Are Your Assumptions Holding You Back

assumptionsThere are words I hear every single coaching client say in the beginning of our work together.  When they are sharing stories about what they are sad, mad, or frustrated about, they always include sentences that begin with one of these:

  • It’s obvious what she thinks about me. I can tell by how she’s acting.
  • I have to do it because it’s what he needs me to do for the good of our relationship (for the good of our family)
  • They just won’t understand if I…
  • My family (partner, friends, etc.) won’t support me if I…

Ugh! Warning Bells!  What I hear when people say these kinds of things is “I have these assumption that I haven’t tested, but I just know it’s true.  I’m giving all of my power to this belief and not taking action for my own best life.”

Wait.  What?

Think about one of these stories you tell yourself.  A story where you’ve been done wrong by someone.  Tell yourself the story.  Listen to the words you say.  Odds are, you’ve got one of these assumptions going on too.

I will always interrupt a story when I hear these kinds of things.  Just like I’m interrupting you now.  Do me a favor and ask yourself:

Is that really true?  How do I know it’s true? Have I talked with the person about it?

If you’re like most of my clients, those questions will be met with a long and uncomfortable silence. 🙂

It’s OK. I’m happy for that silence because in that moment is a golden opportunity.

The opportunity to step into leading your life…even if it’s just for a moment.  To question your assumption.  To choose to seek out the truth and take action based on the truth, rather than continuing to hold yourself back based on what could be completely made up in your head.

If the answer is ‘no, I haven’t talked to them’ (even if it’s followed by ‘but I just know!’), what can you do about it?  Can you be courageous enough to talk with the person and check in about your assumptions?

Can you be courageous enough to look inside yourself? Are you complaining about what you believe someone else has though, said or done, because deep down inside you’re hiding that you are the one who harbors those thoughts or has said or done something you regret?

It was my dad who first shared this pearl of wisdom with me that I’m about to share with you. You see, there’s an easy way to remember how to spell the word ‘assume.’  Know what it is?  When you assume, it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.

Checking in on your assumptions is so critical to leading your very best life.  I believe that most of us have been conditioned to make the worst possible assumption in any given situation. You assume the other person wants to hold you back. Did something to hurt you. Doesn’t think you’re smart enough. Cool enough. Good enough.

But with very few exceptions, when I’ve challenged clients to check in on their assumptions, or even when I’ve checked in on my own, they are often proven false.  What lies beyond them is a big beautiful world of possibility. Of feeling free and supported to lead your best life.

So, are you ready to take the assumption challenge?  To really notice where you are making assumptions and where you can take leadership in your own life and begin checking in on those assumptions before you act?

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Rachel is a coach supporting women to rediscover who they are beyond the *shoulds* of life. To create and live life on purpose.

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