The stories we tell ourselves are gap fillers. We do it to fill gaps in the information we’re missing.
Our brains are actually wired for this – to look for patterns, to ‘go from what we know’, etc.
The challenge with that is that it often leads us to create narratives, shift beliefs and develop feelings that we then take action on.
Action based on information we made up.
And we’ve all done it.
What story are you telling yourself?
Are the stories we tell ourselves smart?
In business, this can be smart when assumptions are part of project, business development and contingency planning.
In our personal lives, assumptive reasoning is not always the smart play.
Here’s a super-duper way simple example:
Adam has a paper due next week on the history of his hometown. He does a Google search that gives him hundreds of sources in an instant. His assumption is that Google is all he’ll need to finish the research on his paper.
That assumption leads to a paper that gets a C grade because it led him to overlook local sources of more detailed information, such as town leaders, the local library, and others in the community who helped create the very history he’s tasked with writing about.
Here’s a more common example:
Adele has been avoiding her neighbor Claire for the past week.
She was driving out of her community last Thursday and her purse fell off the seat into the floorboard. She swerved as she went to grab it and – as she was putting it back on the seat – Claire passed and gave her a dirty look (furrowed brow, pursed lips, the whole deal).
Her assumption is that Claire was judging her, and she’s spend (wasted) the last week imagining what Claire’s ‘look’ meant.
She thinks I’m irresponsible. 😠
She was pissed because she thought I was going to hit her. 😠
She’s mad because she thinks I should have pulled over or stopped. 😡
Who does she think she is – she was driving too fast anyway – she could have hit ME! 🤬
And on and on.
Except Claire didn’t even SEE Adele at all – because she was too busy worrying about leaving the clothes dryer on when she left the house that morning.
𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝘄𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆.
If yours isn’t making you happy, please consider taking a mental step back and asking yourself:
🤔 Am I assuming something I shouldn’t (about the job, recruiter, boss, etc.)?
🤔 How can I KNOW whether this assumption is true (about the job, recruiter, boss, etc.)?
⚠️or neighbor or guy in the car that cut you off or friend who didn’t call you when they said they would or, well, you get it.
💥CLICHÉ TRUTH TIME💥
And when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at ACTUALLY DO change.
Can I help you with anything?
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