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BS Diet: Track and Arrest Assumptions

In this class: Help with being realistic, accountable and responsible

Time needed: A fortnight (a week at minimum)

Slow down and start to listen to you and what’s on your mind. In order to reduce the amount of BS in your life, you must drastically reduce the amount of assumptions you make and make room for Other People’s Perspectives. You’re accepting your perspective, thoughts, beliefs, and even meanings that you derive from feelings as ‘true’ and ‘fact’ and at times you may also be deciding and accepting that something is going to happen when you don’t have the basis for it.

You can’t afford this anymore if you want to be happy.

You need to slow yourself right down and pick up on any and all assumptions that you make for the next two weeks.

  • Look at expectations you have of something or someone.
  • Look at expectations you have of yourself during this time…even if they are negative expectations.
  • Listen out for stuff that’s not too dissimilar to “If it were me I would…”, “People should…”, “They must…”, “He/she has to….”
  • Thinking along the lines of X happened so Y is going to happen.
  • Anything that you’re spending far too much time thinking about and conclusions you’re drawing.
  • Definitely anything that basically boils down “It’s my fault….” or thinking that it has something to do with you.

Keep track of all of them not matter how innocuous. Make your task easier by keeping a little notebook close by or putting your notes into a journal. If there is stuff that you expect to happen within a timeframe, also make a note of this beside the assumption.

  • Go through your assumptions each day (maybe do a review the day after) and see what you can learn from them. Apply the appropriate questions to your assumptions.
  • Is the assumption based on you or on them?
  • Is the assumption even true of you?
  • Did you get verbal and/or action confirmation of the assumption?
  • If you had the opportunity to see the assumption in action, did it happen? If not, strike it off and adjust your thinking on this particular subject or person. If appropriate evaluate why it didn’t happen and make sure you leave your name out of it.
  • Make sure you replace all assumptions with reality so that you can turn them into knowledge.

Assumptions are only there to point you in the direction of what you could typically expect ‘in general’ but you still have to be safe and realistic and treat each person as an individual with their own motivations and intentions and adjust accordingly instead of sticking to your assumptions.

Assumptions only give you surface ‘knowledge’ of a situation or person and it’s actually emotionally and mentally lazy to stick with an unvalidated assumption about something or someone beyond a short period of time when you actually have the opportunity to know things in reality.

For people, any assumptions that you continue to hold must be specific and validated over a consistent and ongoing basis and they must be factually based. Adjust accordingly and recognise that when an assumption stops holding true, it is a code amber warning at the very least and a sign that you must stop, look, listen and evaluate.

Ask people for what you are expecting, i.e state your expectations and gain clarification.

“I just want to check that you’re OK for delivering that project this Friday?”

“Are we meeting up this weekend?”

“I know that you said X – does this mean that Y is happening/going to happen?”

If any assumption you hold about someone proves not to be true ask yourself why and evaluate what the difference between what you assumed and reality so that you can learn who they are. Do not blame you – that is a useless assumption and…BS.

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