How many times in your day do you assume something?
Maybe that you can or can’t do something? Or that you should or shouldn’t do something? Or maybe how someone is reacting to or viewing something you said or did?
Every. Single. Day. We assume something of someone or some situation and it is usually not a positive assumption. We love to hate to assume the worst. We all do it. Some worse than others. We won’t stop.
It’s self-sabotage and for what?
We mentally cripple ourselves. We lose before we ever give ourselves the chance to win. We define our present by presuming our future or being crippled by our past. How. Silly.
I am queen of this.
* I have assumed that someone hasn’t invited me because they don’t like me.
* I have assumed that I have annoyed my best friend with my overly excited mass texts throughout the week.
* I have assumed my business partners will think my idea or opinion is ridiculous.
* I have assumed I am irritating because of the facial expression of an acquaintance.
* I have assumed my daycare families will be upset with me because I have to take a day off.
* I have assumed that certain women are judging me from afar.
* I have assumed my children think I am a terrible mother, because I either reprimanded them or maybe had to spend time working out or finishing a work project.
It is sick. It is twisted. It is my mind playing tricks on itself. It is my worry-wart, self-sabotaging turdnugget-self being just that…a turd.
Most of my personal assumptions have come from prior hurt.
I have maybe been burnt by a friend or two in not being included in girl groups or conversations and that makes me leery of the rest. I have lost a friend for not condoning their negativity and therefore I fear my positivity can sometimes be taken in an annoying regard. I have been judged for my different clothing style, different hair, the fact that I like to be on stage singing my heart out or in front of a church praising my heart out…so I fear others’ whispers or stares. I’ve been to a few colleges and have zero degrees so at times I worry my opinion isn’t as valid as the rest or that my route of conceptualizing is an alien one.
It doesn’t matter what it is, I have most likely assumed the worst (or at least not the best) from many a situation or person.
Yes, there are times when I am right. When the person was not inviting me because of reasons unknown. When the girls were chatting about me until I walked up to them. When my route of thinking did irritate my husband because he couldn’t take my over-thought any longer.
But honestly, most of the time, I’m wrong.
Those girls weren’t looking at me because my hair, lipstick, or outfit was odd to them…they were looking at me because they loved my style and the speech I gave five minutes prior.
The woman I thought wasn’t a fan of me wrote me later on how much of an inspiration I am for beating my own drum, not giving up my talents, raising a loving family, and never giving up my faith.
The route I took to find an answer or to tell an idea was the perfect route for another to see where their one-note plan could be shifted into a symphony of amazingness.
So how do I quit this? How do I cease the assumptions? How do we quit sabotaging the unknown?
Great question. I am still trying to figure this out.
The reality is, that I will most likely always give a hoot what other people think. Not due to low self-esteem or a desire to be liked, but due to my thoughtful approach to nearly everything in life and always really caring about what others have on their mind or how they view me.
It’s not necessarily a negative thing to care, but it is a swing in a negative direction when we care more about their opinion and less about our own. When we start to let the worry or fear of an assumption be the driving force in our decision making and how we live our life…that’s when we have a problem. When we let an assumption stifle who we are. That’s when we need to reign ourselves in and understand something very important…
We are enough. We do belong. We can do anything we put our minds to. People are primarily good.
Even if your assumptions are correct, you do not need to place blame or feel shame. You do not need to understand or resolve it. You can move on, (give or take the situations' gravity or importance of course,) learning and growing from it.
You don’t need to climb a mountain to get respect.
You don’t need to work overtime for love or uplifting.
You don’t need to worry over something or someone that doesn’t worry or give pause to you and your thoughts.
Stop wasting time and energy. Stop giving assumptions your precious time and start giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Don’t assume. Get in the conversation. Be positive. If people burn you, they burn you. Move on, learn and understand you do not need to understand. It’s on them, not you. And if it’s on you, learn from it and either correct it or move on.
Life is too short, my dear. Don’t live it assuming anything but the best.
If the worst happens, at least you gave it your best attitude. The probability of it being the worst is pretty slim.
Don’t be an asshole to yourself or others with negative assumptions. You are better than that.
About the Author:
Iesha Toft is a mother, singer, songwriter, and author. She loves Jesus, but swears a little! You can find her touring Northwest Iowa with her band She's With Us and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and four children. She labels herself as a true farm girl even though she lives "in town" with the mayor of Royal.