Would you say you have an appetite for challenging stereotypes,[1] seeking novelty,[2] and taking an exploratory, questioning approach[3]to your career responsibilities?

If you responded with a resounding “Yes,” begin appreciating one of your traits, as identified by Via Character Strength, just may be Curiosity. With such a reaction, it looks as though you’re already tapping into one of humanity’s greatest gifts for bettering the world.

However, if you didn’t find yourself responding with a yes, what’s standing in your way?

Research explains when curiosity is stronger than anxiety, individuals explore their environment. Conversely, when anxiety is stronger than curiosity, individuals tend to disengage from goals to reduce stimulations to a more manageable level.[4]

As intimated in this study, a lack of Curiosity can handicap your career. Who do you imagine is more likely to be seen as a leader?

You got it, the bold, inquisitive, purpose-oriented employee.

So, if you don’t consider Curiosity one of your strong suits or you’d like to break out of a career rut by expanding your Curiosity, consider:

Extinguish Anxiety: As you fall prey to worry and anxiety, more often than not, it is your brain amplifying what could be harmful or could go wrong. In actuality, this mindset has you scurrying into protection mode almost like a turtle tugging its head inside its shell. You may feel safe, but by freezing, you’re left unable to impact your slice of the world.

When you find yourself immobilized, begin altering your attitude into one of Curiosity. Replicate the thinking of someone you admire who judges every situation as brimming with possibility and start asking investigative questions just as they would. This shift in outlook will have you focusing on what is right or how to turn an unpleasant circumstance into a win. Remember, even tiny action steps move you forward, while anxiety leaves you hopelessly stuck.

Magnify Curiosity: Stop reading, and look around.

Identify three new aspects of your surrounding you’ve never detected before.[5] Aren’t you surprised by what you’ve missed?

Now, it’s time to develop this practice by fueling your Curiosity where it naturally racks up points for your future—in your career. Concentrate on your work environment by noting three new processes or projects or customer service factors you’ve never paid attention to before. Then, spend time considering how to reinvent and improve each facet. This thought process will have your company seeing you as an innovative source.

Perhaps, you don’t perceive any value in reducing time performing your assigned tasks. Au contraire! According to a study by Accenture, more than 90 percent of executives believe the long-term success of their organization’s strategy depends on their ability to develop new ideas.[6]

Each of us faces change and chaos along with the many ups-and-downs experienced in every section of life. So, rev up your Curiosity, it is a power that charges your creativity transforming your personal and professional life into magic!


[1] Character Strengths Interventions, A Field Guide for Practitioners, Ryan M. Niemiec, Hogrefe Publishing Corporations, 2018, page 11.
[2] Ibid, 96.
[3] Ibid, 74.
[4] Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification, Christopher Peterson, Martin E.P. Seligman, Oxford University Press, 2004, page 129.
[5] Thanks, Laura Bartels of Mindful Life Program in Carbondale, Colorado. I expanded her exercise a bit to work in a business environment.
[6] https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5167-innovation.html


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