It was 5:15am. I awoke to the sound of my husband yelling up the stairs. “My car’s blocked and I need to leave now.” I raced for the keys, jumped in my daughter’s car and without adjusting the seat or mirrors, began the 8 or 9 maneuvers to get out of the tight, narrow tricky garage.
My goal was get out of his way as fast as I could. Backup turn, go forward, turn again, back up, turn. It’s an inch-by-inch process and the walls are scarred, dinged and scraped by anyone not willing to respect the angles or focus needed to leave unscathed.
Finally, I executed the last turn toward the exit. Scrape. I hit the wall on the right rear side above the tire. My blind spot.
I was so convinced I was clear; yet there it was. Despite my best efforts I hit the wall.
Blind spots are the things we can’t see, even if we know there is present danger.
Blind spots are the things we are convinced we have accounted for, so it’s always so shocking when we hit the proverbial wall or conflict.
But how we interpret that blind spot and what we make it mean to us, is the biggest challenge.
Was I aggravated I hit the wall? Of course. Could I make it mean I was an idiot, a terrible driver, careless, incompetent? I could….and for a moment that critical punishing voice chimed in.
A blind side is simply an inability to see something for what it is. We lack the perspective to see the whole picture.
Blind spots happen when we can’t see another point of view. When our perspectives are fixed on a single immutable thing.
We take a problem and build a case for its validity.
Last week I began an inventory of all the things that went wrong. As I stacked up all the things I hadn’t done, things I tried, but failed at, things I’d wanted to do, but put aside, I felt the weight increase. Heaping disappointments weighed me down.
But when I did the math, the sum total was more drama than fact.
From my blind spot, I couldn’t see the positive side of “failure.” How I’d learned so many distinctions, how I’d challenged myself in a complex new area. I hadn’t credited myself with all the growth I’d made in this new endeavor. I only saw what wasn’t done.
As a coach, I help people see their blind spots, just like the person helping you back out of a driveway. Yet, there I was fully fixated on observing what was, as if it were fact, not recognizing it was, in fact, A BLIND SPOT.
Some people believe coaches should be perfect; after all that’s what they do, coach people to make their lives better, easier. But just like doctors who treat illness, they get sick too.
So, there I was stuck in my own shit when I remembered…
The shit of your past is the fertilizer of your future.
I observed my feelings, got curious about them and began an inventory of everything that went right. I wrote a list of positive aspects of what I’d learned. I focused on what I had, what I’d done, what I was grateful for and what I could do.
I stopped the story about how hard things were and crafted a new story. I walked around my blind spots and saw things differently. This lightened things and I began anew.
The reality is, Life is not a One and Done. It’s a constant check for blind spots with a willingness to get a new perspective.
What are your blind spots? What are you willing to see with a new perspective?
Make Believe~Make Belief Affirmation: Today I am open to seeing things from a new perspective.