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Seeing Spots, Part II: The Workaround

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware we cannot help but change.”

-Sheryl Sandberg

If you read my previous piece about sneaky blind spots, then you’ve probably concluded that you have some lurking just out of sight in your life. So now you’re either blissfully ignoring that information or careening headlong into a vicious spiral of dread wondering how many ways they’re sabotaging you right this very minute. Or maybe something in between. Definitely something in between. Right??

Becoming aware of the existence of these blind spots in our lives is at once empowering and next-level frustrating, isn’t it? We know the gaps are out there, and yet we have no way of addressing what we can’t see. It’s the ultimate catch-22 — not unlike that annoying conundrum when you graduate from college and need to get an entry-level job to gain experience, but all the entry-level jobs require … experience. I’m willing to bet you found a clever workaround for that, and good news! You’ve come to the right place to find a workaround for this, too.

Ultimately, the secret to finding out what you don’t know (and using it to your advantage) lies in enlisting the help of someone else. Depending on your specific needs, that someone could be a coach, a mentor, a counselor, or all of the above. The point is, you need someone with a bird’s-eye view of your situation to help you fill in the blanks, to peel that figurative ‘kick me’ sign off your back.

Much like that handy blind spot assistance feature in your car, your chosen coach/mentor/counselor will alert you to any unseen threats in your vicinity and help you navigate around them. They have a superior vantage point, and not necessarily just because they are able to see your situation from a different angle. What qualifies them to help you varies depending on what type of obstacles you’re facing, but often they have already achieved some version of what you’re trying to accomplish now and/or they have a boatload of experience working with people in situations like yours, and/or they have special training/licensing/certification. It’s up to you to examine your needs and decide what type of skill set will serve you best.

When you’re ready to see what you’ve been missing, start here:

1. What’s your problem? Or, if you’re feeling delicate, what is the nature of your issue? Are your struggles primarily with personal relationships, business matters, physical or emotional challenges?? Give it some thought to ensure you choose the right person for the job — driving a nail with a feather is not fun.

2. Honesty is the only policy. Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Your blind spot detector can’t help you if they don’t know the whole story.

3. Stay open. If you’ve chosen the right helper, they may tell you some things you don’t want to hear. Remember, some of the trickiest blind spots exist because we carefully avoid looking in that direction. The truth might hurt at first, but it will help if you let it. Promise.

Now exhale. Not today, blind-spot-induced spiral of dread. Not today.

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