Instant Reframe With the Lens of Curiosity – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 50

She Leads She Thrives_ep50_Podcast Cover_lens of curiosity | Shannon Dunn | Perth business coach | women's business coach | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Archetypes for business | Become a Thrive Factor Coach
She Leads She Thrives_ep50_Podcast Cover_lens of curiosity | Shannon Dunn | Perth business coach | women's business coach | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Archetypes for business | Become a Thrive Factor Coach

We did it!


Here we are at episode 50. Huge thanks to every She Leads She Thrives listener for your ongoing support as we reach our 11th month and a milestone episode.


To celebrate this achievement I am sharing one of my favourite ways to reframe, reset, reenergise, and move forward. It’s amazing for mindset, beliefs, inaction, clarity, and momentum and I use the Lens of Curiosity every day in multiple ways.


Today’s episode is also about sharing some of the realities of 2023. I’ve shared something significant I’ve been going through the last few months and how I have navigated it all as best as I was able to. The Lens of Curiosity played a significant part in every aspect of this experience.

Key topics shared in Episode 50


0203: Celebrating episode 50! Thank you
0718: Let us not sugarcoat anything
1417: A year of optimism and travel.
1756: Gratitude
24:32 The Lens of Curiosity
32:31 The questions

Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.

From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 

I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

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Shannon Dunn  01:05

When you have an idea, a dream, a vision, you lean into this and allow it to take form. And when you act on it and bring it to life, this is opening you up to experiencing ideas, dreams and visions in reality. And when the reality reaches a milestone, it’s your invitation to celebrate. And that’s exactly where we are. 


Shannon Dunn  01:38

Welcome to She Leads She Thrives Podcast. I’m Shannon Dunn, your host here at the podcast and a long term businesses of leadership coach, founder of the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s 12 individual self leadership Archetypes and supporting coaching methodology plus the self leadership coaching certification using the Thrive Factor Framework, which supports you and your female clients to activate thriving by tapping into your, and their, unique personal psychology.


Shannon Dunn  02:03

I am so pleased you’re here listening today. This week is a week that starts an upcoming period of podcast celebration. We are actually at episode 50 today, which is – I feel – another milestone worth acknowledging. And really I couldn’t be happier that we have collectively achieved so much with She Leads She Thrives in the past 11 months, like we’re literally just gone past our 11 month mark. And I do say collectively, because this podcast that I share with you, the conversations with our guests, the solo episodes is a combined effort of many. It comes to life because of certainly the vision, the conversations, my podcast manager who takes care of all the editing and formatting, our amazing guests, and you our listeners, like all of you who download episodes, each time a new one goes live, who listened when you can, who are located in I think we’re up to about 34-35 different countries across the world. It just blows my mind in the best possible way. So thank you, everyone, you make the choice to host now my third podcast, so worthwhile. 


Shannon Dunn  03:11

Now there were so many topics I considered for episode 50. Like I often will share, and it’s the truth, otherwise, why share it, I’ve got so many things that I could share some things I wanted to bring to life in this podcast that I do sometimes have moments where I am just – not in overwhelm – but I’m just like, where do we go, because there’s so many choices, it’s a good place to be. I definitely felt some degree of pressure for what we share today to be poignant, to be kind of Uber wise, to be profound, all that kind of thing. And then I decided to also let go of that pressure and to just get to the space of sharing something raw and real with you. 


Shannon Dunn  03:58

And I often tell you, I’ve been in business for a long time. You know, I have always been proud of my accomplishments over many years, been grateful for the clients that I’ve had the opportunity to work with, to teach or to coach. Like they have just made such a difference to my business experience, my business journey. But here’s kind of getting to the heart of reality that I want to share with you today. I don’t think anybody listening in, even if you’re not even yet in a business, you still get this I’m sure because you probably know people that are in business. But if you’re a business owner at any level, you know that business is darn hard. 


Shannon Dunn  04:33

And like I’m all for being optimistic, for being positive, like if you haven’t yet tapped into the episodes where I’ve talked about the Archetypes and you’ve missed the one I specifically focused on recently with the Inspirer Believer Archetype. And go back and listen, and you’ll get a sense of just how optimistic the Inspirer Believer can be. It’s one of my four Archetypes. The qualities and the traits of that Archetype are innately within me, and I can’t deny them. So I am an optimist, for sure. 


