A common implicit assumption problem

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

Implicit assumptions that are either just plain wrong or over-generalized are at the root of a lot of suffering and stuckness.

Here’s a common implicit assumption problem

Person makes implicit assumption “i can’t be good at… ” and is therefore not being inclined to try.

What do you think you can’t be good at?

e.g.

– solving your own problems
– making and keeping friends
– being a good, equal partner in a romantic relationship
– interpersonal effectiveness
– setting and achieving goals
– managing your personal psychology and happiness
– being likable/affirming to be around
– minimizing unhelpful stress
– being handy around your home
– managing your eating and weight

There are some personality characteristics (e.g. level of introversion vs. extroversion) that aren’t really changeable at the personality level, but none of the items on the list above falls into that category.

It’s BOTH more helpful and more true to take the perspective that you do have the capacity to be good at anything from the list above that is important to you. If you’re not currently good at something, you can learn skills to get good at it. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT) are great ways to learn the skills needed for the things on the list above (home handiness excluded!).

To be successful in making changes in your life, you don’t need to completely believe what I’m saying i.e. that you can be good at…, you just need some openness to the possibility that this MIGHT be true.

Another common implicit assumption problem

People believing they should be good at something when they first try it. This type of perfectionist thinking is unhelpful. Why SHOULD you be good at something without having to practice?

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