How many of us test our view of reality? By the time we have reached adulthood, most of us have pretty firm ideas about how the world works. The problem is, often those beliefs are based on what we think is happening, based on past experience, rather than what is really happening.

I recently went to a discussion of inclusion and exclusion. Several people spoke of situations they felt left out. However, when they actually talked to the people they perceived to be excluding them, they discovered their assumptions were wrong. In other words, their theory did not fit the facts.

How many times do we do that? Almost always, I would wager. If we approach situations with an air of curiosity about what is really happening, we stand a chance of changing old theories that keep us stuck.

Reality is usually kinder than what we are telling ourselves (our theories.) When you think about it, if our thoughts in our heads are making us feel bad, the chances of the facts making us feel worse are amazingly slim. There is a much better chance that the facts are kinder than our theories.

When we are willing to test our theories against reality, we often find our risk is beautifully rewarded. In fact, I’m going to do that right now. Wish me luck!

Addendum–I am happy to report that, indeed, in the case above, my theory was wrong and the truth was kinder than my thoughts. Yea!

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