I am still growing, but I dread my constant assumptions. We all do it. We assume things without getting the facts. It would seem as if it’s imprinted somewhere on our DNA to have assumptions. We have assumptions about what we look like, what others have to say we look like, assumptions about our job, friends, family, and just about everything else. We seem to get deluged with this mindset and way of living that traps us into a small world. It is funny, but I recall the first time that someone challenged me about my assumptions. At that time, I was working as a science laboratory technician in Jamaica and I was asked to get something done. When I did not manage to get the results needed, I started sharing with my colleague, “I assumed that someone would have helped me out.” The person said to me in an abrupt manner, “Don’t ever assume!” I asked, “Why and what do you mean?” They replied, “when you assume; it makes an ASS out of U and ME. After hearing that, I was dancing a different tune. I never wanted to say, “I assume” anything from that day onward. However, I do find it laughable whenever I hear someone say, “I assume….” Inside I chuckle because I remember my own revelation. The irony is this, even though I learned that “important lesson” back then, I never understood how assumptions could control our potential. This is a very insightful moment in my life and I want you to get the best of it. I recognized the source of my assumption – it is me. I have created this problem that continues to affect the way I grow. Some of it was learned, but most of my assumptions come about because I am not willing to increase my awareness.
Yes, it is all about increasing one’s awareness. This is what I have come to know, we carry assumptions with us and then they become a burden. We complain about why things can’t work and how difficult getting to the results will be. However, we never stop to ask, “Are these the facts or are they just assumptions.” We must deal with our assumptions or else they will dehumanize our greatest potential and crush our dreams. I have had many assumptions in my life about what I can do and what is possible. However, I have chosen today to relinquish those assumptions and start dreaming big things. You and I can take the next steps in our journey to stop assuming and start challenging our assumptions. The famous quote made by the American Navy Commodore, Oliver Hazard Perry on September 10, 1813, after he and his men defeated the British naval squadron on Lake Erie during the War of 1812 says it all:
“We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
We can certainly say we have met the enemy of our ability to get to the next level – it is our assumptions. They just seem to weigh us down! We have to get from behind the assumption walls that prevents us from achieving. As you and I work on this together, we can apply the following key principles to our day:
Identify the facts and the problems in your life. John C. Maxwell relates that we need to decipher between a fact and a problem. Facts of life cannot be changed, but if you can’t change the fact of your life, change your attitude. Every problem you have is an opportunity to find a solution.
Always point to success. Do not allow your limited thoughts and experiences to tell you that this is where your limits are. In the times of doubt, tell yourself, “I have met the enemy and it is me. I will not allow my assumptions to control who I become!”
Identify the areas in your life that you have held some specific ideas about. Begin the process of challenging your assumptions.
Write down the assumptions that you have had in your life so far and start doing things to challenge them. It can simply be asking a question or taking on a new role/project on your job. Challenge your assumptions.
Set limitations on your assumptions. This one definitely deserves a limit. As you become aware of the situations in life that caused you to make assumptions you will begin to see more progress.
Go out today with a mindset and the willpower to challenge your assumptions. Challenge whether they are facts so you can change your attitude and/or problems that you can develop solutions.
In our development, as we grow throughout our lives, the structure of our beliefs becomes very complicated because we make the assumption that what we believe is the absolute truth. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
#Keep Doing Your Best Work!