Coach Yourself through Negative Assumptions over the Holidays

Coaching yourself through negative assumptions will enrich the holidays for you!

Often, increased contact with loved ones triggers negative assumptions, so knowing how to coach yourself is golden.

It’s likely that you check your negative narratives at the door more deftly than you think, but certain family gatherings can test our skills.

Fortunately, the Assumptions in Relationships coaching tool is easy to apply.

First, we must distinguish between beliefs and assumptions:

  • Most importantly, beliefs are based on proof.
  • In contrast, assumptions are not; we simply make them up in our heads.
Next, we must notice our negative assumptions – the beginning of a vicious circle.
  • For example, “My cousin has not changed.”
  • Also, “This is going to be like every family dinner we’ve ever had.”
  • And, “My sister is going to bring up politics again.”
To coach yourself, you must first catch yourself in negative assumptions about others.
Catching your negative assumptions about people is the first step in coaching yourself.
Now, examine how your negative narratives impact your actions.
  • for example, (assumption) “This is going to be like every family dinner we’ve ever had.”
    • actions:
      • I talk to people about the same things I always talk to them about.
      • Also, I don’t look forward to the event.
      • I don’t share what’s new with me.
Imagine how your actions influence the assumptions of others, such as. . .
  • (action) I don’t share what’s new with me.
    • assumptions of others. . .
      • “He’s quiet.”
      • “He’s not enjoying himself.”
      • “I’ve done something to offend him.”
      • “Something’s bothering him.”
Then, imagine how their narratives about you impact their actions; for example. . .
  • My family doesn’t share with me what’s new with them.
  • Also, they ask my parents if something is going on with me.
  • And, they engage with other members of my family, but not with me.
Usually, their actions support your original, negative assumption: “This is going to be like every family dinner we’ve ever had.”
You’re back at the beginning of the vicious circle.

This is the bad news. The good news is that making negative assumptions about others is normal, so why not make up positive ones?

Once you notice the vicious circle of your negative assumptions, you can create positive ones, and coach yourself into a virtuous cycle.
Obviously, there are a variety of positive narratives that you could make up about holiday occasions; for example. . .
  • “This family gathering is going to be unique.”
  • “My cousin has grown as a person.”
  • “My sister has a lot of interesting information to share.”
Clearly, these positive assumptions give way to a new set of actions, like. . .
  • Being open and sharing myself with people will work.
  • I ask people what’s new with them.
  • I demonstrate interest and excitement for them.
These actions influence the narratives of others, such as. . .
  • “I think he’s happy.”
  • “He’s interested in me.”
  • “He’s got a lot of positive things going on.”
I’ll let you complete the virtuous cycle yourself; that is, their positive assumptions lead to positive actions, which support your original, positive narratives.

By the way, even if you have strong beliefs about others supported by evidence, negative beliefs work the same way as negative assumptions. They create a vicious circle.

  • How could you flip your negative beliefs on their heads?

For a deeper look at coaching yourself, check out the The Life Coach School.

Also, Coach Natalie Bacon has some excellent resources for coaching yourself.

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