If you’re listening to this podcast, it’s probably because you want to love your life again, right? Well today, we’re going to talk about an often-overlooked ingredient that’s absolutely required if you want to create a life you love.
Join me on the podcast this week to discover why curiosity is an essential part of loving life again and what life has in store if we do not get curious. I’m sharing how being curious about my thoughts and beliefs has helped me in so many different ways, and how you can do exactly the same for yourself.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 71, The Importance of Curiosity. If you’re listening to this podcast, it’s because you want to love your life again, right? Well, today we’re going to talk about an often-overlooked ingredient that’s absolutely required if you want to create a life you love. Are you ready?
Welcome the The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified Life Coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. If you’re new, welcome. This actually might be a good first podcast to listen to if you’re new. Ordinarily, I’d tell you to start at the beginning. But it’s okay. Start here.
Alright, so before we get into what I want to teach you today, I want to do a little listener shoutout. Collette, I see you. Collette put a review in Apple Podcasts, gave the podcast five stars and said, “Thank you, Krista, your podcast deals with the real feelings and moments that I experience a s anew grieving widow of 14 months. Each one is so helpful and relatable, but even more phenomenal is the time that you spent helping me with a specific need I had. I was astounded at your generosity of time and genuine care for me. Thank you for being a calm, positive, hopeful light as you teach strategies for navigating our feelings and thoughts as we travel with grief. I wish every grieving mom could find you. Collette.”
You’re welcome, Collette, it’s my pleasure. I wish that I had enough time in my schedule to have conversations with every single widow out there. I don’t. But it is amazing to me that I can help people through this podcast. And sometimes, I do get to have conversations with people that are helpful that aren’t even my clients. So, I’m glad we got to talk, Collette, and I’m glad that the podcast is helping you.
Alright, let’s jump in because we need to talk about curiosity. Today, I’m going to tell you why curiosity is an essential part of loving life again, what happens if we don’t have it, how it’s helped me, and how to create curiosity so you can help yourself.
Now, you may not have given much thought to the value of curiosity as it relates to grief and to loving your life again. And that would not be surprising. I don’t think a lot of us do. Which is one reason that we get stuck repeating the same patterns that keep us living a life we don’t love. And this is why we must talk about it. If we don’t have curiosity, we won’t be able to love life again. We won’t be able to dream again.
In last week’s episode, I taught you about the self-coaching model. I taught you that our thoughts are optional, that it’s our thoughts that create our feelings, not what happens to us, that our feelings are what drive our behaviors and actions, and that our behaviors and actions are what create our outcomes, our results in life.
And if we aren’t curious, we’ll be so busy believing our thoughts that we won’t be able to see them as thoughts. We’ll just think that we’re making statements about the truths of our lives.
“I may never be truly happy again,” will feel just as factual as, “I’m a mom with two kids.” “I’m not as confident as I want to be,” will seem just as true as, “Tax Day is April 15th.” But listen, “I may never be truly happy again,” and, “I’m not as confident as I want to be,” aren’t factual. They aren’t objective truths. They’re interpretations. And if left unchecked, they will hold us back.
So, we have to be able to recognize that they’re optional interpretations or we’ll never be able to change them. And this is where curiosity starts to show its value. If we aren’t curious, we’ll never be able to get any leverage over all of those unintentional thought patterns because we’re just too busy repeating them. And we won’t be able to retell the story of our past because we’ll be too busy recreating it. So, without curiosity, we’re not going to make progress. We’ll never be able to choose what we want to believe.
I want to tell you a little bit about how curiosity has helped me so you can see how you can use it in your life too. Because my philosophy is always, if I can do it, you can do it.
So, when Hugo first died, my sincere worry, which I didn’t ever articulate out loud, but my sincere worry was that my best days were behind me. It was kind of like my mental conversation was, “Crap, that was it. It’s over. Now I just have to adjust to this new normal that I don’t really want and people like him only come along once in a lifetime, right? So, I guess I’ll just need to be honest with myself about that. I had my shot, and now it’s over.”
And those thoughts felt very true to me. And the only reason I don’t believe those thoughts now is because I allowed myself to be curios. I allowed myself, first if all, to feel how I felt. I didn’t try to tell myself I shouldn’t be thinking that way or I shouldn’t be feeling that way. I let myself feel how I needed to feel. But then, I allowed myself to consider that I could be wrong about that.
I was willing to open my mind to the potential that maybe my brain was telling me one version of an optional story and that maybe other options were available to me. And later, when I discovered coaching and I as toying with the idea of becoming a coach, my brain had a lot of negative things to say about the idea.
It wasn’t like I just woke up one day and said, “Yes, I’m going to quit my job and become and amazing coach and help all the people. Done.” That’s not how it happened at all.
It was a process that I had to go through. And curiosity was a major part of my process because my brain’s immediate response to the idea of becoming a coach was, “Nobody’s going to understand. They’re going to think you’re crazy to leave your job. You’re never going to make enough money to cover your expenses. Just because other people can do it, doesn’t mean you can. You don’t know anything about building an online business.”
