Assumption junction, what’s your function? Wasting your time — that’s what.

Growing up, whenever I’d turn my nose to something in haste, my dad would colorfully recite “Assuming makes an ass out of YOU and ME.”

How often do you compare someone or something against a past experience? How many times have you been proven wrong in what your original assumption was? Our judgments have a tendency to blind our openness to new experiences. Typically, a judgment occurs when we’re trying to protect a part of ourselves from the memory of something we didn’t enjoy. New people, places, experiences, emotions – they are ridiculed by our judgments and assumptions before we even get a chance to experience what they have to offer.

An assumption is an energy block because it ignites your inner-judgment. Assumptions are experience killers – you’re comparing a previous situation that might not have worked out well and assume that the same thing will happen again. It’s the perfect concoction of a “why bother?” mentality.

Assumptions lead to anxiety, insecurity, negative judgments and close-mindedness. Bleck! By comparing a new situation to something previous, you’re eliminating the opportunity for pleasure and appreciation. No two people or situations are similar 100% — so why allow an assumption to overshadow what could be? All assumptions are a reflection inward –you’re lacking the confidence in yourself to experience something new because you don’t want to get hurt.

Here’s a recent example in my life of overcoming an assumption.

I’m a sushi fanatic and have it a few times a month. I’ve also gotten food poisoning twice from it. Most people would assume that after ONE bought of food poisoning I’d never try it again. Not the case! Why? Because I know that I’d be assuming that I’d get sick again – and trust me, the idea crossed my mind to never have it again. Assumption would take something really yummy out of my life and in all honesty, it’s a risk-taking meal from the start, but the benefits outweigh the cost. Now, might I be more discerning where I go get sushi? Totally! But I’m not going to block it out based upon a couple of bad experiences.

So, what do you do when you have assumptions clouding your open-mind?

  1. Flag it [a common theme!] – The quicker you can label an assumption/judgment, the faster it’s diffused.
  2. Get to the root of it. You’re probably not over the previous painful experience you’re comparing it to. What needs to be released from the past in order for you to embrace the current and future? [Hmmm..this is a GREAT reason to hire a coach!]
  3. Let your guard down. Yup – Judgments are a way to control feeling vulnerable, which is not a comfortable feeling for the vast majority.  Becoming more open to experiences will lessen your need to compare and assume.

Assumptions chip away at our ability to be open, curious and confident in our experience. Judgment is the opposite of love — love for ourselves and others. I believe it is important to understand and shift the assumptions that are holding you back from new opportunities.

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  • Jenna

    September 24, 2011 @ 12:54 am

    Great article, Rachel! I think I experience this roadblock on a day-to-day basis at times, not always doing and saying what I want to do because I often assume the worst. However, I have become more aware of myself doing it and just the other day, I was able to tell someone what I was thinking and low and behold, nothing bad happened because of it. In fact, I felt a whole lot better and more confident in what I was thinking. I agree with you and think that self-awareness is key. Thank you so much for writing this article! Keep em’ coming!

    • Undercurrent

      October 3, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

      Thanks, Jenna! Yeah–this one is a really toughy for me…it’s my most common block and it’s sooo draining. But once I flag it, things feel much better. I’m working towards that day where the assumption doesn’t happen in the first place!

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