Shannon Dunn  04:34

Like there’s so much in the online service provider space that touts how easy it is, how easy it can be. And yeah, I truly believe things can be easier than a lot of us believe that they can be and that a lot of us create. We add to making things hard, over complicating things, there’s mindset influences, beliefs at play, not knowing how, when the how is actually needed, over committing, trying to do too many things all at once or making things in business harder, so much harder. 


Shannon Dunn  05:38

But just understand when you if you go back and listen to that episode, how much that Archetype if you have that in your profile, and trust me when I say because I’ve seen it so many times over so many years now, a majority of women that I know and connect with in business do have this Archetype. The Inspirer Believer wants things to turn out the best for everyone, like literally everyone that she ever comes into contact with. She looks at the world, often through rose colored glasses. And I tend to refer to myself yes, as an optimist, but as an optimistic realist, and very happy to have the realist as a natural personality trait because it literally keeps things real. It keeps me grounded in reality, when my optimistic dreamer gets all excited about all the things, it provides a fabulous balance between those rose colored glasses views of things and striving forward upwards onwards with belief, optimism, momentum, and keeping myself planted in the here and now in as healthy a way as possible. 


Shannon Dunn  06:42

I do find though, if you agree with me, I’d love you to reach out and connect on social media and let’s chat about it. But I personally find that in the online service providers space, there is frequently a focus on keeping vibrations high, being optimistic all the time, stretching yourself, but always being in forward momentum. And if you dare to not be in that space, there is often might not be obvious, but subtle, kind of hidden judgments are cast towards you. And I can see how people can make meaning of things that don’t really deserve to be made meaning of.


Shannon Dunn  07:18

 So like, at this point, let us not sugarcoat anything, though, let’s be truthful and honest with ourselves and each other. Let us save ourselves and each other from the myths of overnight success. Like really who is ever achieved overnight success when you actually find out the truth about someone’s story and background prior to their success that they may be sharing, or where they’ve been putting the spotlight and somebody’s highlighting or their success in some way. 


Shannon Dunn  07:47

And also, let’s save ourselves and each other from the false promises of things like just lean back and allow and successful overflow to you. Things like the belief that it’s always your mindset as the sole reason why you’re not where you want to be. You know what – it’s not always your mindset, that will have an influence. But that is not the thing to blame every time. 


Shannon Dunn  07:47

Let’s also save ourselves and each other from the messaging that says it’s not okay to share the cold, hard truth about your current realities. You know, the confusion that is also important to be real and vulnerable with your audience. I find those two particularly interesting to observe because we’re told you know, just keep it real, keep it positive, but keep it real, but keep it positive, you know, it goes over and over again. And yet, you’re also often told in messaging, in your marketing, make sure you are being vulnerable with your audience, letting them in on what’s going on for you. Like there’s so much mixed messaging around that. So I’m not surprised it’s confusion. 


Shannon Dunn  08:44

Yeah. And I think also something to be mindful of is, they’re thinking everyone else has some secret that you don’t, because they don’t, that’s the reality. We also want to be mindful of not getting caught up buying into someone telling you that it’s because you’re not fully committed, that you’re not making a certain amount of money or working with a particular client or achieving a certain something in your business and also your life. Those are the kinds of things that are very common in the online service provider space in terms of messaging. They certainly come from coaches, from mentors, from other kinds of individuals that are supporting business owners. Not everybody. It’s not a, everyone has the same messaging, but it’s very dominant, certainly, from what I see. And I’ve had many conversations with clients over such a long time about the way they feel when they engage with this kind of thing. 


Shannon Dunn  09:37

And I’m never surprised so many business owners can feel a sense of failure, like it does not shock me at all. You they can be stuck wondering why they’re not yet at some possibly unattainable level. Well kind of not completely unattainable to everyone but maybe only attainable to a few a small percentage, and not necessarily for any particular reason. The people that are achieving,and that are sharing with you that are achieving at levels that seem wildly outrageous and unattainable to you, they don’t necessarily have something that you don’t. They aren’t necessarily gifted with some magical mystery ingredient or secret that you don’t have access to. And they are not necessarily be more committed than you are more intelligent, more wise, more experienced, more resourced.  Not at all,. It’s such an interesting thing to kind of work all this out. 