It was a whole lot of, “Who do you think you are?” That’s why my brain had to say about that. I had to get coached on it. I had to coach myself. I had to ask my brain to be curious. What if it didn’t matter of other people understood? Could that be possible? Could I get to that place?
What if I could make enough money to cover my expenses? Could I do it? What if I could learn from the people who had done it and follow in their footsteps? How could it be true that I could figure out how to build an online business? What if I did have what it takes to be successful? What if I really could help people? I had to get genuinely curious so I could see the junk in my brain that was holding me back and I could open my mind to possibility.
Otherwise, I’d still be in that job. I would have never left. I would have never pursued coaching. And the same thing happened earlier this year when I set my impossible goal, as a part of my master coach training – you may have heard me talk about it in episode 51, which was about how to overcome perfectionism with failure.
I set an impossible goal of making $150,000 in 90 days. And when I set that goal, it felt truly impossible. I knew other coaches who had done it. But for me, it felt like a total pipe dream. It was more than I had made the entire year before. So, it felt truly impossible to me.
And to reach that goal, I would have to believe it was possible, but I absolutely didn’t. I didn’t believe it. My brain just couldn’t. And so, standing in front of a mirror and affirming it to myself over and over and over would never have worked because it felt laughable that I could do that.
In fact, almost every time I set a big goal for myself, it just doesn’t feel real. My brain is not bought in. So, what I did is I got curious. What if it were possible? How could it be possible? If others have done it, could I do it? What would it be like to do that?
And slowly, gradually, by being curious, I got my mind to open up to possibility. And at the same time, I dropped the resistance. And that’s what happens. When we get curious, we drop the resistance. And the resistance is what keeps us stuck.
So, by getting curious, I kind of settled into what could be. And guess what? It worked. It really worked. Like, at the time I record this episode, I’m $3 short of making $150K in 90 days. And the month isn’t over. I’ve still got whole other week.
It’s totally done. It’s as good as done. I used curiosity to open my mind and believe something about myself that I couldn’t believe at all, and that’s what allowed me to create it. That’s what allows any of us to create any result that feels impossible, including loving life again after losing your person.
If I can do this, you can do this. I did the same thing with dating. My original thoughts about dating – and listen, I’m not telling you to date. Don’t hear me and think I’m telling you to date. You date when you decide it’s the right time for you.
But for me, for three and a half years, my thoughts about dating changed over time, but predominantly were, “I’m not ready. All the good ones are taken. I won’t find a anyone as good as Hugo. It will be awful.” Those were my thoughts. I was very resistant to the idea of dating.
And then, at some point, I started to move myself into curiosity. What if I am ready? What if I could be ready? What if someone out there right now is looking for me? What if Hugo is pulling strings for me, wherever he is. What if he’s helping me find love again?
And guess what? You’ve listened, you know. I’ve been dating the boyfriend, best boyfriend ever, for seven months now and having a great time and feeling totally supported by Hugo in the process. And it’s because I got curious. It’s because I didn’t just believe what was in my brain and resist what could be possible for me. I allowed my brain to get curious about what could be, even though I didn’t believe it.
So, I want to ask you, what do you believe is impossible for you? Or if not impossible, what do you believe is unlikely? What do you believe is possible for other people but not for you?
Maybe you have a dream, but you don’t believe it could really happen. Or maybe you’re struggling to dream and you don’t believe that you’ll be able to get past that lost stuck feeling. Either way, I hear you. I see you. And now, it’s time for you to get curious.
If you want to get unstuck, if you want to get past resistance, we’ve got to get curious. So, here’s what I want you to ask yourself. These are going to be in the show notes in case you want to come back to them.
I want you to ask yourself, what if it could be possible that my best days aren’t behind me? How could that be true? Make your brain find that. What if I could love myself fiercely through all of this and come out more alive than every before? What if all the things, the awful things that my inner critic tells me, what if they aren’t actually true? What if I’m capable of so much more than I know?
How could it be possible that my life is unfolding as it was always going to and that I’m right where I’m supposed to be? What if I could decide who I wanted to be, and be that? What if this is the beginning of something so much better than my brain has allowed me to imagine? How could it be true that I’m just getting warmed up?
Did you know that you have permission to believe that you’re just getting warmed up? There’s no downside. None. These are the kinds of questions that will get you into curiosity. From that place, you will start to see what’s possible instead of what’s likely.
From curiosity, you will start to see what’s possible instead of what’s likely. Because you know what’s likely? Recreating the same junk from our past. That’s what’s likely. But that’s not what’s possible.
Impossibility only becomes possibility when we get curious. And you can do that, yeah? Alright, beautiful, that’s what I have for you today. I hope you will accept my invitation to get curious. If I can do it, you can do it.
I look back on my life – I was just having this conversation with the boyfriend – a year ago. So different in one year. If I can do it, you can do it. I promise. Alright, remember, I love you. You’ve got this. And I’ll talk to you next week. Take care.
If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about, even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence.
Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than what you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click Work With Me for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.