In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz mentions four principles we might want to follow to live a more present, joyous and drama-free life.
1). Be impeccable with your word.
2). Always do your best.
3). Don’t take anything personally.
4). Don’t make assumptions.
Ahhhhh . . . yes. Assumptions.
We assume all the time about all sorts of things, and mostly the assumptions (often generated from fearful thinking) leave us feeling empty, powerless, agitated and disconnected.
Assumptions aren’t based in fact. Most of the assumptions we make come from our subjective past experiences that we then recall when something gets emotionally triggered within us that cause us to worry, catastrophe-ize and come up with doom-and-gloom scenarios.
The assumptions triggered by past experiences and habits of thought then keep reinforcing our negative self-images, so they help feed a self-perpetuating, negative cycle.
So assumptions literally become a rejection of self.
You go to an audition and you beat yourself up for making a mistake assuming the casting agent thinks you’re awful.
You don’t hear from your girlfriend and assume you did something wrong or she hates you.
You get rejected by a manager and assume you have no talent or are unhirable.
Assumptions reinforce the inaccurate ways that we see ourselves through a limited prism from which no one else sees us, based on our own self-limitations and self-judgments. We create unnecessary pain by listening to the stories we weave from an assumptive statement. So we reject ourselves even if someone else hasn’t.
So assumptions have less to do with what we project onto – or assume – about another person or an experience. And they have more to do with our own limited beliefs and low self-worth as we spin scenarios in our heads that further support how unworthy we are, or how we F***ed up, or are stupid.
And they’re also a distinction of not being in the moment because the very nature of assuming something is a fast forwarding into the future.
Perhaps that realization right there is the easiest way to recover from an assumption. As you catch yourself out of the moment you actually become present.
So take a breath. Breathe. And relax into knowing that there’s nothing really to assume anyway. It’s a waste of energy and time to engage in that kind of guesswork and conjecture when the truth will ultimately reveal itself.
So assume less. And wait for proof. You’ll be glad you did. Because even if the news isn’t what you were wanting or expecting, it’s still never worst than the assumptions you made.