Shannon Dunn  10:31

Often, I know, I feel a range of emotions as I engage with the kind of content frequently shared in this online space. By, I like to believe,  well meaning individuals and businesses who do believe some of the very same things that can completely unravel so many. We see many examples of these people that will tell you about their fast track to creating a certain amount of money in their business, that just makes no sense to somebody else. It’s such an interesting thing.


Shannon Dunn  10:58

You know, it’s a curious thing to me, like, I’m very curious. So I’m going to talk a lot about curiosity today. The why and how one person becomes significantly more successful. By I guess, the standard societal definition, often we draw our definition of success or a measure of success is monetary, other things as well. But you know, why someone, one person or a few people become somehow significantly more successful than another or the next person or group of people. 


Shannon Dunn  11:30

From the outside looking in, you could say that they seem to be as talented, as knowledgeable, as wise as confident as resourced. And yet one soars and the other struggles. Like, I don’t know if this is something that you’ve reflected on, if you found yourself in the place of the struggle, and wondering why and how you got there. Or if you’re the individual who’s had moments, many moments I hope where you’ve soared and achieved so much, and also question that.  I think it’s an interesting thing about being human that we are innately wired to question things. What can go along with that is not necessarily a good outcome. 


Shannon Dunn  12:09

But I believe it can be at this point of reflection that we can open up the big, often deep and wide well of why.  It’s when we ask so many questions, we make judgments, we compare. And I know I’ve talked about this on in the past on our podcast, I’m not going to go into the comparison and judgment in big way any further, I’ll reference it as we go through. But instead, I want to share something that I love working with that offers me one of the most useful reality checks that I’ve ever come across. And each client that I’ve shared this with, it’s something I call the “lens of curiosity”. Those clients have adored it, too. And it gets results because of, I believe, its simplicity, its compassion. And because it is so easy to work with and can be applied to anything. 


Shannon Dunn  13:04

It does relate to mindset. It’s a like a reality checking for your beliefs. It’s around refocusing. And it’s also about eliciting action, which I feel is super important and often missed. You know, there’s great merit and reflection in mindset work and journaling and trying to work out the why, the how by looking back. But, you know, what are we doing with all we discover. If you’re just understanding – that has value. Yeah, it has value. But the value can amplify, it increases, it expands and the results can change positively, when you also take all of the discoveries and turn them into action. Your action is what leads to results just consistently.


Shannon Dunn  13:46

But before I share this kind of favourite, reset, reframe, reassess, re-energize process, I’d like to share a little about my real business reality this year, because it’s something that I’ve shared a little bit in social media, but I haven’t gone into in great detail because it hasn’t been the right time, if you like or it hasn’t felt appropriate, but got a bit of a story to share with you. So bear with me. And we will get to talking about the lens of curiosity and how that supported me through everything I’ve experienced this year. 


Shannon Dunn  14:17

So 2023 started out for me as a year of great optimism. And this was particularly fueled by all the travel that I finally had planned after years of not being able to move very far in the world. So started the year out with at least five trips in the diary and most of them were booked, they’re all confirmed. I knew who I was traveling with if I wasn’t traveling solo, like there was just so much was in place and locked in if you like. I’m such a lover of travel and always benefits so much from being in new or different places. 


Shannon Dunn  14:50

Kind of a little side note here randomly, maybe not random at all. But years ago at a retreat in Italy I had my astrology chart created and loved listening to the super generous soul who talked me through my chart. And he shared that I had a particular pattern or – I can’t remember the right language -if you’re an astrologer let me know. Anyway, I had a particular pattern in my chart that supported great activity in terms of creativity away from home. And he said something to me, like, the important things that you create will be created in different places to where you call home.


Shannon Dunn  15:28

 And, you know, I got it at the time, I’d already written one book, mostly while I was traveling, I was adding to the Thrive Factor book manuscript at that time, I was in Italy and had another trip away planned later that same year to finish the book,  finish the manuscript. And I often get significant insights. And what has ended up being often very financially successful ideas when I’m traveling. Yeah, maybe it’s a change of pace, change of location, the different daily schedule, the fresh environment, or the inspiration it has to offer. Or perhaps that was, you know, something I was destined for, but it was in my astrology chart. 


