An assumptious person makes a lot of assumptions, period.
The Oxford Dictionary defines assumptions as:
“a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof”.
Ever assumed something and later found out you were really misinformed? Well, this happens to me often but the incident that happened today prompted this blog post.
Although I had a good chuckle, promise you won’t laugh at me 😂.
Here’s my story:
I’ve been working from home for close to 2 years now and always assumed that connecting the home printer to my work laptop would be a TASK and a half, involving IT and the likes 😂. So because of this assumption, I’ve been going through hikes and peaks to print docs, transferring them between emails, devices, etc. A lot of admin really. But today (first day back at work), I needed to print and a thought just crossed my mind to just click print and see what happens. I did and behold, it was easy as 1,2,3 to “add a printer” and print my doc. No IT calls, no googling to troubleshoot. NADA.
Listen, I had a good chuckle as I kept thinking of all the hurdles I’ve been through to get stuff printed. This experience also prompted me to ask myself a couple of questions. Like, how often do we let our assumptions deter us from making things happen for ourselves? How many relationships have not been salvaged because of the assumptions we have of each other and how people might “react if I approached them”? How many opportunities have we let slide because we assumed we weren’t cut out or suited for them? How many misunderstandings do we have with our spouses, friends and acquaintances over the assumptions we’ve formed in our minds? How many times have our assumptions led to dissatisfaction, and disappointments?
Assumptions are strongly interlinked with perceptions and our emotions. When things happen, our reactions are prompted and guided by our assumptions of the situation, the person or thing. This formed perception is then what we use to form our perspectives. Instead of seeking clarity, we prejudice our current day situations based on past experiences. For example, assuming people’s intentions without ever seeking for clarity. Seeking clarity brings a deeper understanding to a situation. Having understanding means that our reactions are at least supported by facts and not overridden by inaccurate theories we hold in our heads.
One thing I learnt from my dad while growing up (which I obviously neglect to put into practice from time to time) is being curious by asking for clarity. I used to get into trouble with him because of “um, I thought...” every time I carried out an instruction incorrectly. He would irritably say “don’t think, ask!”
When you ask and actively seek out clarity, you:
save on time to complete a task,
are empowered to understand the next person better, thus avoiding unnecessary conflict and confusion, and
you become a better decision-maker because the decisions you take are based on facts and not misinformed thoughts.
The bottom line is, assumptions are unhelpful. So next time you find yourself in a situation, actively seek out clarity. Before labeling a task as “difficult” or “impossible”, give it a try first. Do research if you must. Ask for help. Do whatever it takes to ensure that at the end of the day, the decision you take is purely based on facts. It takes a lot of curiosity to do this. So be curious and don’t accept the status quo. Ask “why” and “how” as often as you think “never”. After all, it might not even be what you thought it was.
Another important thing to consider doing is going through a self-check process of asking yourself pertinent questions to root out where your assumptions stem from. The things we assume of others may very well be a direct reflection of what’s happening inside of us. For us to grow out of life and thought patterns that aren’t beneficial to the kind of people we desire to be, we need to regularly introspect.
Why do I hold this belief?
Where does it come from?
What has influenced me to think this way?
You will be surprised at what you will find out and learn about yourself in the process.
Additionally, think of a situation where you assumed something and later found out that it wasn’t as you’d thought. Then write down all the lessons you learnt from that experience. Seal the reflection with what you might want to do differently next time, in similar situations. Think of behaviours you want to adopt and how differently you want to show up.
Hit me up if you need support on navigating this.