The type of blind-spot I am writing about here is the psychological type – where I was unable to see certain things about my own behaviour, not the optic nerve type of blind-spot!
Tim and I were on a train journey to our next travel destination in South Korea. Tim was reading a book that a friend of mine had written about life not always being quite what it seems, and taking control. Tim knew that I had an opinion about this (not for this blog though!) and we started discussing some of the contents.
Our conversation flowed smoothly and effortlessly mirroring the train journey. A beautiful exchange where we explored our own behaviours when we get frustrated. Yes, it does happen occasionally, especially as we are together near enough 24/7 these days whilst travelling around the world. The difference about this chat was that we were observing our behaviours in a detached, loving and respectful way. Neither of us was getting into our small-minded egos at all, we weren’t making things personal or critical.
During this conversation, I suddenly saw my blind-spot. I realised that I had a habitual way of thinking, a very old habit where I would personalise things that Tim, or other people for that matter, may say. This resulted in me being snappy with them or going into a sulk. Despite them perhaps not talking specifically about me, I would leap straight onto the defensive. In the past, their comments would fester in my brain like a bad smell. Despite trying to move on from this, it seemed as if my default was to snap like an irritated terrier. Not very pleasant! And usually to my nearest and dearest. This blind-spot was no longer hiding, it hit me smack in the face. No need to analyse, no need to question why. I saw the habit for what it was. Moving on.
“Our perception could either be our path to nirvana or an invisible cage that bottles us up.” - Pawan Mishra
I realised that I had coached many people on the same issue throughout the years. I do so love coaching, the interaction and interplay with clients where I learn from them as they do from me. Coaching is a partnership, and like the conversation with Tim, it is an impersonal collaboration between coach and client in a most honest and respectful way, with no judgement. It is so rewarding when a client sees their blind-spot loud and clear. It’s as if all the cogs in the brain realign themselves, the new insights prompting them to fine tuning themselves.
Just this week, I was coaching a client about a relationship. They felt that their own well-being was based on how the other person was behaving. They believed that they needed certain behaviours from the other person so that they themselves felt ok and secure. Having great self-awareness, they did recognise that this was an old habit, but to try and break this, what they were doing was thinking more and more about the perceived issue and getting themselves tied up in a huge knot.
I pointed something out to them in a rather cheeky way. Yes, coaching can be a lot of fun at times, as well as serious!
Suddenly the client saw their blind-spot.
They realised that they didn’t need to do anything about their issue. Just like the weather, their so-called insecure feelings would eventually change, they always do. That is the nature of our feelings and the weather for that matter. We cannot control the weather and we cannot control our feelings. If we think we can, we are just wasting a lot of energy.
Since then, the client has shared with me that they feel 100% lighter now. That is the beauty of seeing our own blind-spot. It seems to rewire us. Things change. It’s like seeing one of those illusionary photos with the old and young lady, or two faces and a candlestick. Once you see both, you cannot un-see them!
Most of us (if not all of us) have at least one blind-spot. We don’t notice them – of course, we are blind to them – yet these can stand out to others. We may have a sense that there is something not working quite right but sometimes we are looking at the wrong thing. And it can take just one conversation for us to suddenly see our blind-spot illuminated like the Blackpool Tower and that insight can change everything.
Who do you know who you can have an open, truthful, impersonal, loving and respectful conversation with in order to see what blind-spot you may have? What if you ask them to tell you truthfully about anything they notice about you that you don’t seem to see for yourself. Remember not to take the feedback as a negative afront – treat it as a gift, a great life lesson.
Take care though, once seen and absorbed, it transforms you. Are you ready for that?
I am Lindsey Reed, an experienced international Confidence Coach, Trainer and Author. My aim is for us all to have a joyful, fulfilled life and I love connecting with people and helping them to remember who they really are, their true selves and re-ignite their lives with confidence. While I am travelling around the world, I am coaching clients via the internet. If you would like to work with me, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can connect.
My book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle/ebook format and is now in over 22 countries. It describes how we create our experience of our own reality called life and through this understanding, we can have a more confident and freeing life.