I was a preteen when my mom pulled out a sheet of paper, wrote down the word assume, drew lines to separate it (ass|u|me) and said, “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.”
I’ve always appreciated her knack for dropping these one liners that stick. And it stuck alright, but I did it anyway.
Over the years, between my shortcomings and countless conversations, I’ve noticed a collective habit of assuming, which generates angst that is completely avoidable.
More importantly, I’ve learned this habit stems from an innate need to control the outcome of a situation.
Our need to control the outcome of a situation stems from our fear of being vulnerable — fully exposed to being accepted or rejected.
This fear stops us from standing in our truth, therefore, we start assuming.
Sadly, this act of assuming can dissolve existing relationships, inhibit new relationships from developing, and prevent stellar work from being born.
How do we let go of the need to know the outcome?
By cultivating present moment awareness.
Being in the moment helps us to overcome our need to control the outcome, and at the same time, helps us to embrace vulnerability — simply because we don’t have time to stop ourselves from being ourselves.
We don’t have time to write the mental screenplay.
We don’t have time to allow the anxiety, ego, doubt, and our feelings of inadequacy to stop us from being seen.
When we are present, we become free to live in our flow — ask for what we want, create what needs to come out of us, and say what needs to be said. Thus, we are finally being who we are meant to be.
I know speaking up is scary business because when you do, you’ll get your answer, and you may or may not like it. But no matter what, you’ll be okay as long as you let the feeling surface and be there without judgment.
Once you give yourself permission to experience and embrace the emotional aftermath, you’ll become buoyant.
After all, you can’t help but float when you dive into the sea of uncertainty squeezed into a life preserver of compassion.
Now the angst will melt away because you’re…
Not wasting energy and time ruminating about the what ifs.
Becoming more courageous. As you become more courageous, you’ll become more confident. As you become more confident, you’ll become more resilient.
Harness your innate need to control by controlling your own actions.
This takes practice. Practice creates patterns.
It doesn’t matter whether you begin on the phone with a friend, in bed with your lover, or knee deep in your creative process.
The benefits of voicing your truth in one area will pour out, flow into, and improve all the areas of your life.
So the next time you’re at the edge, instead of assuming that people won’t get it or that it won’t work — take a deep breath, trust your instinct, meet the moment, and –
If you want to know, ask.
If you need to say something, say it.
If you have something to make, make it.
Originally published at medium.com