No matter how hard I try, I find myself making assumptions.
I believe we all do. It may occur when we are assuming how someone will react, or how a situation will play out. It will rain later. I bet I won’t get the job, I don’t think I will get this deal, I have upset this person…
There are so many assumptions we make, some big, some small. We can find ourselves making many assumptions across any given day.
Some assumptions, those driven by intuition, are useful to us. Think of our ancient ancestors. Imagine leading your small family across a clearing of long grass in the forest. Your intuition tells you that the long grass moving on the other side is not the wind, but a sabre-tooth tiger, so you stay hidden and safe in the tree line. That’s an assumption based on intuition and experience.
However, mostly our modern day assumptions are not based on intuition, but fear. We humans generally assume the worst, the news, media, our upbringing, society in general programs us to be fearful, to expect the worst of people or life. However, if you subscribe to this, and knowing as I do that our thoughts become our reality, then your fears, your assumptions may be proved right.
Imagine I was going into a sales meeting to sell a boat. If I approach the meeting assuming I won’t sell a boat, that the customer does not want to buy, then my tone of voice and body language will be subconsciously negative, as will the direction of the words I use. If I assume I will sell, then my outlook is positive, optimistic, upbeat and expectant. I am confident and that rubs off on the customer who needs to feel that confidence in order to part with a large sum of money. It’s all quite subtle, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world to the end result.
So our assumptions can govern the direction of our lives. In that case how do you control them? Can you control them? Yes with practice, absolutely you can—most of the time!
The first trick is to accept that our assumptions change how we feel, and therefore how we react and act in any situation.
Next we must notice them, and interrogate the reasons for the assumption. Look at them with cold common sense. Are they useful and come from intuition, or are they driven by fear, predjudice or programming and therefore, unhelpful to us?
If they are unhelpful as you look harder at the assumption, and maybe talk it through with someone not given to pre-judgement of the situation, you may begin to see other options, and accept other conclusions (instead of the assumed one). Your mind can stay open and allow better and more useful thoughts into your head.
Remember too, that living presently, that is, in the now diminishes your chance of making assumptions. You only respond to what “is.”
As you begin to practice that more and more, so you can open up your life to so many more possibilities…
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