Are You Stubborn or Curious?

Stubborn or Curious Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

I was on the phone with my mom the other day and after catching up on this and that, she asked me how my business was going. “I’m sure you’re doing great, you’ve always been stubborn.”

WHOA! WHAT?

I’m grateful for my mom, and am always impressed by her ability, even as I am firmly planted in middle age, to say just the thing to get my goat.

The word “stubborn” made me bristle. Why? I paused for a few seconds to examine my resistance.

What she perceived as STUBBORN I (usually) experience as CURIOSITY.

Stubborn digs in, doesn’t let go, has to be right at all costs, and will destroy whatever gets in its way.

Curiosity flows from one adventure to the next, delighted by discovery, and seeks growth.

They can both be PERSISTENT, so how do you know what is driving you? The difference is found in the response to challenge.

Do you seek to understand/connect? Curious.

Do you seek to be right/win? Stubborn.

When I reframed my behavior, my mom laughed.

“Well, when you put it that way, I guess I’m curious, too…”

Alas, the apple did not fall far from the tree. And I thank her for instilling the value of curiosity in me so that I may share it with others.

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