Am I Sure?

Take a moment to think about how often you jump to conclusions—at work, at home, with family and friends, or even amongst random people you encounter in daily life. In many cases, the sensitivities and opinions that we have accumulated over the years frequently cause our minds to leap to a conjecture that is just plain wrong. For example:

  • Your supervisor is brusque with you at work; do you jump to the conclusion that she is dissatisfied with your performance—and then lie awake at night fretting about it for hours? Is it instead possible that your supervisor was just distracted, fatigued, or hungry?
  • You notice that your girlfriend receives multiple text messages on her phone from someone you don’t know. Do you grow suspicious and when she's not looking, read the conversation and begin to feel jealous? Or is your first thought that it’s just an old friend from school catching up?
  • A man cuts ahead of you in the checkout line; do you become silently outraged at his rudeness? Or do you allow for the possibility that he simply did not see you waiting?
  • Your spouse snaps at you when you ask for help with housework. You get upset, thinking that they don’t value your contributions in the home, and you remain standoffish for the rest of the night. Is it instead possible that your spouse was stressed out because of work?

If situations like these sound familiar, try this—next time you experience these challenging emotions and this unease, pause, take a few breaths and ask yourself this question: Am I sure?

Asking this simple question wakes us up.  It helps us to be more in touch with our reality, and leave behind pre-conceived notions and conditioned responses.  Asking this question can prevent our spirits from spiraling down into anxiety, fear, anger, and insomnia. This is mindfulness at work.