“I assumed you wouldn’t want to go.”
“I assumed I wasn’t qualified so I didn’t bother applying.”
“I assumed she wasn’t interested so I didn’t ask.”
“I assumed I wasn’t going to get a raise so I didn’t ask for one.”
I think assumptions are made for many different reasons. I think they are a way to let ourselves off the hook. We don’t have to do something we don’t want to do. And when asked why we didn’t do something we know we should have, we just throw out the “I just assumed…” excuse. And that’s exactly what it is. Assumptions are excuses. We got lazy. We got scared. We didn’t care enough to ask or put in the time to make something happen. Because if we asked, it would destroy our illusion of the situation or that person. Assumptions keep us safe in our comfort zone. They allow us to see the world through our own lenses, not actually how the world is. Assumptions can often be confused with the truth if we believe them for too long. Then this creates a massive misunderstanding and ultimately unnecessary drama and worry.
It’s easy to hold preconceived notions of a person or situation. Being quick to judge can seem almost effortless. We can write people off with one conversation. And that goes with how we treat ourselves. Assuming that we aren’t smart enough, strong enough, fast enough, attractive enough, know enough, etc. can prevent us from taking steps towards our goals. But if we didn’t assume anything, asked questions, and got to really know a person, we might figure out that our assumptions were so very wrong. And if we allowed ourselves to try and give whatever it is our best effort, we may surprise ourselves and realize that we really can do whatever it is we thought we couldn’t.
What if we made the decision to not assume for a day? We asked questions, got the whole story, made an effort to understand from a perspective not of our own, and tried something instead of assuming we couldn’t. Sometimes hiding behind assumptions in order to shield us from the truth is a defense mechanism. But imagine the worry and uncertainty that will dissipate when assumptions aren’t made. Learning to stop running when we’re uncomfortable and realizing we can’t control everything is huge step in the right direction and ultimately towards becoming happier.
I hope you have a wonderful four day week!