The Assumptions We Make
Maybe it is a bold statement, but many of the decision you make that dictate your actions are probably assumptions. And, if there is one thing we know about assumptions, they are usually wrong. Humans, by their nature, cannot tell the future and cannot read minds. Yet, we assume we know what will happen and we assume we know why someone acted the way he/she did. Why do we do this? Once you accept the fact that most of your decisions are based on assumptions, you can begin to stop. Awareness is the key.
Some assumptions may have positive influences on your life. Most will be negative. When we are trying to improve our life through the aggregation of marginal gains (1% better every day), assumptions may really hold us back. How many times have you made an assumption about taking an action that lead you to not act at all? Have you ever said, “well, of course it was easy for them, they are so successful?” Or, maybe you have said something like, “I could be successful too if I had that much money.” These are limiting statements likely based on surface images with no facts out the background.
Sometimes, this is known as the Instagram Effect. When you look at social media, all you see is everyone’s success. You never see the hours of work, the failures, or the pain someone went through. In business, this is known as telling someone’s story. You reduce your produce price because you assume no one will pay for it.
To stop making assumptions try this:
- Stick to the facts. Do you know that you will never make $1 million dollars selling that widget? Do you have market research and experience to back up your opinion?
- Pay attention to yourself. When people ask how you are doing, do you always say things like, “Super busy?” Does your language lead people to make assumptions about you? If so, you know other people are using the same language.
- Talk to your circle of influence. Take time to run ideas and thoughts by the people you trust the most. Sometimes, simply hearing yourself voicing your assumption will bring awareness to it. Other times, a neutral 3rd part prospective will point out the assumption you are making.
We want to minimize these assumptions as much as possible. Everyone has heard, “You know what happens when you assume . . . .? Chances are, you are just wrong.