Shannon Dunn  16:05

Anyway, the travel for 2023 for me was super exciting. But this year has not turned out as planned, as dreamed, as hoped things haven’t flowed. Even back to program launches earlier in the year haven’t been what I’m used to experiencing. Clarity has been elusive more than it’s been since I would say since I started my business probably since before then. Clients have been different, like there’s been shifts and changes in that space as well. And I haven’t seen the kinds of ideal people reaching out like I’ve had consistently for years and years. Yeah, and then I even slipped on a stair randomly the night before my first business retreat in three and a half years in Bali back in May. The innocent and unexpected slipped lead to a significant knee injury. And instead of being back in Bali, say at the end of July for an art and yoga retreat that I’d booked in 2019, thinking I was going in 2020. I spent the latter part of the end of July having knee surgery and getting my kind of head around months of rehab, cancelled plans, change to work environments, change to income, with added medical bills. Yeah, it hasn’t been fun. But you know, we got there. 


Shannon Dunn  17:20

I have had my fair share of being frustrated and occasional huge cry to release the emotional build up. And yeah, I’ll be honest with you probably a little pity party or two, probably more than that, feeling crappy about things and all of that added pressure and stress physically, emotionally, financially, like it’s been a lot. And I’ve also had grief about this year. I thought this would be and you know, the kind of year that it’s turned out to be have not been one in the same. But you know, on the flip of that thank you Inspirer Believer because she’s the one that’s bought this optimistic view of things. I have also felt grateful. 


Shannon Dunn  17:56

Grateful to have access to exceptional medical care in Australia where I live, grateful for family and friends who’ve been incredibly supportive. Grateful for time staying with my mum post-operatively because I’ve stairs at home and live alone or with Archie cat. And I was in a leg brace and on crutches, so coming home was not an option initially. Grateful for being self employed and being able to create a work schedule filled with flexibility to allow me to get to medical appointments, take time off for my surgery and recovery. Grateful for the marketing consulting role, a valued contact reached out and asked if I was interested in you, it’s been a fabulous way to keep money flowing in whilst I needed some brain space from things like launching something new or welcoming new clients in the last few months. And if you are someone who is like trying to be full time in your business, and the money’s not flowing, I’m a big fan of doing side gigs if you like. Not a side hustle, I’m not a big fan of the word hustle. You may have heard me share that before. But you there’s so many ways that you can monetize your expertise and your wisdom and be open to all the ways that things could come to you. 


Shannon Dunn  19:08

I’m also grateful to be who I am and to know myself like I do and to have, you know the incredible self awareness, self understanding and self compassion tools like the Thrive Factor Framework and my Archetypes to lean into. And I’ve also been grateful for the innate part of my personality that I’m going to share more with you in a moment.


Shannon Dunn  19:29

It’s been a big period of reflection. I shared an episode with you, a solo one a little while back around, redefining, that shared a bit a bit about how things have been different and not how I expected. This is a kind of almost like the behind the scenes about what happened. But over some time, I’ve more deeply connected with this particular part of myself that’s been so strong all my life, and it is my innate sense of curiosity. I talk about this a lot with my clients like the actual sense of curiosity or having the gift of curiosity. I talk about it with my clients, my one on one my programs, masterminds. It’s even showing up in my books in retreat conversations, and in podcast episodes in the past. 


Shannon Dunn  20:12

And when I talk about the gift of curiosity, I describe it as a place to connect with deeply held personal wisdom. And I actually refer to this whole process of connecting with curiosity as the lens of curiosity. With my year shifting and evolving as it has, there’s been so many questions to reflect on. And I’ve personally shared on many occasions, my own experience, I said, being in the depths of reflection and contemplation myself this year, I’ve also, I’m not surprised about this, I’ve had so many guests on the podcast, talk about their own kind of leaning back or changing or shifts or unexpected experiences this year, particularly. And this experience had a way back, I said before my knee injury back in May, it just kind of amplified with that experience. And all that’s happened since. 


