I think I was about 10 years old when I was astounded by my teacher writing the word “ass” on the chalkboard. She asked the class, “Do you know what assume means? It’s to make an ass out of you and me.”

I didn’t get it until years later. But the phrase stuck with me. I think about it every time I wrongly assume an ambivalent email is a slight or a lack of a response is a rejection. Unconsciously, I take one misunderstanding and assume the worse. As Alanis Morissette says in her song So Unsexy, “One forgotten phone call and I’m deflated.”

Often our assumptions trigger something in us that makes us feel less than. Mark Lesser of Accomplishing More by Doing Less says triggers, “can be survival patterns from past experiences, or habitual ways of responding we’ve acquired to protect ourselves…With awareness, we can gain the ability to choose, at least to some degree, how to respond different than we have in the past.”

It’s not easy to clear up misunderstandings or begin to take responsibility for the ways you unconsciously sabotage yourself. But the alternative, obsessing over emails, worrying over a missed phone call can lead to unnecessary drama and stress in your life.

This week we’re tackling some of these assumptions with posts such as identifying what “health at every size” really means and believing we’re on our own when it comes to panic at our workplace. It’s all great ways to prevent us from looking like asses. Thanks teacher!

Equine Therapy for Weight Loss?

(Equine Therapy) – When you think of losing weight, I’m sure horses don’t come to mind. But there are actually a lot of good reasons why equine therapy can help those who struggle with weight. Read how here.

Is the Idea of Health At Every Size Just Permission to Be Fat?

(Weightless) – Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW busts a common and insidious assumption about health at every size. In this passionate posts, Pershing stands strong about her argument that it’s about health, not the fat.

How to Request Workplace Accommodations for Panic Disorder

(Panic About Anxiety) – You don’t have to suffer in that cubicle waiting for your next panic attack. Take advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to get the help and resources you need to breathe a little easier.

What Can You Accomplish With Love?

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – This isn’t what you think it is. Although the love we have for others is important, it is the love we have for ourselves that really moves mountains. Discover the healing power of self-love.

Art Saved My Life

(The Creative Mind) – If you are an artist or someone who loves to dabble in a bit of creativity every once in awhile, you already know the healing benefits of art. Read how an actress and an artist have practiced the power of creative expression to heal old wounds and explore their shadow side.