Prompted: Speak Your Mind
Speaking up to pursue passions and avoid the proliferation of damaging stories.
I trust the afternoon is treating you well and I hope this week’s ideas and prompts help you think carefully about the beliefs of others.
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We make all sorts of assumptions becasue we don’t have the courage to ask questions.
- Miguel Ruiz
Speak Your Mind
We all like to think that we are the keeper of the keys to our minds.
We like to think that our opinions are our own and we formed them through intentional and rational thinking. We also like to think that we're right. But more than anything, we want to please other people. We crave approval and a thumbs up from the crowd. We don't want to go against the grain.
We can all remember something that we've done in the last few days because of what we thought other people would think about us.
In a study on conformity, students sat in classrooms and were asked to answer simple questions. There were actors in the room that confidently told the teacher the wrong answer and this drastically increased the chance that the other subjects in the room would provide the same wrong answer.
We are social creatures.
We care about what others think of us and we make decisions based on what others will think of us.
But we don't know what others are thinking, so we end up making decisions based on a fabricated assumption of someone else’s thoughts.
As we succumb to this fallacy in thinking it becomes more profound and creates a dangerous feedback loop:
We assume something about other’s beliefs or opinions
We abstain or change our actions due to the assumption
We act in a way that’s consistent with the assumption made
Others see our actions and believe the same incorrect assumption we made
Soon enough, there is a rift between someone’s beliefs and what others think their beliefs are and we end up like the image below. We all believe the same incorrect assumptions about each other despite everyone having unique thoughts and beliefs.
The next time we hesitate because we think about the orange circle around someone’s thoughts, we can all benefit from remembering the purple or green brain that lies beneath it.
Ask your boss for a raise. Maybe they’re too busy to realize you’re underpaid.
Ask your crush to dinner. Maybe they’ve been waiting months for you to speak up.
Share your opinion. Someone else is thinking the same thing.
Do something “crazy”. “Normal” is just a façade.
The world is a better place when it is full of diverse ideas, but we have to be brave enough to overcome our assumptions to get there.
What assumptions have I created about the thoughts of others that are preventing me from making forward progress?
Who do I need to have a conversation with to clear my assumptions and find out what they truly think?
What have I resisted doing because it’s “crazy” or a “waste of time”? Should I do it anyway?
This idea stopped me in my tracks when I came across it a few weeks back.
I would HIGHLY encourage you to take a look as well.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.
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