How do I spot my blind spots?
We all have blind spots. To prove it to you, put your finger about six inches from your nose. Focus on your finger, as you move your hand from one side of your field-of-vision to the other. you will notice that the finger appears to skip. These are your visual blind spots.
We have psychological and emotional blind spots as well. By nature, we generalize, delete, and distort information. This is a good thing because our mind would, otherwise, become overwhelmed.
Often our blind spots are where our imagination does not match reality. Just the other day, I was telling someone about a woman who has an executive job and her husband takes care of the children. My listener was confused at first. In his mind, he thought I had said that the man works and the woman takes care of the children. He was listening with a different view of the world and transposed what I had said. This was a blind spot which shocked him when he realized his mistake. He thought he was more progressive than that.
The question: How do I spot my blind spots?
The short answer…you don’t.
You need community. Trusted advisors, a mastermind group, perhaps even a good coach are what you need to spot your blind spots.
Trusted advisors and mastermind groups will see you and your situation differently than you do. Ask them these questions, “How do you see me? How do you see my situation?” Listen to the answers with an open mind. Allow the feedback to marinate in your mind before deciding to reject it. What part of what they are telling you is true?
This is where it is important to choose your advisors wisely. The wrong advice can knock you off course. One of my clients wanted to stop binge eating. After working with me, their eating was under control. They told a friend from an overeating support group about our work. The friend said, “That will never last! It can’t work.” My client stopped believing and the progress ceased. It appears that being accepted by the support group was more important than making progress toward the goal. This is a blind spot.
One of the jobs of a good coach is to point out where you are not seeing reality. As you talk to your coach, they are trained to notice incongruities. Perhaps the reality is better than you think. Is it possible that you have opportunities that you are not seeing?
This is one of the challenges and thrills of being a good coach…being able to tell someone something in a way that they will make the changes they need to reach their goals. A client of mine had just met the woman of his dreams. As he told me about her, he kept saying, “She is out of my league.” I pointed this out to him and cautioned him that these words could lead to him subconsciously sabotage the relationship. He had not realized the implications before. It was a blind spot.
I asked him, “Who do you need to become to believe that you are in the same league?” This moved him out of his blind spot and led to a developmental conversation that has been very fruitful over the time we have worked together.
If you want more details about how to navigate your blind spots, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org