You know what they say about making assumptions.
“When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.”
How often do we get into trouble when we make assumptions about ourselves, about others, or about situations? We’ve started a blog series about the obstacles that hold us back on our journey to change. Last week, I wrote about patterns of self-sabotage – according to Shirzad Chamine, the author of Positive Intelligence, our overarching “saboteur” is the judge.
We give in to the “judge” when we make assumptions.
Assumptions stand in the way of truth
We assume more often than we know. In relationships… “I didn’t tell you because I thought you’d be mad.” We assume our partner’s reaction (and we fear it). We assume to know how we’ll handle a particular experience… “I could never do that.” “I’m too afraid to go skydiving.”
Take a look at the dictionary definition of an “assumption”: a thing that is accepted as truth or as certain to happen, without proof.
Our assumptions are often borne out of our fears and insecurities. We reinforce the same lies over and over again, and these lies sabotage our progress.
Assumptions get in the way of truth. How, then, do we stop making assumptions and embrace truth instead?
How to stop making assumptions
We need to be more aware of our inner blocks. Challenge yourself to acknowledge every assumption that you make as you go about your day – about yourself and others.
As the definition suggests, “assumptions” are those beliefs we’ve accepted as truth without proof – rather, these thoughts are based on our own opinions or observations.
Question your assumptions. Ask yourself, “What evidence do I have to support this?”
Why have you made this particular assumption? For example… “My boss hates me.” We’re very good at coming up with “evidence” to support our own narrative. Maybe your boss never responds to your emails. Maybe you were overlooked for a promotion. Does this truly support your claim? My boss hates me… has he said so? If not, your reasoning is merely conjecture – based on your own opinions or observations. Assumption.
There could be any number of reasons for your boss’ behavior. Maybe he’s busy or unorganized. Maybe you didn’t receive the promotion because there’s another position lined up for you.
When we force ourselves to examine the “evidence,” we begin to see the cracks in our own reasoning. Pull yourself back from the edge by questioning your assumptions, seeking evidence (or recognizing the lack thereof), and thinking rationally.
The assumptions we make can be a major obstacle on our path to change.
Assumptions are dangerous because they are not evidence-based and often blind us to the truth. We then indulge our self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors and fail to move forward.
We need to stop giving in to our fears and insecurities and expose the lies that we tell ourselves.
Want to stop making assumptions and embrace truth? As a Certified Life Coach, I’m here to help you (1) identify your biggest obstacles, and (2) take action to overcome them. Learn more about CHOICE coaching and schedule your complimentary session today.
Photo by Tachina Lee | Unsplash