Do you sometimes make assumptions? How often have you judged the book by the cover? Making assumptions or mindreading can be a hard habit to break completely. Sometimes we make assumptions by predicting outcomes, thinking you are just putting 2 and 2 together, going along with rumors and speculation or stereotyping people by the way they look or talk.
We make assumptions because we are uncomfortable with uncertainty, with not knowing. Our egos want answers, explanations, categories, and clear delineations. Therefore, in the face of "not knowing," we think, "Well, it must be like this then." Then the overactive mind relaxes and says, "OK, I've got that figured out. Now I can stop worrying." Change and new information can be difficult to process. Our minds want things to be easy and familiar and even predictable. We have a tendency to assume in order to make the new information easier to digest, so it fits within our view of reality or map of the world.
When making assumptions we often miss out on opportunities. We fail to make connections. We burn bridges. We miss out on living life on life's terms. We expect that things should be a specific way, and when it doesn't turn out like that, we are shocked or disappointed or even angry. However, by being more consciously aware of our tendency to make assumptions, we can get to know and experience life on a deeper level. Rather than having a superficial "cover of the book" level relationship with people, places, and things, we can calmly say, "I don't know, but I'm going to find out." Start asking questions and experiencing what you don't know.
Often we make assumptions because we want to control the uncontrollable - life. Obviously, this is a futile waste of time and energy. A great way to relax that need to control and stop searching for unknowable answers by making assumptions is to use the famous serenity prayer:
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."- Reinhold Niebuhr
Stop assuming and start living today!