Shannon Dunn  21:04

And I found this space of reflection and contemplation, and redefining to be an interesting space to be in, when my usual tends to be a space of clarity and knowing and like, we’re just going forward with this. So having an understanding of the lens of curiosity definitely has changed my relationship with the known. If you perhaps listen to last week’s episode, where I shared the business insights for the Visionary Creator Archetype, you may remember me saying, this is also another of my four Thrive Factor Archetypes, like the Inspirer Believer. 


Shannon Dunn  21:35

And I talked about the Visionary Creators gift of innate knowing and sensing. Having had this attribute my entire life, I really relied on this sense of knowing as confirmation of where I’m at, and even more so where I’m going or where I’m headed. I understand the mechanism of life and when I am distracting myself from this innate knowing, and I also know how to nurture it so that the the clarity is unquestionable. And yet, with the events of this year, I’ve prioritized a space I know is important to nurture the Visionary Creator, as she loves to be nurtured, like it just hasn’t happened, like I hoped it would, or planned it would, I’m usually so in a space of having an abundant amount of time and energy to nurture the Visionary Creator, she hasn’t got a lot of love this year, not really. 


Shannon Dunn  22:25

Now in the past that would have increased my frustration. And yet, there’s been a sense of peace. It’s been such an interesting place to find yourself out. And, as I mentioned, with the support of the lens of curiosity, my relationship with unknown, something that I’ve always leaned into and relied on has shifted. And it’s shifted for the better. I didn’t see this coming if you like, it’s more trusting, more accepting more peaceful, more patient. 


Shannon Dunn  22:57

Yeah, there have been times the last few months where I’ve questioned more than I have in a long time. As I’ve said, I’ve cried, I felt confused or unsure, felt unsafe. But perhaps I have lent into surrendering to what is and being mindful of what I can and cannot control or influence. The significant physical change in my life with my knee injury, surgery and months of recovery has led to changes for me emotionally and in my mindset. But yet, as I said, there’s been this sense of, it’s all going to be okay. And knowing that there is something else at play here and a trust that like kind of learning to be okay with what is, yeah, it’s going to serve me and those around me better as I navigate the unknown for sure. 


Shannon Dunn  23:44

Now, again, curiously, to be on this topic of curiosity, I’m going to talk to you more about in a moment, one of the shadow aspects of this Visionary Creator Archetype that I have is an often challenging relationship with patience. You know, I describe it as a gap between being able to see and sense of what’s possible to know what’s possible into the future, and yet not having any indication of a timeline. And the reality for myself and Visionary Creators I’ve coached is we can feel intensely impatient. It’s the how I describe it to people that say, well, I can see and sense and know something is possible. So why can’t it become reality now? And because of the futuristic nature of the Visionary Creator, that’s where the reality now kind of gets a bit confused. So anyway, little side note to mention there. 


Shannon Dunn  24:32

But let me share more with you now about the lens of curiosity and how I use it to support me these past few months particularly, and the challenges that they’ve offered up. Now, I absolutely love the lens of curiosity so much that it’s become a significant part of my, I would say, self care practice. And I use it multiple times a day, really, intentionally but also unconsciously now. And I’d say over the past five or so years, really since I began leaning into and really exploring the lens of curiosity more, I have loved introducing clients of this lens, to their lens, you know, their lens of curiosity, and the coach and how to use it for all kinds of experiences and situations.


Shannon Dunn  25:17

 A huge bonus I see is that when we layer in the brilliance of your Thrive Factor Archetypes, the depths of wisdom, clarity, acceptance and celebration available to you, by engaging with your lens of curiosity just expands so much, it’s just such a fabulous and fascinating thing to support someone to really engage with all of that. To give you a sense of what the lens of curiosity is, I thought the best way to do that would be to give you an opportunity to work with it. 


Shannon Dunn  25:52

So I’d like you at this moment in time to think about a recent situation you’ve experienced, something that was challenging for you, though, something may be unexpected. I want you to reflect on how you responded to what was going on for you. Like how did you immediately feel? What were you thinking? How did you react or act? And then I’d like you to consider if this kind of response is something that would be usual for you, when you’re faced with something that’s challenging, not what you expected, not what you wanted? Or maybe in this particular situation, your reaction or your response was different in some way. 


