What’s Your Blind Spot?

Have you ever felt like your business, career or life was on autopilot?

You know those scenarios or cycles you are continually experiencing in your life?

  • The boyfriend who you continually drop everything for, give everything you have and then walks out on you…
  • The work colleagues who you share your great ideas with and then get the promotion you wanted with your ideas (yes – they didn’t acknowledge you)…
  • The way you get all excited about starting a new project, however don’t make time to finish what you started…
  • Spending more money in your life than you earn…
  • Making excuses for yourself.

You get the picture!

In this post, I will discuss –

  • What is a Blind Spot?
  • The Johari Window
  • Why Uncover Your Blind Spots?
  • What is Self-Sabotage?
  • What’s Your Blind Spot?
  • Meeting Your Blind Spots.

Let’s get started…

 

What is a Blind Spot?

There are a number of definitions on blind spots, including one’s related to vision –

  • “the point of entry of the optic nerve on the retina, insensitive to light” and “an area where a person’s view is obstructed” ~ Google
  • “the small circular area at the back of the retina where the optic nerve enters the eyeball and which is devoid of rods and cones and is not sensitive to light”Merriam-Webster
  • “an area that you are not able to see, especially the part of a road you cannot see when you are driving, behind and slightly to one side of the car” ~ Cambridge Dictionaries Online
  • “an area where a person’s view is obstructed” ~ Oxford Dictionaries

And then there are also the definition of blind spots related to personal and professional development (which are the ones I focus on in coaching and mindfulness) –

  • “a subject that you find very difficult to understand at all, sometimes because you are not willing to try” ~ Cambridge Dictionaries Online
  • “a subject that you do not understand well, often because you do not want to know or admit the truth about it” ~ MacMillan Dictionary
  • “an area where a person lacks understanding or impartiality” ~ Oxford Dictionaries
  • “a tendency to ignore something especially because it is difficult or unpleasant” ~ Merriam-Webster

The Johari Window

The Johari Window is the work of two American Psychologists – Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. It is a technique that can be used for understanding ourselves and others better.

As you can see by the following diagram the Johari Window has four ‘panes’ and is based on the principle that all things about ourselves exist to be known.

Johari Window

The four ‘panes’ of the Johari Window are –

  1. The Arena – where information is known to yourself and also known to others. There is shared knowledge on the basis of our relationship with other people. The arena increases in size as the level of individual-individual, individual-group, trust and communication increases.
  2. The Facade or Mask – where information is known to self, but not known to others. This information can include feelings, opinions, prejudices and past history. There are many reasons why people choose to keep a mask on – including fear of rejection, unworthiness etc. If this pane is big in our lives, it is said we can struggle to have truly open and meaningful relationships.
  3.  The Blind Spot – where information is known to others, however you do not know about yourself. This information can be in the form of body language, habits, mannerisms, tone of voice etc. Our blind spots are the things that we are not aware of when we are communicating to other people. This can be challenging for individuals as it involves exposing weaknesses and imperfections (i.e. vulnerabilities). The ‘blind spot’ can also be exploited by other people.
  4. The Unknown (or unconscious) – where information is not known to yourself or other people. Some of this material may be so far below the surface that I may not be aware of it. Other information may be below the surface of awareness to both myself and others, however can be made public in a conversation or feedback. This information may include unrealised potential, past memories etc.

The boundaries of each of the panes of the Johari Window are flexible – they can enlarge or reduce depending on the amount of self awareness and feedback one gives or receives.

 

What is the Ideal Window?

Personally, I think it depends on the relationship and how safe and accepted you feel. In a significant relationship where trust and boundaries are in place, a window with a large Arena, and small Blind Spot, Mask or Unknown would be common.

A person with a large Arena would be relatively easy for other people to interact with and understand, which is turn would make for a more authentic and honest relationship. However if the trust and authenticity is not there, I would imagine an Arena which is smaller.

 

Why Uncover Your Blind Spots?

Why is it important to uncover your blind spots?

Because it increases your self-awareness and helps you live in greater alignment with who you are meant to be, so you can make your difference in the world and live your greatness wholeheartedly.

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Also, before you start worrying about if you have a blind spot or not, the majority of us do, so don’t worry you are not alone! Blind spots often link to self-sabotage.

 

What is Self-Sabotage?

Before we identify what self-sabotage is, let’s have a look at the definitions of sabotage from a range of dictionaries as they may give us some clues. According to the following, sabotage is –

  • “the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly” or “an act or process tending to hamper or hurt” ~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “deliberately destroy, damage or obstruct (something)” ~ Oxford Dictionary
  • “to deliberately stop someone from achieving something, or to deliberately prevent a plan or process from being successful.” ~ MacMillian Dictionary
  • “any undermining of a cause” or “any underhand interference with production, work etc…” ~ Dictionary.com

Mmm – so looking at these definitions and then adding the “self” to them, does self-sabotage mean –

  • the act of destroying or damaging our self deliberately so that we do not work correctly?
  • an act or process tending to hamper or hurt ourselves
  • deliberately destroy, damage or obstruct ourselves
  • to deliberately stop our self from achieving something, or to deliberately prevent a plan (i.e. a goal or intention) or process from being successful (e.g. our life)
  • any undermining of a cause (i.e. are we undermining ourselves?)
  • any underhand interference (e.g. not caring for ourselves) with production, work etc..

Another way I have heard self-sabotage described is in regards to energy or life force. For example – self-sabotage is the resistance (internal conflict or blocked energy) to the flow of life or Chi.

 

What’s Your Blind Spot?

What is continually happening in your life? Is there a situation that is hurtful or harmful to your happiness and wellbeing?

Maybe you regularly feel anxious, overwhelmed, insecure, frustrated, insecure or shame?

Or are there any behaviours or experiences that happen repetitively in your career, productivity, health, money, food, relationships, love life or physical health?

What things do you find difficult to be, do or say as a leader?

Still not sure? Some examples of blind spots include –

  • Continually running late for appointments.
  • Valuing being right over being effective.
  • Saying “yes” to people in your life, when you would really like to say “no”.
  • You don’t see or realise the impact you have on other people.
  • Becoming impatient when the changes in your life are not happening as fast as you would like.
  • Not standing up for yourself in conversations as you don’t like conflict.
  • Accomplishing something you really want, however then throwing it all away as you think you don’t deserve it.
  • Settling for less than what you really want in your life because you think you are not worth it.

 

Meeting Your Blind Spots…

As you start seeing your blind spots, you might have a tendency to blame other people (and fall in to the victim mindset) and think “Poor me, why do all of these things continually happen to me?”

However, as hard as it may be or sound, the only thing those scenarios have in common… is YOU, your story and something you don’t see – your blind spot.

This is why we all need courage to meet, see and transform our blind spots. When you start to shine the light on them, you start to change your behaviour, align with who you are and realise the stories that you have been telling yourself are simply not true.

You start to realise you are not the victim and are the creator of your wild and precious life.

You start to take responsibility for your life and give your self permission to start dreaming again.

You start to develop confidence in yourself and realise that you are worthy of love, connection and belonging.

Each day you start to take small steps towards your dreams and then one day you realise you are living your dreams.

 

I hope this post has given you some more insight in to blind spots and how they can be impacting your life, so you can align with who you truly are.

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

3 Comments

  • Lawrence Brown

    Reply Reply March 29, 2017

    good info

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