As kids we learned an acronym for the word ASSUME… to assume is to “make an ass out of you and me”; YET, we still do it! How many times have you made assumptions in relationships, during interactions with others or sadly based on how a person looks or behaves?
I think it is fair to guess that we have all done it at some point or another along the way. I certainly have and am not too proud to say it. My biggest assumptions have typically occurred when I haven’t taken the time to truly listen with the intent of understanding or when I am blinded by my own biases or experiences and cannot understand why people make the choices they do. Or, when I feel insecure and find it easier to transfer those thoughts onto another person, so that I don’t have to look internally. Any chance some of this sounds familiar?
What brings these thoughts to mind tonight is that along the path of our current journey I have been surprised by the amount of times people have assumed that we don’t have a clue as to what we are embarking on just because we haven’t done this exact thing before or because we want to innovate and be different, not for the sake of being different but to have a more profound impact on others.
Not only does it frustrate and sadden me but it also is incredibly unfair and discounts the 40 years of combined business experience at leadership levels that we have. If I am being truly honest, it casts doubt in my own mind and I have to fight like hell to remind myself that we do have both talent and experience, that we are fast learners who are listening intently and seeking guidance when needed and most importantly that our passion and dreams are worth fighting for!
I spend a lot of time listening to TED Talks, reading leadership books and seeking mentorship and there are 2 things that I have learned and that I kep repeating to myself:
1. If people are not laughing at your dreams they are not big enough
2. TRUST...trust that there is a plan for me and my life and that if I am looking hard internally to identify what my authentic path is, that the universe will answer
The mind is a powerful tool and what we believe we can and cannot do is both correct. EVERYONE has the ability to chase their dreams and lead a fulfilling life but just like making assumptions, we limit our relationships and ourselves by our thoughts. Thoughts are powerful and thoughts become reality so make sure that you set your thoughts for success.
As you do that let’s also remember the lesson that I write about tonight. Do not assume you know or that you understand without asking. Do not assume you know the abilities and capabilities of others around you. Instead, seek first to understand, listen with the intent to hear, not be heard and always check your biases at the door.
Although I first wrote about my frustrations tonight so that we may all learn from them, I would be remiss if I didn’t share that we have also found some amazing advocates, cheerleaders and partners that are doing everything they can to support our dreams and for that we are both humbled and grateful. There is another saying that if you want to make your dreams a reality, be sure to surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams too! That is exactly what we are doing, are you?