What are you assuming about yourself?
Assumptions are knee-jerk, autopilot judgments we hold and follow, usually without questioning them. There are good assumptions and not so good.
We assume others will stop for red lights. You assume that each driver will stay in his/her lane. You assume when you buy food it’s healthy and fresh. You assume if someone attends management training you’ll see improvement of sorts, a better manager.
But, assumptions are often limiting and outright wrong. They can be costly to you personally and your professional life or business.
- Are biases that continually influence our behavior
- They can be a denial or a distraction mechanism inducing or supporting procrastination
- They can influence in either direction success or stagnation
- Blind us to change that may be necessary for growth or future success
- Limiting Assumptions Make us feel we are in control, managing our destiny
In reality assumptions cloud our judgment because we only think we’re in control and the assumptions act as limiting beliefs that hold us back.
Question the assumptions that are so common they are automatically accepted such as, the economy is holding me back, or you can’t make any money doing that, are the autopilot response for I can’t. They limit our actions and the possibilities we explore.
If you want more than the status quo it is absolutely necessary to challenge these assumptions and create a space that allows the freedom for new thinking, new approaches, and new ideas.
A specific example is the networking meeting
When I first started my coaching and consulting business, I asked some friends if a chamber of commerce membership would be worth my while.
I was told in knee jerk fashion that it would be a waste of time; they don’t do much at those meetings… mostly eat, talk and visit.
Well that was someone’s assumption not mine. So I joined and approached each gathering with an open mind, remaining flexible to adapt and take any action deemed necessary.
After a few meetings I received numerous contacts and I spoke with a business owner who shared with me his need with developing better team members and managers. After follow up meetings he and I worked together for 5 years!
I learned it wasn’t the chamber of commerce meeting that mattered. It was the assumptions you take (or not take) to the meeting that make the difference.
The details of that story I’ll save for another time but what is important to consider are the results I enjoyed without assuming either way. I stayed present and let the meeting unfold and I responded.
I made a focused, disciplined effort not to assume. I did not allow any assumptions to color my mindset or my efforts. I spent time exploring what outcomes I wanted to create and how I would focus my efforts at the meeting. I made a plan and took control of my thinking and my assumptions ahead of time.
Other faulty assumptions that we hear all the time
- Running is bad for your knees. Oh really? You know my knees and what they can and cannot take?
- Working out will make you fat because muscle turns to fat. Is that so? How does protein, amino acids and water turn into adipose (fat)?
- I was never a good reader. But reading is a skill that requires development. How much effort did you invest?
- He’s a celebrity so he’s better than me. Oh really? What happened to all men are created equal?
- I can’t write.
- I am not good with people.
- I’m Irish so I have a temper…..
This list is never ending. In fact, I hear more assumptions about how people are inhibited, what they can’t do than what they can do or what they are willing to try to do!
Take a step back and pause. What do you take for granted that you assume you already have the answer for?
Being open minded in real time can teach you more than any degree program.
Reorganize and reorient your assumptions in the direction of: growth, investment, advantage, improvement, strengths, opportunity and creativity.
Do not allow your assumptions to create a fixed view and hold you in a fixed future. Assume in the direction of limitless possibility and let that unfold!
The one assumption that I condone is. assume success!
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Tags: Assumptions, Limiting Assumptions, Question Assumptions, Wrong Assumptions