All of us are very good at making assumptions. It is a necessary evil of living in the world we have created. If were to not make assumptions and try to find out everything about everything we’d be overloaded with information. So everyday when we see something, we correlate it to our previous experiences and we make assumptions. Some assumptions are good and can even save your life. If you see a menacing guy coming towards you in an empty street then you should assume that he might try to rob you. But there are other much subtler assumptions that we make about ourselves and others that we can do without. Here are the top 10 wrong assumptions that people often make.
One of the wrong assumptions you can make is that you are always right. To you it will always seem that you are right till you find out you are wrong. But people assume that they are more intelligent than others and they know the complete truth while others are just fools. When you make this assumption you close yourself up for learning and growing. Only a fool can think that he knows everything.
On the other end of the spectrum there are people who have no self confidence. They always assume that they are wrong. These are usually shy introverts who won’t say anything even if someone is doing or saying something wrong. They feel that they should say something but just assume that they must be wrong and stay quite. It’s just as bad an assumption to make as to assume that you are always right.
The reason why we have so many failures and so few successes is because even before trying most people assume that they can’t do it. “Climb a mountain? I can’t do it, I’m not a mountaineer.” “Write a book? I can’t do it, I don’t know how.” “Start my own business? What do I know about business? I can’t do it.” The thing about such assumptions is that if you think you can’t, you are right coz with that attitude you will never be able to do it. You have to believe that you can do it if you try. There is nothing you can’t learn with practice.
We look at our neighbors and our friends and our relatives and think how happy they all are and how simple and uncomplicated their lives are. Nothing can be more wrong. This assumption always drives us to keep up with the joneses and when we reach there and don’t find enough happiness we feel that we must have done something wrong. A better assumption is to make that everyone is struggling or has struggled just as much as you are.
When it comes to chasing dreams one wrong assumption people make is that they just don’t have enough time to do it. Even something as small as losing weight seems impossible when you make this assumption. The truth is that you have just as much time as anyone else on earth; 24 hours per day. It’s about how you use that time. If you don’t want to miss your favorite TV series then obviously you’ll feel you have no time.
We grow up in a world where our parents and teachers are looking at us to see what we are doing and how we are doing it. So when we become adults we assume that everyone is doing the same and watching our every move. You don’t want to do anything out of line because of the fear of being judged. In reality no one cares. No one is interested in what you are doing. So stop living a stifled life and open up to the possibilities.
This is an assumption everyone makes while getting into an argument or debate. The truth is that rational arguments are the last thing to persuade anyone. When people argue they close their rational brains and argue emotionally. The best leaders were not those who were rational but those who were emotional and could reach the public on an emotional level. Just because you are making a rational point doesn’t mean that everyone will just give up their points and agree with you.
Related to the point above is the assumption that we are more rational than others. Everybody assumes that they are more logical than others and are open to others point of views. But the truth is that it is very hard to be completely rational and still be human. Computers are logical, humans are emotional and that’s just a fact. What feels like perfectly good reasoning to you is in fact tainted with your own emotions and prejudices.
Some people keep assuming that they are not good enough and so never aim high enough. If someone is a guitar player they’ll assume they are not good enough and will never join a band. If someone is interested in a sport they’ll never go to a try out just because they’ve assumed that they are not good enough. Unless you compete with others you’ll never know how good you are. Your own assessment of yourself is never going to be impartial. This assumption is just an excuse to hide from the fear of trying and competing.
One assumption some people make is that the whole world is against them. These people usually think highly of themselves and feel they’ve been victimized by the world which has conspired to keep them down. They are the opposite of those who think they are not good enough. They think they are the best but the world just won’t recognize their genius. They think they haven’t gotten enough opportunities to prove their genius. This is another harmful assumption as the world is a neutral place. If you are not recognized then it’s either because you haven’t tried enough or because you are just not good enough.