I recently did a series of radio shows centered around Ron Miguel Ruiz’s best-seller, The Four Agreements: a Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. It’s not a new book, however, it’s a must re-read and especially helpful for staying grounded in reality when things start getting out of balance in your life. And I found myself reflecting on the third agreement – “Don’t Make Assumptions” – after a recent dispute with my husband. I had slipped into assuming that his concerns about tidiness at home (or the lack of it lately) meant that he expected things to be “perfect.” With two foster kids added to our lives this year, I’ve been doing my best to keep the household running smoothly on top of running a business. I interpreted my husband’s help as criticism – probably because I felt guilty about not being able to “do it all” – and thought he was being nit-picky and resentful. We talked it out and not only did I learn that my assumptions were wrong, but I feel pretty lucky to live with a guy who prefers neatness to a mess!
This situation, or one like it, has probably happened to you. Think about how many things you assume, and how many things you take for granted. Reacting instead of responding and making mental leaps in the wrong direction often invites your inner critique to pop up.
Later that same day, while working on my new BRIDGE for Top Performers Program, I reflected upon how important clarity is to the transition seeker. After re-reading files and revisiting hundreds of client experiences over the past few months, (a project which was a gift in and of itself and let me pause to say “thank you” to everyone I’ve ever worked with!) I discovered that what held most clients back from moving forward in their transition — be it a career transition or a transition from having a job to owning a business — was assumption. People were making decisions based on “information” that showed no evidence of being true. Many of the same assumptions came up again and again; discovering this led me to further flesh out the next level of the BRIDGE methodology.
For example, a client might look at a job description and assume that because they do not have every single qualification listed in the description, they shouldn’t apply (although, don’t get me wrong, you should have at least the minimum qualifications in most cases). This where they were selling themselves short! Clients sometimes make up reasons why they couldn’t or shouldn’t move in the direction of their goal. And I say “make up,” because when I ask how they “know” these things, we almost always uncover and confirm that there is no evidence to support their perceived truth.
The same is true for assumptions made by those who want to transition into owning a business. I regularly encounter fear in the form of assumptions and masquerading as the reasons why they couldn’t, wouldn’t, or shouldn’t start that business now. One of the greatest satisfactions for me is watching what happens as I we melt away the fiction and get to the facts allowing them access to the clarity they need to assess the next steps in starting their own business.
My balance blast for this week: turn your assumption radar on and notice when you may be making a decision or choice based on assumptions. Clarifying the difference between perceived truth and actual truth will help you build a BRIDGE to more balance in your life!
Until next time…make it a great one!