In the last post, I shared what the growth mindset is and how I was raised watching my parents apply it in the making of their life here in the states. In this post I will share a little on the role of curiosity in the growth mindset and how self care can lay the foundation for the ability to practice it.
It Has It’s Roots in a Certain Level of Empowerment
It takes a certain amount of internal esteem and power to even apply this growth mindset.
This approach is one in which curiosity has its roots firmly planted in ones psyche because it has been tended to. That voice of curiosity is not logical. It is more intuitive.
In the fixed mindset curiosity has been squashed. There is no room for growth and allowing oneself to be in the process of something. Everything either IS or ISN'T.
A person who has habits of wallowing in self pity and see’s life like a room of doors that all lead to doom, cannot even approach this mindset. It is definitely a muscle that must be exercised and worked towards for people with histories like mine.
Watching It But Not Yet Making It Fully My Own
As I shared in my last post, I saw the growth mindset exemplified in how my parents made a life for themselves as the first generation of our family here in the states. I didn't find that internal fire within myself until I hit a crossroads at age 11 to not take my life. The decision to live meant that I needed to get as far away as possible from the razor's edge of the self harassing thought habits I had.
Move Forward Or Be Consumed
To not make efforts to live my fullest meant I was slowly dying, there was no in between. When I got complacent, the insidious thoughts of self defeat would make their way back into my head and the temptation of that "permanent escape" stared at me in the horizon.
The desire to be deeply happy from the inside out was where I found my initial ignition. This desire fueled me with enough power to begin to tinker with exploring what a fulfilling life even looked like and gave me the energy to put up a fight towards my own life sucking ways of thinking.
Fanning The Flames
The spark of desire started as a question of “How do I get away from these feelings of utter hopelessness?”. In seeking the answers to that question the flames of this spark were fanned and that question eventually evolved to “How can I get closer to delight, creativity, illumination?”.
From The Bottom Up
My searching for these answers led me to self care from the bottom up. I started with my health and when I met those goals I began looking for ways to apply it to my emotional and mental health
In following my curiosity to wherever it lead, it steadily grew. It felt many times like I was on the surface, going through the motions of daily life while inwardly hanging on by a thread in keeping that internal fire lit while facing off the harassing voices trying to drown it out.
When you take care of yourself in ways that drown out the head chatter and create internal space, you're able THEN to explore and tinker with what is possible. As I shared in this post, having the space for solitude to just let myself be gave me the space to contemplate. That contemplation led to the choice to not pursue plans to end my life and continued to hold the space for me to follow my curiosity by pursuing my interests.
Tending to the Quiet Voice of Wonder
A head full of constant random and anxious chatter can make it harder to even FEEL curiosity within us and fan those first delicate flames. When we provide ourselves ways to clear the internal chatter and create internal space, we give our curiosity a place to exist within us.
Curiosity is a quiet thing at first that when tended to can lead to a roaring wild fire of creative desire that fills us to the brim with aliveness and purpose. For that it must first be given the chance to exist.
Judgment can all too easily drown it out before it even gets its chance to sprout.
Set Judgment Aside and Follow The Thread
I didn't understand as a teen at the time, why I was needing to be in alone in my candlelit room for hours at a time. I thought I was weird. The people closest to me definitely thought so. The books that fed my curiosity were not logical to me. No one in my immediate environment was equally interested in what I found fascinating.
Yet feeding this curiosity filled me with so much life it clearly became an undeniable need.
The more I tried to squash this need, the louder and scarier my thoughts got. In response I'd try to forcefully drown them out through my bulimia. Following my need and just doing those things that for whatever reason fed me, regardless of the judgment in my head, soothed those loud thoughts. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Following one's curiosity can be scary for people who have always lived by the book, done the logical and the pragmatic even if it means their connection to their internal life is nonexistent as a result.
One can practice the growth mindset in small ways and work their way up to making bigger, more intuition led decisions. This can be done in the safety and privacy of one's own self care time. Space can be made by setting up a nook in a corner of a room.
Make the Space
It can be as simple as a corner with a chair, a small side table with a lamp. It can be as minimalist as a pillow on a rug next to an album of photographs that is a feast for your eyes. It can also be a space in your schedule where you use your commuting time to listen to a audio book. For others it will be taking a stab at baking, making pickles, reading/making comics.
Here is a great article from Fast Company that shares how people have made space in their lives to explore their quirky curiosities and how it has even benefited their careers.
Whatever you choose the only defining factor is that it's a space where you grant yourself permission to play, explore and nudge wonder in different directions to see what comes of it.
In what ways could you allow yourself to follow your curiosity?
I'd love to know.
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