Our assumptions and beliefs shape not only who we are but also how we see the world, impacting our mental health. Here are some tips to help you catch that pattern.
Our world view is shaped by those around us, by various beliefs and assumptions we hold of the world and of others in it. We base our predictions on our world views, forming our hopes and dreams around these views. Each and every one of us has a world view.
How do we get these views? By our life experiences and social interactions. Our social interactions give us cues as to when we should behave the “same” or when it is ok to be different.
We get into trouble when we
- Make assumptions of others
- Force others to take on our assumptions
Falling into the above pattern can often affect our mental health. Making assumptions of others can often cause issues when our perception and reality don’t match. This can cause dissonance, relationship issues, tension and anxiety. If you catch yourself making assumptions, stop and ask, “where did the assumptions come from”, and more importantly, “are they based on any fact”?
How can you avoid falling into a pattern of assumptions?
First, be aware of your own world view, and consciously think about how and why you hold these views. Second, genuinely try to think in terms of world views, attempting to understand and connect with others. Lastly, live a life of inquiry and take an interest in others, invite dialogue and allow others to speak from their heart.
Here’s a great Ted Talk by Jerry Nagel, co-founder of the Meadowlark institute, about how we shape our world view and how to appreciate the views of those around us.