Let’s face it, we all have blind spots in our lives; how we respond to situations, how we relate to people, how we make decisions, how we navigate life’s ups and downs, etc. In this piece, we will explore what blind spots are, how to recognize them, and how to change your mindset and behavior so that you can develop and gain a 20/20 perspective.
Blind Spots - What are they?
Blind spots encompass situations and/or circumstances influenced by emotional triggers that determine our reactions and responses. Another way to think about blind spots relates to negative behaviors (e.g., defensiveness, taking things personal, outbursts, avoiding conflict, sarcasm, shutting down emotionally, etc.). Emotional reactions occur automatically which makes them blind spots. In other words, “we can’t acknowledge what we don’t recognize”.
Vani Kola writes that “Blind spots occur when we allow our emotions and thoughts (usually unconscious) to influence or result in behaviors harmful to us or others.”
Blind Spots – How do I recognize them?
It’s your turn:
Think about a situation that has occurred in the past or people in your life that evoked negative emotional reactions. Take a moment and ask yourself these questions:
- What is the situation?
- What am I feeling?
- Do these feelings repeat when I have a conflict with this person?
- Is it worth it to change my perspective?
- Can I let this go?
Blind Spots – How can I overcome them?
When a situation occurs and you you react in an emotional manner that causes conflict, apply the 4A’s in overcoming blind spots. In other words, let the light shine and draw you into a positive direction.
As the phrase says: It is what it is. Your reactions are your reactions. Dismiss the judge in your life and realize that this situation represents a moment in time. What significance or emotion you attach to it is OK. There’s also a difference between acceptance and agreement. Blind spots are normal, but you don’t have to accept the fact that they can’t be changed. They most certainly can if you have awareness and desire to do so.
Another phrase that comes to mind is “call a spade a spade”. Call it out and recognize this emotional response and/or trigger has surfaced. If you deem this situation and/or relationship to be important, then spend a few minutes to assess the situation. Ask yourself – why do I feel this way? Is it worth the time and effort to address or resolve the conflict (external or internal)?
Ask for feedback!
Don’t be afraid or feel like you’re weak to speak to someone about it. I’ve spent a lot of time addressing my blind spots. I’ve seen counselors, spoke to family members, my spouse, and friends about situations that have caused a lot of pain and insecurity. When I look back on my life, I’m in a much better position today to handle blind spot moments when they surface. Instead of blind spots taking me down a dark alley, I’m able to analyze them in a short period of time, make a conscious decision on what to do about it and then move on. What’s crucial about asking for feedback is for those people to be in your camp who have your best interest in mind.
Act on it!
Taking action might look like this.
- Address the situation and/or emotions with the person that you’re dealing with.
- Accept the situation for what it is and move on.
- Empathize with the people or person involved in the situation.
- Show forgiveness.
- Let it go.
“If you don’t manage emotions, your emotions will manage you.”
Take the Blind Spot Assessment Challenge. Request a complimentary Assessment Tool for you to begin identifying and clarifying your blind spots.