We all have assumed or perhaps even have a pattern of assuming only to later realize we were way off or wrong completely. There was a time in my life when I took everything personal and I was a pro at assuming the worst possible case scenario and all it did was cause me unnecessary pain, hurt, and all-around negative feelings. I was doing this automatically without even realizing I was until after the fact. They say better late than never, but imagine how good it would feel to have the awareness you’re doing it so you can stop yourself before you create an entire story without any evidence to support it.
The big joke used to be I was quite the story teller because I would come up with an entire story about something and none of it was true. As an author, who has a love for writing quotes and poetry and personal development books, I used to joke and say maybe I should start writing fiction books because I was that good at making stuff up. This may sound funny, but in my case, there was something deeper going on. I was highly avoidant – meaning if I thought something would cause even the slightest conflict, disagreement, or any kind of tension, rather than approaching the person or situation, I would avoid it at all possible costs and assume something to be true when in actuality it wasn’t true. This was my defense mechanism or a way to protect myself because the thought of conflict would cause me to spiral downward and lead to crippling anxiety.
There Is Always A Reason.
There are many reasons I did this, but in short, it was a learned behavior, one that started in childhood and a pattern I learned that stayed with me in adulthood. I had to work really hard to break free from this pattern. I still struggle sometimes, but truth is, we never really 100% heal. Healing is a daily commitment and it’s really important to stay committed to your own journey of healing, growing, and evolving. In order to do this, you have to be paying attention to yourself and slowing down, allowing yourself the space to stop, think and then respond.
I want to ask: Are you aware if you have a pattern to assume without asking questions? How has it served you to assume? Does it protect you from conflict because you think you don’t know how to handle conflict in a healthy way? Does it keep you from having to feel because you avoid feelings? I invite you to spend some time exploring this and inquiring about yourself and your own patterns. We all have them, and they started early in childhood.
You Can Change.
It's important to know you are capable of changing and creating new patterns – ones that actually serve you and support you. The first step is to become aware and then take action to change.
In the moment when people avoid, it appears to be doing some kind of service, but it actually is a disservice. I’m not at all saying it has always been a disservice because in fact, it’s quite the opposite, at one time in your life and my life, assuming or avoiding served us, especially as children because we are only cognitively capable of so much.
Think about it like this. As an adult you avoid, which leads to assuming, and because most assume the worst, it creates anxiety, or some other feelings, including resentment and so on.
On the other hand, let’s say something takes place between you and a loved one or maybe even a coworker, that bothers you or upsets you, and you express your feelings to that person in a healthy way, once you talk about it, you feel better, and there’s nothing to assume because you asked questions and went directly to the source.
Assuming also makes it really easy to take things personal and it usually isn’t personal at all. Everyone has their own struggles and battles. Imagine how it would feel to truly internalize and believe that you create your reality. This means only you can change you.
I invite you to really inquire about how you contribute to your reality. This is super important and a must in order to evolve and reach your highest potential. Get honest about what’s real versus the story you're telling yourself. It may sound shocking or maybe it doesn’t sound shocking, but most people’s stories are false – real to them – but there’s no actual evidence that supports it and a lot of people suffer by default without even realizing it which stems from childhood events or past trauma.
It’s easy to get caught up and stuck and regardless of what’s going on in life, time is clicking. It doesn’t slow down so all people are doing is losing time over things that can be changed, healed, resolved, managed. It requires the willingness and the work so then the question becomes are you willing to put forth the work it takes to change, overcome, and transform? If yes then amazing because you deserve it and if no, then it’s important to accept. It took me years to realize it's either act or accept. Everyone deserves to feel their best and experience the best, but this is an individual responsibility.
I want to recommend a book that was and still is influential in my healing journey – The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. According to Ruiz, The Four Agreements are:
1) Be impeccable with your word
2) Don’t take anything personally
3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best.
Here’s to looking inward, becoming aware of your own patterns, and using your power to take action so you can continue to evolve into the highest version of you.
Stephanie Robilio, LCSW
Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare
To learn more about Stephanie visit www.themindfulliving.com and follow her on Instagram @mindfulliving.now, Facebook @mindfulliving, and subscribe to her on YouTube Stephanie Robilio. Find all of Stephanie's books on Amazon: WelNow, Mindful Makeover, Painted Soul, and Bonafide Spirit.
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