You know that I am all about losing the excuses, but losing the assumptions is equally as important. Assumptions, like excuses, keep us firmly tethered to where we are right now. They affect our ideas of who we are and who we can be at a very basic level.
Some of our assumptions are based on ‘fact’ or past events. You can assume that your procrastinating boss will have you working late, and maybe even over the weekend, to complete the project on time. You can assume that your drama queen best friend will freak out when you tell her that you’ll be out of town for her birthday.
Yet, there are a number of assumptions we take for granted and those are the most dangerous kind. You might assume that:
You can’t find a job in this economy.
Your options are dramatically limited because of your race/gender/orientation.
You’re not attractive or thin enough to find love.
Your economic circumstances can’t or won’t change.
Like excuses, assumptions have you defeated even before you’ve started running the race. I have a friend who stays in a thankless job with no upward mobility and no real financial mobility (she’s at the top of her pay grade) because assumes that her lack of a four-year degree will keep her from getting another job. She doesn’t know this to be true. She hasn’t looked for work since she got her current job six years ago; so she really doesn’t know if it’s true. Hence, it’s an assumption.
I know several women right around 40, who look at the statistics and automatically assume that they will never marry. So they don’t even try to date – al possibility based on an assumption.
Other assumptions keep us from seeing the truth. I know one person who assumes that he is consistently passed over for a promotion because of his race. By accepting that assumption as truth and not looking for more objective criteria, he doesn’t see how his attitude and work ethic are impacting him more than his race is. The irony is that in his mind, his assumption is correct, because the end result seems to ‘prove’ him right.
Take an honest look at what you are assuming and you’ll find that your assumptions usually aren’t based in truth. They are just ‘excuses’ that keep you from taking chances. They encourage you to play it safe, and safe rarely leads to success.
What assumptions do you need to lose?