You know what a blind spot is. When driving, it’s an obstruction to your peripheral vision that prevents you from seeing a car that may present a danger if you change lanes.
We all have real, optical blind spots—an actual obstruction of our visual field. Most of us will openly acknowledge that, at some point in our lives, a different kind of blind spot got us into trouble. When I think of a blind spot, I’m reminded of a line from the Simon & Garfunkel song, “The Boxer”: “All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”
Truer words were never spoken. Many of our blind spots are self-imposed. Our perceptions, biases, convictions, beliefs, attitudes, ideology and individual worldview not only allow for blind spots—they create them.
What do you tune out, neglect, ignore or shield from your field of view? Webster tells us that a blind spot is “a tendency to ignore something especially because it is difficult or unpleasant.” That’s the blind spot we need to be worried about. Psychological blind spots are real. We all have them and must be on the alert for them.
Why should we care about our blind spots? They limit our options, hinder our progress and lead us to false judgments. None of these limitations are good for us as we strive to evolve, make better decisions and become better people.
What do we do about our blinds spots? Well, the funny thing is that those people closest to us often know our blind spots. I found that if I just ask, if I’m open to the truth and try to understand why these blind spots exist, then I have a chance to lift the filters that have created these barriers to self-awareness and bring these blind spots into clear view.
I’d rather have the objects in the mirror appear closer than not see them at all.