Your blind spots may hurt you, and you may not even be aware of them. Our subconscious minds make 90% of our decisions without even being aware of what we eat, how we start our day, how routinely we reach for our phones, and who we turn to for advice.
We run most of our lives on autopilot without questioning our judgments and misconceptions. But this is where our blind spots lie. Identifying your blind spots can open up your world and help you navigate your life and relationships more meaningfully.
Here are three common blind spots and what you can do about them:
You confuse excuses for reasons.
Not enough money, time, or resources. We’ve heard it all, and we’ve said it all. But if we decided to get honest, we’d see that one of our most significant blind spots is confusing excuses for reasons.
A reason is, “I cannot drive this car because it broke down.” An excuse would be, “I could not get to work because my car broke down.”
A reason implies a direct correlation between your behaviour and situation. Yes, you are wise not to drive a car that is broken down. But a vehicle breaking down should not stop you from getting to work.
Self-honesty requires courage. What’s stopping you from moving ahead in whatever you desire? Are they excuses?
You don’t know what you don’t know.
You’re convinced you’re right, and you’ll pull in evidence outside of yourself to support your belief, rather than the other way round. You’re not as objective as you’d like to believe.
We inherit an entire bag of assumptions — from our experiences, families and communities. It’s often the lens through which we view the world. But don’t confuse your worldview as being the absolute truth.
Realize that our minds don’t know what they don’t know unless you are mindful and self-aware. Try looking for evidence to the contrary to stretch your mind.
Yes, it is a scientific fact that we’re pulled to this earth by gravity or else we’d all be falling off. But it is not a fact that money is evil and that everyone’s out to get you. Learn to separate facts from your perceptions. Your perceptions are just that- your perceptions.
Unless your ideas are scientific facts, recognize that they’re your opinions. There’s a difference.
What can you do? Question your beliefs. Examine the nuances that this vast world has to offer. In other words, keep an open mind.
You believe you’re this way because you’re made this way.
People with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities, talents and intellect are fixed- it’s “what they’re born with.” At the same time, a person with a growth mindset believes that their capabilities can be expanded upon with effort.
The concept of the fixed vs. growth mindset was coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, a psychologist and professor at Stanford. This is one of the most significant blind spots for many people and is very limiting. But you can change. And the extent of that change is directly proportional to the size you believe you can change.
What can you do about this mindset? Stay curious. Ask questions instead of making assumptions. Try new things. Engage in an activity that you’ve never done before. Learn a new language, take up dancing. View challenges as opportunities instead of problems.
In conclusion — get out of your head.
In this article, we talked about the blind spots of our minds. We make a lot of our conscious and subconscious decisions using our heads. But you are much more than your mind. Learn to get out of your mind.
Start tapping into what your heart and your body say. It may sometimes be a better GPS than your mind and could lead you out of your tunnel vision.
Photo credit: Taras-Chernus-Unsplash