One’s life journey is a cumulative effect of decisions and their consequences. Think of a decision as a formula comprising of different variables including facts, assumptions, emotions, social pressure, and resources. Today, I’d like to talk about assumptions and how big a role they play in the decision-making formula.
Did you know that there are two main types of assumptions? There are assumptions we intentionally make based on past experience or specific knowledge about a situation. These working assumptions are helpful when we don’t have all the answers or facts to make a decision or solve a problem. Then, there assumptions we are unaware that we make as a result of personal bias or judgment. These assumptions can be dangerous and if left unchecked can lead to making wrong decisions. Considering assumptions as inputs into a decision-making formula, it is clear that more false assumptions there are in your decision formula, the more likely it is that you would end up with a faulty decision that could lead to undesirable consequences.
Let me offer three steps for you to challenge your assumptions:
1. Discern what type of assumption you are making. Is it founded on past experience or knowledge?
2. If the assumption was made unintentionally and not grounded in past experience or knowledge, then question why you made that assumption. Take your time to evaluate your assumption here. Is it based on past biases that is not directly involved now in this situation? Are there an emotional lens you are seeing this situation through which is resulting in you making this assumption? What other information can you gather to validate this information? From where or from whom can you gain this insight to help validate your assumption?
3. If after step 2, the assumption stands valid, you can move that assumption into the first category. If the assumption no longer stands valid, discard or rephrase it. Retest the rephrased assumption. Keep only valid assumptions for moving forward with your decision making process. Continue assessing all other assumptions by repeating steps 1-3 before making your decision about the situation, market, or relationship.
Now that we know how to discard faulty assumptions, next time, we’ll talk more about other factors that influence your decision making!
What you do think? What decisions do you need to make soon? What assumptions are you making? Leave a comment or get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!