Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to 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
We are often in our own head making up our own stories and assumptions about something.
And a lot of times our imagination leads us further away from the truth.
Instead of wasting time and energy making up stories.
Be bold. Say what’s on your mind. Speak up for yourself.
Get curious. Ask questions to understand. Listen without filter.
Sometimes the outcome may not work in your favor. But getting to the bottom of something that has been on your mind sets you free.
Because every ounce of energy you spend making assumptions can be used more resourcefully and productively towards something you want to create in your life.
Here are 3 reasons why you should not make assumptions.
1. We start to believe our stories and what we hear.
Remember the time when people assumed the world was flat?
And it wasn't until courageous explorers set out on countless expeditions to explore this world of ours and discovered it is actually round.
In the world of science and research, scientists are often trying to find substantial empirical evidence that serves to support or counter a theory.
Meanwhile, in life it seems many of us are often lazy. We turn a blind eye, extend our trust to reputable sources, to those who we respect, to those with authority without questioning the information they pass on to us.
That's not to say it's a bad thing. We all learn from each other.
And it's nice to have information readily available for us to access when we are in search for answers to help us determine for ourselves what is the right conclusion to make and action to take.
However, it is a problem if we blindly just accept and assume everything is as is.
If you have any inkling or doubt about anything, it's time to reflect what part of your world is flat?
Instead of believing what people say, be willing to question and explore for yourself on topics that matters to you first hand.
Come to your own conclusion by activating your spidey senses and killer research skills.
2. People can’t read our mind.
We often assume people can read our mind and know what we want because they know us so well.
But feel hurt when they don’t. And think how could they not know? They should know.
Or perhaps we are afraid to ask for what we want because we are afraid of what others might think of us.
When we do this we are the only ones to blame for the disappointment when we don’t get what we want.
Think about it.
How fair is it for others to expect you to know what they want?
Half the time I'll admit I don't even know what I want. So how can we possibly expect others to know what we want.
Kinda a conundrum isn't it?
Instead wouldn’t it be easier if you took responsibility and thought about what it is you want?
This way you can tell people what you want rather than assume they would just know.
And wouldn’t you prefer if people just told you what they wanted, rather than have you guess?
By doing this it lessens unnecessary drama and misunderstanding non?
3. We all see things differently.
Given we all have different life experiences and beliefs, our perception of the world is not going to be the same.
This should not be a surprise.
And as a result, how we define, see people and things in our day to day lives will differ.
For example, if I asked you what family means to you? You might refer to your nuclear family. For someone else, they might consider family as anyone who has their back.
As such, when you are unsure of something and need clarity – Ask to understand.
This will not only help with communication to avoid people getting the wrong idea. It will also alleviate the hurt feelings and emotional confusion that comes with misinterpretation.
After all as Ellen DeGeneres said "You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me because that's how it's spelled.”
Next time when you are unsure of what people mean, or how people are going to react, or what to make of something.
See if you can catch yourself making an assumption.
By being aware is a great first step to kick an old habit of making a presumption.
When you do stop to question. If required, ask questions
This not only shows you are taking the time and effort to understand, it also makes people feel like you care.
Likewise, practice speaking up and letting others know what you want in life.
Don’t worry so much about how people will judge you or how you are putting people on the spot.
We all have a right to say ‘yes’
to a request. And it is our responsibility to decide for ourselves.
In due course by practicing to live by this principle you will experience less stress and better relationships in your life.