Thursday, May 30, 2024

Fragmented Adoption Creates Pain

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Our effectiveness diminishes when we shallowly adopt thoughts the world projects upon us.

Do you know why?

Let me give you one significant reason: Assumptions

The result is controlling us, not empowering us:

1) We willingly accept them as accurate without challenging them

2) We conform to what others blindly adopt to feel we belong

3) We become fearful and reactive to our environment

By the way, all three stem from how we've come to map our inner reality; our minds, and yes, we have mapped it individually.

The 'assumption' is a fragmented representation of how we perceive the entire understanding of something; the mind is skilled at it, and for good reason, it generalises.

Why is it important? If we didn't, we would have to process every bit of data or information that our five senses signal. We'd be overloaded, not to mention underperformed, so generalising creates manageable proportions to manage the world.

A basic example: Think of walking through a closed door.

You've already come to 'assume' or 'generalise' that it must have a 'handle' to open. Imagine looking at each door you walk through every day and sensing it in a new way; we'd look similar to a monkey experiencing something new, touching it curiously, trying to form some sense of what it is.

Assumptions You've Heard Before:

"You just can't trust people" - Interpersonal Pain

Assumes that all people are untrustworthy without considering individual trustworthiness.

"People never change" - Personal Pain

Assumes that individuals are incapable of personal growth or change, overlooking evidence of personal development.

"Money is the root of all evil" - Moral Pain

Assumes that all negative behaviours are driven by a desire for money, ignoring other motivations and factors.

These assumptions categorise experiences, turning a fragment into an entire belief. They harm our emotional and psychological well-being, undermine our sense of self, and limit our ability to function effectively in various aspects of life.

To build a more effective identity, we must challenge these shallow generalisations by stopping ourselves from reacting in such categorisation and strive for a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of ourselves and, more importantly, others.

People Are Feeding You Their Assumptions

Take a look at these two images that I recently found. Image 1 is a page printed in a book. Image 2 is a sign. People were obsessing over them on social media.

Image 1 - Printed Page: Fragmentations:

"Choose People who will... "

  • What forms the criteria of the right person?
  • Are the people someone who has more influence, money, fame, speaks truth, and is on a contributory path?
  • People? What people? Are they suggesting themselves?
  • "Will" they? What would 'make' them?

"room full of opportunities."

  • Are we currently not optimising opportunities?
  • Are people aware of what opportunity looks like?
  • Does more money mean more opportunity?

Here is how I would make this empowering for me:

"Become the aspiration that simply cannot be ignore"

Image 2 - Sign: Fragmentations:

"Ignoring red flags..."

  • What constitutes a red flag?
  • Are there people without red flags?
  • Does this make me ignorant?

"Because you want to see good in people..."

  • Is it wrong to see good in people?
  • Should we look for the bad in people?

"..will cost you later."

  • What kind of cost, emotional, financial, or social?
  • Is it a guaranteed cost?
  • Can we genuinely live cost-free?

Here is how I would make this empowering for me:

"Seeing value in others in a gift, maximise it by setting safe boundaries of engagement and committment."

Both images had two things in common:

  • High interaction- Likes, conformity, adoption
  • Low engagement - Limited questioning for clarity

If you actively participate in thoughts like this, what you do on a meta-level shapes how you form your understanding of the world, literally shifting and remapping your identity.

Clarity Brings Pleasure

Well, what does empowering assumptions look like?

Let's review the example discussed earlier:

From: "You just can't trust people."

To: "Trust is earned over time."

Encourages individuals to not be judgemental on instances of experiences and allows people the opportunity to redeem that trust.

From: "People never change."

To: "Everyone has the capacity for growth and change with the right tools."

It emphasises the understanding that everyone is acting with their mental resources and allows us to see people for what they can become. It empowers both.

From: "Money is the root of all evil."

To: "Money is a tool that can be used for both positive and negative purposes."

We have a choice by encouraging a balanced view of money, recognising its potential to do good and empowering individuals to use it responsibly and ethically.


Before adopting blindly any assumption:

  1. Gain clarity or risk being sharply cut.
  2. Consciously reframe assumptions to benefit you; otherwise, you'll shift into an identity that can become damaging later.
  3. Remember, assumptions can outlast you; if you don't manage what you allow, what you project out is pre-determined.

Anks Patel

Your Self-Leadership Coach

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