The Power of Curiosity – Defeating Defensiveness

I was on a call yesterday with a leader and creative. He shared how he is encountering a lot of defensiveness as he works with people.

Part of the shift especially in the western world, is that now we live in cultures that are shame based.

When we are hit by experiences and emotion of shame it yells at us, “You are bad. You are not enough.” The differentiation between a behaviour/action and identity is blurred and lost.

Yet there is a world of difference between my choice being bad and me being bad!

Shame cultures are marked by fear, disconnection and blame. This leaves thin identities and self confidence in people.

One of the leading Social Scientists of our time says, “all too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence.” (Dr Brene Brown)

Curiosity is our way home. Curiosity changes our heart. It shifts us to learner where we acknwledge don’t know it all. But that’s a journey! We must fight biology.

Biologically our brains are wired for story. Infact neuroscientists have discovered that our brains only need a few pieces of information and then our brains will make up story using just a few pieces of data.

Getting curious is leaving our stories at the door, and shifts us emotionally from judgement to curiosity. This makes us safe.

All too often we live choosing to be safe theologically/academically but not safe relationally.

Hebrews 3:13 says “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Curiosity makes a way for encouragement, and specific encouragement to happen. Curiosity says your worthy of love, connection and me!

We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations and be more curious than defensive.

The opportunity of this moment is exciting. It offers to us a skill that can change our worlds in an instant, encouragement.

One of the greatest leaders of our faith was a guy name Barnabas. His name meant “son of encouragement.”

Encouragement is what awaits us the other side of curiosity. Try it today and watch it shift your heart and the heart of others!


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