're going to create this new discovery, a new positive outcome. And we should always embrace our natural curiosity. I think most times we we push it down and we think, Oh, no, that's not my business. Or I shouldn't ask that question or just stay quiet. Do they'll think I'm too much. But by asking the question, we're creating opportunities for other people, to not just defend their ideas. But for them to really think. So let's look at this as a gift. We're not always challenging people. We're not always asking them to convince us. What we're asking them to do is share and you're doing the same. So questions are really powerful. And I don't mean come up with a spreadsheet of questions that you can ask people. I mean, really listen to your Solve. And if you feel this, huh, I wonder what that's about ask the question. I think in school, it was always there are no stupid questions except for the ones on asked. And I still believe that to be true. I was always the one waiting for the math teacher she'd finish. And she'd look around the room and say, Okay, does everybody understand that? Or do you need to see it again, and everyone in the room would be still, I had no problem raising my hand. If I didn't get it, I don't want to sit and be lost. I don't want to sit and be in a situation that doesn't feel good to me. And I don't want you to have to do that either. So create the opportunity for yourself, to listen to the questions that you're coming up with in your mind and sharing those asking those, and please get out, find a new experience, go, go find something, I don't care, go to the work, go to the park. So for a while, I was walking around for a really long time in my neighborhood. And I jokingly said to my husband that I was tired of walking in the neighborhood that it felt like every day it was walking the same perimeter of the fence. But that was my problem. I could go on and explore the world. And so I went to a local park, and I walked around a track. You know, there are lots of places that I could go and see. So please go out. And I will tell you, it changes everything, you start to get new ideas when you see new things, because your brain is no longer on autopilot. So when we do this, we have the opportunity to reach more of our potential and make a positive impact in your own life, right and the lives of other people. And what is better than that? So how can you be curious? How can you challenge perspectives? And stop assuming that, because it's always been that way? That's how it should be. Your ideas are amazing. They're incredible. If you can, if you can start to position yourself and say everything that I think is brilliant, and needs to be heard. I should share this. What do you have to lose? On the alternative, if you don't share it, it's a lost opportunity. A lost opportunity for you, but also for the world to be able to have that gift to experience, challenge change perspective, and their own sense of curiosity. So that's all I got for you today. I know it's deep. Even though it's not rocket science. And Steve, it's really profound. You know, it's asking questions, being curious, having a different perspective. Being afraid, being unafraid to use your voice. Not being afraid to be wrong, be wrong, I'm wrong all the time. You will be blown away. So your goal for this week is to or your task, your homework assignment of sorts, is for you to find one place just one place. I don't care if it's at home, it could be at work, it could be with a friend. Get curious, challenge, ask questions, provide a different perspective. And do it in with the ability to then receive an alternative perspective as well. 

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