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Last week I was talking with a woman contemplating her career options. She was in business for herself but growing weary of it and considering pursuing full-time employment. She seemed really torn, that is until she started talking about a dream job… spearheading a local outreach initiative she heard about through her volunteer work at a local university.

 

When Assumptions Shut The Door On Your Dreams

The more she talked, the more animated she got – I mean she was really lit up! But then her tone turned sour as she said something about how “those universities only hire Ph.D.’s for that sort of work.” And the door to her dream job slammed audibly shut.

I haven’t posted here in nearly two weeks – unusual even for me – but I’ve been quite sick and focused on delivering workshops and keynotes, and putting the finishing touches on my new website… oh so close! But this has been on my mind, this idea of assuming we’re not good enough. Of assuming anything really.

What Happens When We Make Assumptions?

We make assumptions all the time. We assume we are understood. We assume that our directions are clear, that people “should know better,” and that our friends’ Facebook posts are true indicators of their happiness. We assume it’s too late, it’s too crazy, and that we can’t.

It all came to a head for me yesterday when a woman I barely know, seeing that I was still sick, sent me a private message. She simply said, “Hi there, I know you have lots of friends, I don’t know where you live, but I have a flexible schedule (being a Realtor)… if you need anything I could go to the store for you… or whatever help I can be.”

Start Considering The “What Ifs”

I love this! I love that she didn’t assume I had everything I needed. I love the friends who don’t assume I have plans for the holidays, or that my social media posts tell the whole story. I love the clients that let me take them on a journey of possibility. The audiences that let go of “I can’t” and consider “What if?”

We all make assumptions; it’s a human condition. But the closer I look at the assumptions I make about others, the more I see the ones I have made about myself. What assumptions about yourself do you need to reconsider?

If you want to have SWAY, if you want to be a person of influence, then you’re going to have to see yourself as someone who can in fact be influential. Think about it.