Shannon Dunn  26:37

Also, think about what your usual default way to respond to things that aren’t as you hoped. Yeah. What is that like. Things that aren’t taking or are taking longer, feel heavier, feel harder, you know, what’s your default way to respond to those kinds of things showing up and being experienced in your life? Whatever it is that you have thought about, having awareness of your usual response patterns is a good place to start when you are beginning to engage with the lens, your lens of curiosity.


Shannon Dunn  27:11

When you welcome the lens of curiosity, you’re in for things being different, no matter your usual responses, or your lifelong patterns of reacting to things that occur and elicit a range of emotions and responses. It was an expansive shift for me when I consciously decided to approach my experiences of life and business from this lens. And it has been the same for my clients over and over again. 


Shannon Dunn  27:38

Now psychologically we are influenced by many factors from our past experiences. And I’m not going to go into them more today, that’s a whole another episode on its own. But you’ll understand this when I say that we can find ourselves responding to the uncomfortable, the challenging, the unwanted, the painful, the hard, the disappointing, all of those kinds of things, from a place of judgment, or criticism, or comparison, combination of one or all of those, from a place that is also frequently fraught with overwhelm, unwanted emotion, or uncomfortable emotion, uncertainty, and many more things. It’s a very personal experience for each of us.


Shannon Dunn  28:24

 And business and life these days can be challenging enough without added contractive default responses like judgment, criticism and comparison. This being your regular or usual response is not wrong. It’s who you are. But it can be super heavy, exhausting, difficult to navigate, particularly when it happens over and over. Now, some of us are wired to go to the places of judgment and/or criticism and/or comparison. It I see it in certain Archetypes all the time. 


Shannon Dunn  28:55

Now all Thrive Factor Archetypes have experiences where they may respond in what I would refer to as contracting ways. But these responses are usually linked to the Archetypal potential challenges or shadow for each of the Archetypes that you may have. Saying that, it’s more amplified and more prominent in Archetypes such as the Mediator Diplomat, the Advocate Rescuers, the Mother Nurturers and Pioneer Seekers and this is coming from my 14 or so years of observation of the Archetypes through my coaching, my teaching, and my work with clients from many varied backgrounds, ages, you know, lived experience, learned experiences, those Archetypes are more likely to respond in a contracting way. 


Shannon Dunn  29:43

But know this, it’s not about trying to remove or you know, just get rid of your archetypal traits. The lens of curiosity offers you an opportunity to change your relationship with those traits innate within you. So think back now to the experience that you reflected on earlier when I invited you could to consider something that you’ve been going through, perhaps recently that wasn’t that fabulous. 


Shannon Dunn  30:09

So if it’s safe for you to do so. So as long as you’re not driving or doing something else, close your eyes, and invite your mind and your heart to take you right back to that experience, that situation. Feel into your emotions, you know, what were you feeling at the time? Allow yourself to hear what you were saying, the self talk at the time, what were you believing? What were you thinking? Now that that time has passed, you’re not back in that, you’re just experiencing what it was like to be there. So that you can apply the lens of curiosity to it and see how you can give it a shift and a change.


Shannon Dunn  30:53

 If you feel comfortable to breathe into it, like let whatever feels right or feels ready or appropriate to rise up, let it rise up. You are okay, you’re safe. This time has passed. We’re just revisiting it to learn a fresh way to respond when situations like this, that led to the responses you experienced, arise. I invite you to consider the entire situation from a place of curiosity. If you want to open your eyes at this point in time you can if you want to take notes  -go for it –  I’m a big note taker. 


Shannon Dunn  31:29

But in finding yourself to consider the entire situation that you experienced from the place of curiosity is a kind of gift that you can give yourself over and over again. Instead of judging what happened and maybe making meaning of it, you could ask yourself a series of questions. Questions that will invite you to reflect, to explore, to consider to see other options and opportunities and to remember that you have a choice in every moment. 


Shannon Dunn  32:06

So the following questions are ones that I love to ask myself, it’s not that I asked myself all of them, but I tend to lean into at least a couple of them when I am actively and intentionally engaging with the lens of curiosity. So these are the kinds of questions that I would consider asking when you are really working the lens of curiosity to move forward from something. 


