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  • Writer's pictureAnnette Nilsson

Curiosity and Doubt

We all need to learn to walk, nobody is born walking from day one. It is a tiresome process, first we only lay on our backs, then we learn to turn around, then we can get on our hands and knees, we crawl. It is interesting, and fun to watch children go through the process. You actually see their frustration, but also their determination and their sense of achievement when they got it. They just do, they do not judge themselves, it they fail, if they tumble and fall. They are curious, they try again, and the fun part is, when they fall, they often seem to even enjoy it.

When did we loose this curiosity, and the joy of failure, of learning? When were we taught to not enjoy making mistakes anymore? I believe it has to do with fear of consequences. And of course, at some point, we have learned to walk and our parents, cautiously watching us, issueing warnings like: Careful, don’t fall. The trouble is: our brains cannot handle the negation of an action, what we perceive is that it is dangerous to do something and that we might fall. Now you have the more adventurous kids, they seem to ignore those warnings, and they fall, but they go on, regardless. Others are impressed by the warnings of the parents, and will give up trying, because after all, our parents know, or so we think.

This is a simplified description how fear creeps into our lives, we are made aware that our actions can potentially have consequences, and instead of finding our own boundaries and making our own experiences aka mistakes, this process is taken away, with all good intentions. But it is in adult life that we struggle, that we are afraid to make mistakes. We have ideas of where we want to be, what we want to do, but we have forgotten to enjoy the process of getting there, of trying, of being curious.

We learn the most through failure, by making mistakes. And to learn means we must be curious, otherwise, we don’t develop, or we even stagnate. Be curious, take yourself seriously and look at the fears which keep you from doing what you want to do. Are they your own, do you really know you cannot do what you want? And where does that knowledge come from, have you tried? Let’s be curious together!

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