Beliefs or assumptions about people, places and things can be automatic. It’s likely a throw-back to our reptilian brain, which constantly scans to see if we are safe or in danger. Some assumptions are useful and necessary—such as assuming that night will follow day. However, other beliefs and assumptions can undermine our well-being, our level of connection with others, and our overall success in the world. Take a look at the following questions to discover if your assumptions are undermining you:
1. I base what I believe is possible on past experiences I’ve had.
2. I assume I already know what I do and do not like and therefore stick to what I know.
3. I tailor what I say and do based on expressions I see on other people’s faces.
4. I don’t tell certain people what I think or feel because I already know what they will say.
5. I can pretty well size people up within minutes of meeting them and then know what to expect.
6. How I relate to people is influenced by the way they look, dress and speak.
7. My opinions of others are influenced by what kind of work they do and where they are from.
1. I regularly examine the assumptions I have about myself to determine whether my beliefs are holding me back.
2. I know that my truth is not necessarily other people’s truth.
3. When I have an assumption about someone, I check it out with that person first before acting based on what I think is true.
4. I make time to clear the air with my loved ones and workmates so that we don’t just assume we’re on the same page.
5. I consciously endeavor to open my heart to people I think are different from me—and am delighted when I discover we have more in common than I had imagined.
6. I make an effort to learn about differing beliefs and try to keep an open mind.
7. I cultivate curiosity as a way to counteract my natural human tendency to make assumptions.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to examine how your beliefs and assumptions are undermining your relationship with yourself, others, and life in general. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further. [