Shannon Dunn  32:31

  • Questions like, I wonder why I felt like I did?
  • I wonder why I responded like I did? 
  • What does this experience or this situation reminded me of? 
  • How have I always or regularly responded to things that have led to these kinds of beliefs or thoughts or feelings, reactions, actions? 
  • How instead what I like to respond? 
  • And what if I could respond differently? 


Shannon Dunn  33:09

These questions, the kind born from the lens of curiosity, are so amazing to work with, like, keep them to hand. And if you choose to try using or working with the lens of curiosity in your life and your business, then you’ll be able to get these questions in the transcript for this episode. But even easier, you can access them in the new free resource that I’ve just created for you “The Lens of Curiosity”, so you’ll be able to get it via the link in the show notes. It’s a simple PDF download with the basics of the lens of curiosity. And these questions I’ve shared plus a couple of bonus ones for you to to lean into, to try, to have some play and fun with. 


Shannon Dunn  33:49

The lens of curiosity is so simple to use. And I know that people have said to me, it feels too easy. Yeah, but it is easy to engage with. But not always easy to remember to use it when you have had a lifetime of responding in a particular kind of way to things that occur for you. It is a practice. It can take time to become your new way to engage with what you’re experiencing, what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, what you’re doing or not doing. 


Shannon Dunn  34:20

But when something arises for you, in place of how you would have previously responded, what if instead, you got curious about something you experienced, or the way you’re feeling? As I’ve affirmed it’s a regular human response to frequently for so many of us to go to judgment or criticism or comparison and other things. I’ve seen it in my coaching since day one. Like I saw it in my work counseling and as an art therapist definitely seen it in coaching a lot. This kind of response impacts our mindset and flows through to behavior that can lead to all kinds of unwanted and often unnecessary impact. 


Shannon Dunn  35:03

I’ve also in past episodes, and more than once, and in my public content and program shared my thoughts and beliefs on choice. Choice is a key feature of my personal definition of self leadership. I see and know self leadership to be the lived experience of the combination of the choices that we each make, and the actions we take in response to those choices. And I also believe that in every moment, we each have a choice about how we respond to something, we may not have a choice about the situation we find ourselves in, like I didn’t, for example, have a choice about a freak accident that badly injured my knee the night before hosting my first international business retreat in three and a half years, but I did in every moment have a choice thereafter, how I responded to the reality I was experiencing. 


Shannon Dunn  35:55

And thanks to the lens of curiosity, I reminded myself that I could get angry, I could ignore the self care I needed to lead my retreat with integrity and leadership, and hold space for the incredible women that had joined me. I could have allowed frustration to take over, like frustration is a shadow part of the Liberator Engineer Archetype that I have. Could have got caught in a loop of trying to make sense of it constantly questioning and trying to work out why it happened – that wasn’t going to serve anyone. 


Shannon Dunn  36:26

Side note to this, though, I did find it interesting how many people who found out about my experience and at the time, and even since then have gone on to a place of offering their insights and shared a variety or variation of you obviously needed to slow down, you know, I got that immediately when I hurt myself. And also, I took it on board. And I made it very clear to the Universe or whatever or whoever it is that delivered my accident and the resulting injury, that I had already made space this year, I had slowed down and was responding and reacting, proactively engaging with life and business differently this year, despite the enthusiasm and excitement I had about travel and everything else that was kind of coming back to life. And then I made it super clear, right there when I was back in Bali and since then many times over, that this kind of reminder or message was not necessary. And I sent some kind of message to, you know, whatever is listening, that I reject this level of reminder or messaging moving forward, kind of let’s see how that plays out. Like I didn’t need to have an injury like this. Or maybe I did, I don’t know, we didn’t really know what’s at play.


Shannon Dunn  37:41

But I could have responded in so many different ways to what my experience was. And I could have let all the feelings and the pain and reduced mobility take charge. But I didn’t. I took a reality check – 100% supported by my adoption of the lens of curiosity – and with that, I was able to remain as calm as possible. I was able to control the pain that I was in – it actually wasn’t a great amount of pain. I was able to allow myself to receive support and help from others, which is not always easy for an independent soul like me. 


