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23 August 2016

THIS Does Not Mean THAT: How Assumptions Destroy Us

Jairek Robbins

assumptions quote

Would it be fair to say that we have all been through many many different types of experiences in life? They range from great, interesting, bad, horrible, tough, challenging, fun…etc and just about everything in between!


What’s interesting is that as we go through life we experience all of the moments in different ways. Some of them are strong enough that they become a significant emotional event (SEE) that leaves triggers or  marks on our nervous system. This mark on our nervous systems reminds us that when an event starts to look similar to the SEE we are supposed to respond and “assume” what is about to happen next.


Example: Let’s say you’re in a relationship and you’ve fallen in love, everything’s amazing, beautiful, and incredible. All of a sudden you find yourself listening to a very specific song on the radio thinking about your lover and how amazing they are. Midway through the song they call you and dump you. WTH AHHHHHHH!!! 


I hate to bring up bad memories, but I’m sure it has happened to some of you (certainly happen to me a couple times). Here’s the crazy part: let’s say you are in a brand new relationship with a totally different human being. One day you are going about your business, everything is awesome and that song comes on the radio.  As you’re listening to the song all of the sudden those old memories hit you. To make it worse, at that exact moment, the phone rings and it’s your boyfriend/ girlfriend of the moment.


What do you think is going in on your nervous system?


Whether it’s true or not, you’re nervous system starts to react: “I’ve been on this road, I know what’s about to happen! They’re going to break up with me!” and you pick up the phone and say “Hello?” “Hey! What’s up?” and you start acting funny and maybe you get mad at them, “I don’t want to talk right now!” and you hang up on them. This will generally leave them a bit confused. They just called because they care about you and they wanted to say “I love you,” but your nervous system linked up a past painful experience to a current experience as if THIS means THAT. Luckily, It’s not true.


THIS does not mean THAT.

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Let me give you a little bit of science behind this. There is a study done by Martin Seligman years ago where he took animals and put them in a cage. He put a little space in between them, so there are two sides that you can step on. On one side he put a lever for the animal that would turn on/off and send a light electrical current underneath their foot which would hurt. In experiment A, If the animal hit the lever it would shut off the electric shock.


In experiment B, they created the same lever and they made it do nothing. What ever the animal did to the lever the electric shock would not stop – which sounds horrible! PS: I DO NOT endorse experiments like this at all.


In round one, the animal in experiment A figured out how to turn off the shock quickly. The animal in experiment B tried lots of different things but no matter what it did with the switch it did not stop the shock. The scientists stopped, pull the animals out, let them walk around and do other stuff. A few minutes later they placed the animals back in and this time they gave both animals (experiment A & B) the ability to control the electric shock. The first animal (experiment A) who was able to turn it off the first time, quickly turned off the electric shock. The animal in experiment B who’s lever did not work the first time, lied down and just suffered through the shock. Wild right!?


What does this mean to you? I am sure you’ve never just given up and accepted some painful event in your life as “just the way it is”… or have you?


Where in your life right now are you allowing old triggers or memories to link up in your head that makes you think “there’s no point in even trying to change how it is”?


Does this happen in your relationships, business, your finances, emotional life?


Where have you assumed it’s not even worth trying anymore? What if God, Universe or Mother Nature is giving you another chance to make the switch active this time so when you do it, IT WILL ACTUALLY WORK?


What if that next time you did try – you achieved your desired outcome?


Take a moment to dig through your emotions and identify what are a couple of areas of your brain that is linked up to meanings that do not serve you?


Don’t allow something that happened 10 years ago, 10 months ago or 10 days ago to dictate what you’re about to do in the future. I believe in learning from mistakes. I also believe in not allowing your brain to make assumptions that are not always true.


To your success,





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