As I worked on becoming more hopeful and healthier and thought about my own passions, I began to peel back the layers of who I am as a person. Who is the Nancy that God has made me? What am I interested in? How do I dig down to find out my own personal interests, since I have been serving others – children, family, friends, co-workers for so long? I t feel like I am emerging from the crowd that has surrounded me and finding the real me.
What is interest?
Interest is actually a psychological state of engagement, experienced in the moment, as well as your own predisposition or pull to engage repeatedly with particular ideas, events or objects over time. In an article by Annie Murphy Paul, How the Power of Interest Drive Learning, she writes “interest usefully narrow our choices, they lead us to pay attention to this and not to that.” What comes to mind when I ask you, What are your own interests? For some people, they draw a blank because they haven’t had an opportunity to engage with something over and over again that is fun or keeps them engaged.
What can interest do for me?
In Barbara Fredrickson’s research on positive emotions, interest is one of those broaden and build emotions that builds your brain for positive emotions and actually can rewire your brain over time for positive creativity, sense of energy and being fully alive. In a broaden and build premise, the first time you engage in something that interests you, you release positive chemicals into your system as well as begin to build a positive neuron connection in your brain. As you continue this interest, this neuron pathway continues to broaden and build more pathways, bringing you more and more pleasure and cementing that pathway in your brain. We work harder and persist longer at things that interest us. It also is why things like knitting can calm our brains because of the repetitive yet complex process that our brains enjoy.
How do I go about finding my own interests?
Part of that depends on you. Hopefully, you have taken the time to discover your strengths and passions. From there, giving yourself time and permission to pursue them is the first step. In talking to a friend the other day, she gave herself permission to read a book. She had to do self-talk during the process. “No, I can enjoy this book. I have the time and it is okay to do this at this time and at this place.”
Often we are so excited to get to the answer of finding our own interests that we don’t take time to develop the questions. What questions can you be asking yourself about your personal interests? For example, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing? Brainstorm a list of everything you can think of… When do you like to do it? Where do you like to do it? Who do you like to do things with – by yourself or with others? How do you like to do things – fast, slow, quiet, loud….? Become a reporter for your own interests.
What are you curious about?
In addition to becoming a reporter about your own interests, there may be a variety of interests or things you have never thought of or explored. What have you often been curious about but not taken the time to explore? What have you seen in articles or on TV that has piqued your interest? As you begin to explore, things that have never occurred to you may pique your interests.
What can be truly amazing in your life that God puts in front of you?
The last thing to think about in terms of your interests is what God puts on your heart. As you begin to explore your own interests, ask Him to reveal to you what is truly amazing in your life and how you are made. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiates 3:11. By seeking Him out, you may discover truly amazing interests you didn’t even know you had. I have discovered writing:-)
I can’t wait to hear about all your interests and the path you are journeying. I have only a couple of slots open right now for introductory coaching, so contact me now and your introductory coaching session could even be on your own interests. I can’t wait to hear from you! Leave comments below or at my NancyBoothCoaching facebook page.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.