I was excited about this big presentation, I wanted to make to impress a group of people who have asked me to speak. I had prepared a great PowerPoint but no matter how much I tried, I was unable to connect to the projector.
Time was getting wasted and the audience was getting restless. I had to make a choice at that instant to give a presentation without the PowerPoint, as I didn’t have any other option.
Once back I wondered why such a fiasco happened. There was just one reason. I had assumed. I had assumed that the presentation means PowerPoint. I had assumed that the projector will get connected and the slides will work. I had assumed and was not prepared for the contingency.
This is just a tiny example. There are many areas in our lives where we assume things and form judgments.
The assumption, by definition — is a thing that is accepted as truth without proof.
We pass judgments based on our assumptions. It’s not funny but you can just get onto social media and see how the world gets divided based on assumptions.
So why do we assume?
We assume because often we need to get things done in an uncertain environment. Our brain searches for familiar patterns to become more efficient so we tend to automatically assume. However, the assumption is actually a learned behaviour. It comes from our culture, our families, and what we are taught to believe as kids.
Did you know our habit of assuming damages our relationships?
If you are always assuming you know how others think and feel, you stop listening and communicating and leave them feeling trapped or misunderstood. And relationship difficulties, whether at work or home, can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
To top that, negative assumptions block possibilities. Because if our thoughts create our feelings, create our actions, with negative assumptions, you are triggering yourself into repeat cycles of feeling awful.
So how do you stop getting into this cycle
Just follow just 2 steps
1. Be Mindful. Be aware of the kind of assumptions you frequently made and what is that making you.
2. Ask Questions. Assumptions are made when you’re seeking answers. So when in any doubt, ask questions and clarify them
For example –
- What facts do I have to prove this thought is true?
- What is a more realistic way of seeing this?
- Is this really my own opinion, or did someone influence me?
- What would life be like if the opposite of this assumption were true?
Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.
Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble.
So be aware if you’re making assumptions as well, and how frequently you’re doing it