It's an oldie and it’s a good one! “Don't assume, it will make an ass out of you and me!” Who said that originally?
Changing the way we look at assumptions can be the key to unlocking our opportunity to successfully personally develop and change. We get caught up in self-talk, self-doubt and harbor memories which aren't justified, let alone, welcome in our head!
During Week Five of a 14 week MOOC (Massive Open On-Line Course) on the subject 'Immunity to Change', we zoomed into our Big Assumptions.
I regularly use the statement, 'let's put this under the microscope' and this is exactly what we're currently doing. Hundreds of people reading others assumptions and providing feedback to make these testable!
It highlights for me the need to help people be very clear on what information and feelings they are working with to make improvements in their life (to change). Clarity, confirmation and checking the truth around the assumptions held is a necessary evil.
We have learnt to aim to observe our Assumptions (to test if it really occurs and how it feels). One method to be clear about our assumptions is the ability to articulate it using: "if I do X, then Y will happen and I will feel Z (reacting to Y happening in this way.)"
For example, “if I give up behaving carefully people might not like me and I would fall into despair.”
With this assumption being clear, you can check it by observing yourself behaving or not behaving carefully and the corresponding behaviour of the ‘others’ and your feeling.
You won’t be an 'ass' if you can clarify, confirm and then check assumptions. If you prove them correct or incorrect at least we have a framework to work on your potential to change.