Develop This Trait to Become a Successful, Confident Person

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 I wonder/Wikimedia commons

Source: Frode Inge Hel­land: I wonder/Wikimedia com­mons

Despite the prover­bial warn­ing that curios­i­ty killed the cat, curios­i­ty is a trait well worth cul­ti­vat­ing. When its felt strong­ly, it dri­ves peo­ple to pur­sue their inter­ests. The suc­cess­es that fol­low can be remark­able, as can be seen in the lives of Albert Ein­stein, Steve Jobs, the Wright broth­ers, and innu­mer­able oth­er his­toric fig­ures. When you com­bine curios­i­ty with benev­o­lence being tru­ly kind and well-mean­ing you can not only achieve great accom­plish­ments, but you can nur­ture com­pas­sion, inner peace and self-con­fi­dence, and mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships. Admit­ted­ly, this sounds too good to be true. But these ben­e­fits are real, and you can achieve them by learn­ing to devel­op benev­o­lent curios­i­ty.


Curios­i­ty is the desire to learn about the object of your atten­tion. When peo­ple are curi­ous, they feel an inher­ent dri­ve to explore. And the more they learn, the more they often want to know. Because they are active­ly seek­ing under­stand­ing, they also find and cre­ate more mean­ing in their lives.

If you want to increase your curios­i­ty, begin with pay­ing atten­tion to your expe­ri­ences. You might choose one or two areas in your life. For instance, you might attend to the process of exer­cis­ing. Con­sid­er what it takes for your body to engage in work­ing out and allow your­self to be ful­ly aware of the sen­sa­tions in your body as it exer­cis­es. Fol­low­ing your curios­i­ty, you may pur­sue learn­ing more about the human body, nutri­tion, and phys­i­cal fit­ness. If you took a sim­i­lar­ly curi­ous per­spec­tive about your job, imag­ine how you might excel at it!

Curios­i­ty can also serve you well when you focus it on your emo­tions. This is espe­cial­ly true when you are mys­ti­fied by your reac­tions to cir­cum­stances. In these sit­u­a­tions, you can choose to be curi­ous about your emo­tions, such as anx­i­ety or sad­ness. You can pay atten­tion to what you sense in your body, allow­ing your­self to be open to the expres­sion of your emo­tions on this phys­i­cal lev­el. As you do this, you will learn to tol­er­ate and explore your mixed emo­tions, and the many shades of your expe­ri­ences. Such explo­ration will help you to bet­ter under­stand, and con­nect with, your­self.


Benev­o­lence means relat­ing in a pos­i­tive, well-mean­ing way. It often flows nat­u­ral­ly from empa­thy. And when some­one is suf­fer­ing, it takes the form of com­pas­sion. Benev­o­lent peo­ple tend to lead mean­ing­ful lives, touch the hearts of those around them, and elic­it feel­ings of admi­ra­tion.

To devel­op greater benev­o­lence, it helps to prac­tice empa­thy. One way to do this is to think about what an acquain­tance might be expe­ri­enc­ing in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion. Use what you know about the per­son to imag­ine how the cir­cum­stance looks like through their eyes. Then try to con­nect with the emo­tions they seem to be expe­ri­enc­ing. Imag­ine how youd feel if you per­ceived things sim­i­lar­ly even if you actu­al­ly see this sit­u­a­tion dif­fer­ent­ly. For instance, though you might think a friend did not need to feel hurt by their bosss feed­back, con­sid­er a time when you did feel hurt by someones feed­back. This can help you to empathize and feel benev­o­lent­ly toward your friend.

Benev­o­lent Curios­i­ty

When you are benev­o­lent­ly curi­ous about peoples expe­ri­ences, you are able learn more about them from a car­ing per­spec­tive. For instance, youll want to know more about a par­tic­u­lar­ly pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tion that they are in; think to ask about or lis­ten for sig­nif­i­cant influ­ences in their his­to­ry that have affect­ed their think­ing and reac­tions; and more ful­ly relate to their emo­tions. By under­stand­ing them so well, youll feel like you real­ly get them, and youll feel more com­pas­sion­ate­ly toward them. Sim­i­lar­ly, benev­o­lent curios­i­ty about your­self can lead you to greater self-aware­ness, self-under­stand­ing, and self-com­pas­sion.

Benev­o­lent curios­i­ty trans­lates into suc­cess on both per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al lev­els. Your curios­i­ty will pow­er your per­sis­tence in devel­op­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ly, pur­su­ing per­son­al goals, and bet­ter under­stand­ing your­self and oth­ers. When com­bined with benev­o­lence, you will gain greater self-aware­ness, self-com­pas­sion, and self-con­fi­dence. Youll enjoy mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships with oth­ers, who sup­port you in attain­ing your goals. And you will pos­sess a nat­ur­al dri­ve to suc­ceed. With all of these ben­e­fits, theres no doubt that benev­o­lent curios­i­ty is a win­ning for­mu­la!

Leslie Beck­er-Phelps, Ph.D. is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist in pri­vate prac­tice and is on the med­ical staff at Robert Wood John­son Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal, Som­er­set in Somerville, NJ. She is also a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor for the Web­MD blog Rela­tion­ships and is the rela­tion­ship expert on WebMDs Rela­tion­ships and Cop­ing Com­mu­ni­ty.

New Harbinger Publications/with permission

Source: New Har­bin­ger Publications/with per­mis­sion

Dr. Beck­er-Phelps is also the author of Inse­cure in Love.

If you would like email noti­fi­ca­tion of new blog post­ings by Dr. Beck­er-Phelps, click here.

Mak­ing Change blog posts are for gen­er­al edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es only. They may or may not be rel­e­vant for your par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion; and they should not be relied upon as a sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sion­al assis­tance.

Per­son­al change through com­pas­sion­ate self-aware­ness

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Charles Milander es un destacado experto en tecnología y medios sociales. Ha sido corresponsal colaborador de CNN Expansion Mercado and Newspaper Listin Diario, productor de TV, presentador y presentador de Univision Radio, Telemundo47, Color Vision. Diseña arquitectura de software, tecnologías de Internet, mercadeo en red, desarrollo de productos.

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