“Beliefs can easily cause us to become blind to the obvious.”
– Daniel Simons, Psychologist
Daniel became well known for creating the ‘Gorilla’ experiment, using basketball players – which showed that people can very easily miss the very very obvious. (click here if you don’t know about it) Maybe like me you’ve sometimes had an ‘Aha!’ moment where you go, ‘Why didn’t I see that before?’, which leads to a change in perspective, and ultimately change of action and direction. To me the reason is blind spots.
The easiest analogy is the blind spot in a car – that area just outside your personal radar. That’s why it’s always important to turn your head as a double-check in certain situations. Although I see some new car models now have a ‘blind-spot’ detector which lights up to say ‘Something is now in your blind spot’. If only we could do that in our lives and careers… As someone once said to me, “It’s what I can’t see that I’m concerned about, because that’s what can hurt me!”
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a blind spot(s). And I know many who aren’t open to hearing about them. The key question is, are you open to discovering them? Most people don’t want to because it hurts the ego… And if you are open, the next question is how do I find them?
In simple terms, I believe there are 2 ways.
1. Live life and just let it all happen. Try to figure it out yourself.
2. Live life and choose carefully trusted people who will tell you the truth with no agenda i.e. they help you figure it out.
Both work. The benefit of the second one is that you can reduce the pain that will inevitably happen in the first option and speed up your learning.
What can you do this week to uncover some blind spots?
ps – In my experience, people who know you well often talk to each other about your ‘blind spots’ but they don’t always tell you – for fear of offending you, or indeed incurring your ‘wrath’…