Last month we discussed resistance to change, specifically methods of resistance identified in Louise Hay’s best-selling book “You Can Heal Your Life.” We broke down the first way in which resistance to change may show up for us. (Have a look at the article “Resistance to Change and What’s Really Holding You Back”. If you didn’t read it last month, you will definitely want to review it before continuing.) This month we’re looking at Assumptions.
If you’ve ever read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, he discusses assumptions and how damaging they can be in our lives. (Agreement #3: Don’t Make Assumptions) Consider this example. You’re on your way to work, listening to your favorite song, feeling all Zen – when suddenly out of nowhere someone cuts around you, causing you to slam on your breaks. You’re freaked out! “What an idiot! Who does s/he think s/he is?!?” A simple action such as someone cutting you off in traffic has now RUINED your day! You spend all day telling everyone at work what a “so-and-so” you encountered on your way to work. By the time you leave work, you and your coworkers have listed off every bad thing that has ever happened or is happening. You are miserable!
Now maybe that person in the other car was a selfish and self-centered “so-and-so”. Maybe they were running late and had been threatened to be fired and were already faced with eviction. Maybe there was a medical emergency. Who knows. It’s really not important WHY the OTHER person did what they did. They did it. Now, you have a few choices. You can now spend all day talking about what a terrible world we live in, or you can sit in silence for a moment and give gratitude that you and the other driver were spared.
Many years ago, after studying Louise’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”, a similar situation happened to me while taking my daughter to school in the morning. Since we don’t know what is going on in a person’s head we can only change our own way of thinking. My daughter was upset because a man in a car didn’t let us merge in. Her face said it all! I told her “we don’t know why he didn’t let us in but we can always send him Love.” I gestured a loving hand his way. Next thing I knew my daughter was telling me, “Hey mom, I think it worked the man actually let in 2 cars in front of us!”. I told her “I think it worked too and the man just needed a nudge that day!” We have talked about that story over the years and it is a great reminder that as we shift our thinking our actions and thoughts can actually have a positive effect on another person.
Every day things happen and without knowing why, we make certain assumptions. Even things that are simple that could be cleared up with a simple question “Why didn’t you take out the trash today?” or “Why didn’t you call me when you were running late?” Instead we make up stories in our minds that tell us why the person did what they did. Depending on our inner dialogue and our “story” these reasons may range from “They just don’t love me” to “They are lazy and don’t care.”
But sometimes we make these assumptions as a way to STAY stuck. Maybe you’re really happy having someone to blame because you don’t have to take any risk and not be safe if someone else is sabotaging you all the time. So maybe you’ve created a story that says that you simply can’t devote any time to reaching your own goals because you’re too busy taking care of everyone else. Or maybe someone says something to you and you interpret it as being a “dog” or “cut down”. Maybe your story says that they don’t believe in you and if only they did believe in you, then you would be able to go out and do whatever it is that you really want to do. Maybe you really enjoy having someone to blame your self-doubts on.
Let’s take a look at the list that Louise identifies as ways in which we make assumptions to avoid change:
“We often assume things about others in order to justify our resistance. We make statements such as:
- It wouldn’t do any good anyway
- My husband/wife won’t understand
- I would have to change my whole personality
- Only crazy people go to therapists
- They couldn’t help me with my problem
- They couldn’t handle my anger
- My case is different
- I don’t want to bother them
- It will work itself out
- Nobody else does it.”
Take a good look over this list. Now take out a sheet of paper and just as last month, write down the ways in which you may use assumptions to resist change. Again, this is not meant to be a way of beating up on yourself. Have some patience and acceptance for yourself and where you are in your own personal journey right now.
So now it is up to you to spread a little love. Flip the switch and make an effort to send love. Stop assuming and start creating waves of positive energy. Take a moment next time someone “does” something “to” you and try being generous. Notice how things begin to change for the better!
One of the most satisfying and rewarding things about being a coach, is seeing the success in the lives of my clients as they work through life’s many changes. Since every experience is different, we’re able to identify the best tools to help each person navigate whatever challenges they may be facing — And I am here for you when you’re ready! Just take a moment to fill out the contact form here to schedule an introductory session.