These couple of weeks I have many feelings of frustrations. With many school assignments, long weekends, and car issues all arising at the same time, it has put a toll on me. These factors all contribute to my frustration, and I didn’t recognize that I was hurting myself and others.
On June 26, 2018, my four-page essay assignment was due on midnight. Well, I did start the assignment over the weekend, but I didn’t really understand the topic and end up changing the topic at the last minute. So, at 6PM of that day, I was working on a paper that was going to be due in less than 6 hours. During that time, I was distraught with myself for improper planning. I was also upset because I did not reach out to my professor earlier for guidance. As a result, I ended up submitting a paper that did not meet the four-page requirement. Even after submitting the assignment, I remember being upset and come to a conclusion that I will receive a terrible mark. At that moment, I started complaining to the people around me, and even though they were trying to comfort me, I was being slightly rude to them. I did not realize this until my brother told me this, and that I was just overreacting and assuming the worse when I do not even have the results of the outcome yet. After a couple of days later, I received the mark for my assignment where I ended up getting a perfect mark. What a relief!
With some tears and stress from this situation, I asked myself why I reacted that way? Was it necessary? The answer is no.
Why do we always jump to our own conclusions? Why do we need to stop?
I think people come up with stories to tell themselves to fill the gap of negative uncertainty with their own imagination or thoughts derived from stories that they had heard before. Personally, I am a person that enjoys creating my personal stories and jumping to conclusions. I like to think that I can predict the outcome because I believe people do think similarly. The truth is, everyone's way of thinking is very diverse, and not all outcomes are predictable. In order to achieve more, I have learned that I need to let things play out, by not being so negative about every action I take that I have doubts about. If I was to just think of the worst case scenario all the time, then what would happen if some factor changes during a process? If the outcome is positive, then I have spent all that time stressing and feeling upset for no apparent reason, which is creating a burden on one self's mentality, which is unhealthy. Also, any negative emotions can spread onto the people that are around you without any awareness at all.
I also believe that by jumping to a conclusion, you do not believe in your own capability. This can damage your own confidence and self-esteem.
Of course, through some experiences, you could predict endings in some situation, and I think some of these predictions can impact you positively. In other time, overstressing about an issue can be damaging to yourself mentally and emotionally.
According to studies, jumping to conclusion is a negative type of thinking pattern, known as cognitive distortion. Cognitive distortion can impact on your feelings such as fear, stress and anxiety. You could read here: Cognitive Distortions: When Your Brain Lies to You.
I believe that feeling negative can have a spiraling effect. If you can recognize it sooner, you can change the outcome of your own thoughts.
How do we stop jumping to conclusions?
This will be something that I will still be working on myself, but I can say that it is not something achieved in overnight, but rather a long-term interval. Some actions that we could take to prevent jumping straight to conclusions are awareness, follow up on facts, do a check up on your mental state, and to always reflect back on the actions you have taken because all of these help you understand yourself more.
We need to be aware that when we are doing it. Don’t just jump to conclusion, remember the assumptions are just stories you make up.
We can identify facts versus the fiction. Facts are reality and are the truth. Fiction is something created by your imagination.
Do a checkup with your feelings? What are you feeling? If you are feeling anxiety, stress, and unpleasantness, asks yourself why and where this feeling is directed towards.
Lastly, always reflect on your actions because we only become better by dealing with these situations than to continue doing the same thing.