Give Your False Assumptions A Knockout Punch

By: Joe Crisara

boxing_glove_512x512We face seemingly unlimited obstacles when trying to manage and grow our businesses.

Some bigger than others. Some more persistent than others, but none the less our job is to navigate these obstacles.

Large or small, some of these obstacles can be more obvious than others, like…

You need a bigger location to continue to grow your company. Or your budget doesn’t allow for investing in staff with a needed skill set.

But what about the obstacles that are far less obvious?

What about the obstacles that we put in front of ourselves that maybe aren’t actually there?

Obstacles that are just false assumptions

These false assumptions can impede your progress and success everyday without you even realizing it. We see this all the all the time helping our coaching clients work through problems they’re facing. Here’s just a few examples:

  • Personal beliefs about what they “can” and “can’t” do prior to giving it a shot.
  • Perceptions of opportunities that are and are not available to them without doing thorough due diligence and then going after what they want.
  • Believing they “know” how other people will respond during difficult conversations without actually having the conversation.
  • Believing they “know” if staff will or will not meet their requests without making the request and setting clear exceptions so the staff can have a chance to meet or exceed the request.

The list goes on and on but I think you’re starting to see how false assumptions can really get in your way of achieving what you’re trying to do.

Here’s what you need to know…  You have complete control over these false assumptions and you can knock them out.

False assumptions fog up the lens of reality

Assumptions are thoughts and ideas that you accept as truth without concrete proof and are usually formed from past similar or repeated experiences.

More importantly, the assumptions you make determine your actions and outcomes.

So, it would make sense that if you change your assumptions you change your actions and outcomes. Right?

But here is the rub.

Changing assumptions can be hard, because they are the truths we tell ourselves and they are self-reinforcing. We see the world through the lens of our assumptions and then only choose information that supports them.

This can blind you to the reality that exists.

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t come in. – Alan Alda

Here’s how to remove these barriers to success.

Four steps to knockout your false assumptions

Now I said changing assumptions can be hard, but it’s not impossible. As a matter fact,  I help clients do it all the time using this simple 4 step knockout process.

  1. Admit that you have assumptions: Don’t pretend you don’t have some false assumptions that are holding you back or causing you to make mistakes you can’t afford. We all have them.
  2. Create awareness around those assumptions: You need to uncover them and bring them to light. The easiest way to do this is to look at places you’re stuck, have challenges or areas where you keep repeating the same behavior and expect different results. These are the juiciest hiding places for false assumptions.
  3. Challenge your assumptions: The following questions will help you begin to trace back where the assumptions started and what real factual solid evidence you have to have to support them. (Be aware of trying to support your assumptions with other assumptions.) Just the facts…
    1. Where did the assumption come from?
    2. How did you arrive at that assumption?
    3. What if the assumption was untrue?
    4. What might happen if you chose a different action or thought?
    5. How can you verify or disprove that assumption as truth?
  4. Reframe a new assumption: The key to reframing your new assumption is letting go of your past results and step into new possibilities.
    1. What if you tried another approach?
    2. What can you do differently?
    3. What would that look like?
    4. What may happen?

Pure Motive: Knocking out false assumptions

With greater clarity in every area of your life, the better actions you will take. All of which leads you to achieving the desired outcomes you want faster with greater ease and certainty.

Knocking out your assumptions is a central skill for every business owner

Literally your success depends on it.

No matter how strong or true you may feel your assumptions to be, before you just assume what can or can’t happen, before you assume you know the outcome… double check them.

You’ll be happier and more successful that you did.

 

Image courtesy: Ramotion

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