Shannon Dunn  38:17

 I was able to make a minor adjustment to the retreat schedule to remove hundreds of steps at a location that I’d no longer be able to access. I was able to trust the alternative would be just as magical and magnificent. And you know what, it was better. It was so much better than what I’d actually had planned. I just didn’t know about this new place we went to because I had such a beautiful experience with the one originally in the schedule. But I reached out to someone who was able to provide an alternate solution. And I trusted that she would take where we’re at as a group on board and come up with something and she did.  And I was able to rest in the downtime and our retreat schedule instead of being busy doing things just because I didn’t want to miss out, like I’m not a big FOMO person. You know, I love getting out into you know, the town in Ubud and exploring and if the any of the retreat participants want to do that or want my guidance as to where to go or places to share a meal, I love that you’re involved in that. 


Shannon Dunn  39:18

I was able to hold faith that I can easily navigate being on my own then for the six days after retreat, you know after retreat wrapped up and make the most of the opportunity to rest before traveling back to Australia. And I was able to know that whatever the outcome once I got home, when I could see a doctor and get a scan that I’d be okay. And yes, I was tested many times I’m not going to deny that. I experienced levels of anxiety that were unfamiliar to me. I’m not naturally a very anxious person and I’m grateful for that. 


Shannon Dunn  39:49

No, but I can attribute the what felt like 1000s of stairs all across Ubud in Bali where we were staying, that created a lot of anxiety. I had a lot of instability in my knee. And it did give way a few times. So I had a worry about falling downstairs, particularly after I’d injured myself on a stair, and sustaining a secondary injury. Yeah. And yes, I felt frustrated. But I also allowed trust, surrender, peace and calm to show up. In as you know, in every moment, as I said, we have a choice. 


Shannon Dunn  40:26

So I encourage you to try adopting the lens of curiosity, no matter your past responses, to practice using it, to download the free resource so you have the questions to hand, create your own questions to add to those, things that make sense to you. Enjoy the shifts that you’ll experience, get playful with it, like I think we can all do with more fun in business, and life. You know, welcome the benefits that you’ll find and experience and even allow our surprise to show up as you choose the lens of curiosity. 


Shannon Dunn  40:57

Thank you so much for tuning in today for listening to my story, for listening to me share the lens or introduce you to the lens of curiosity. As I’ve said many times now, it’s something I love, and I find so simple and so useful. And reach out and let me know how you go with the lens of curiosity, what shifts it brings, and how you are now responding to your formerly usual ways of responding to things. 


Shannon Dunn  41:21

Thanks as always, for being here. You know, whether it’s just for this episode, many or all 50. We wouldn’t still be here motivated to, you know, at Team Thrive Factor to keep showing up each week, if we didn’t know there were thousands of listeners, downloading episodes on the regular it’s such a great thing. And as I often say, remember, it is your birthright to thrive. I believe that for every one of us. To live to lead to experience thriving on your terms, by your definition. And with that, hopefully easily, effortlessly, joyfully.  I’m sending you an abundance of thriving wherever you are in the world. 


Shannon Dunn  41:59

And are we back in your ears next week with another phenomenal guest. I know that you’ll find our conversations so enriching, enticing and useful. She is someone I’ve known for a while and this conversation shifted things for me in ways I didn’t expect. I knew it was going to be good. I knew what we were going to talk about was going to be really important. But I didn’t really realize how much. So I’m so excited to introduce you to her. So wherever you are around the world have the most incredible week superstar.

Thank you

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.


Aside from this podcast, my favorite place to hang out online is definitely Instagram. So come and join me shannon_thethrivefactor and know my DMs are always open for genuine questions and connections.


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Meet host Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn, CEO here at Thrive Factor Co is your host of She Leads She Thrives podcast.
Having hosted two podcasts previously, Shannon loves an opportunity to share her musings, wisdom and lived and learned experiences about a whole range of topics to support the ambitious, ingenious souls of the world to thrive in business, leadership and life.
An OG of the coaching world, Shannon believes thriving is a birthright and with the creation of the Thrive Factor Framework® and it’s 12 distinctive and female centric Archetypes, she’s on a mission to ripple as much thriving as possible across the world.

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