HONK! Anyone ever catch themselves merging into another lane and right into the car hanging out in your blind spot? I’ll bet you didn’t see them in your mirrors. In fact the only way you would have seen the car in your blind spot is to actually turn your head briefly to look.
For those of us moms seeking personal growth or teaching others how to tap into personal growth we can appreciate that a blind spot when we drive is similar to a blind spot in our personal development. It’s scary and new but eventually we all have to merge into a different lane to get where we want to go and be who we want to be. We have to take the road less traveled and actively seek out our personal blind spots. It’s not easy and it never ends as we have to re-evaluate our lives in motherhood from season to season.
I am going to give you some ideas about how to uncover your blind spots. Knowing your blind spots is a key step in our self actualization journey.
What is a personal growth blind spot?
By definition, a blind spot is an area where a person’s view is obstructed. It’s something we can’t see unless we look for it. A personal growth blind spot is something about ourselves that us moms don’t know, perhaps have forgotten, or simply don’t see as clearly as other people. Blind spots can be physiological traits found in our behaviors or habits. They can also hide out in our personal values, beliefs and attitudes (e.g. perfectionism, anxiety, patience). In some cases we are afraid to acknowledge certain characteristics about ourselves and in other cases we’ve forgotten about some of our idiosyncrasies. Either way, a personal growth blind spot inhibits us from facing certain truths about ourselves.
Motherhood is the best reason to uncover your blind spot
Why is it important to uncover our personal growth blind spots?
A blind spot is definitely not something we easily identify or even overcome. In fact we might not ever conquer them fully, but pursuing the mastery of our blind spots will inevitably elevate our self awareness bringing us closer to self-actualization.
Admitting that we have a personal growth blind spot can feel almost like admitting a weakness. While they do reveal a gap in our skills, experiences or beliefs, blind spots are the areas in which we have opportunities for personal growth. I would argue that an opportunity for self-improvement is not a weakness at all but rather self-inflicted limitations. By choosing to address your blind spots, more fondly referred to by me as personal growth opportunities, you increase your self-awareness.
Being more self-aware leads to personal growth and a life lived to the fullest potential possible.
Why is it difficult to admit our blind spots?
Your personal growth blind spots will probably not be obvious to you because you see things from your own perspective all the time. Your point of view will always be one sided which is why you have blind spots in the first place. Let’s consider for a moment that you got some feedback from the people you manage that you are not a great communicator. While this information is frustrating to receive it makes sense because you feel a tremendous amount of anxiety about conversations you have with your coworkers. Perhaps this whole time part of your anxiety was due to your own lack of communication skills. You just weren’t able to see it from your point of view. Your anxiety about the communication channels at work could be because you’ve never spent time mastering your communication skills because you didn’t know you weren’t good at it. A blind spot is a blind spot because of the basic fact that you were unaware of it.
Tips for discovering your personal growth blind spots
1. Be open minded and consider other points of view
If we all agreed with each other all the time life would be utterly boring. While disagreements are typically classified as a “conflict” in motherhood, the difference in opinion is still valuable. We each experience the world through our own unique lens and therefore our viewpoints are different. When we learn new things that don’t match what we already know we don’t necessarily understand them. Our default reaction to the new information or opinion is to try to package it into a category that we may already know very well. This is technically referred to as assimilation if you want to geek out with psychology jargon. Being open-minded, however, requires a person to use something psychology geeks call accommodation. Accommodation is a process in which new information changes or replaces old ideas or beliefs. It takes a great deal of mental strength to admit your opinion of something might have been wrong. Accommodating our brain to accept values or beliefs can feel confusing at times, but it can also be life changing. Working with a coach or mentor is a great option if you think this tactic could unveil some of your blind spots.
2. Be part of a strong community that challenges and supports you
Friends and mentors that we regularly interact with are influencers in our lives whether we want them to be or not. They will see our good, bad and ugly days and in return you will be part of theirs. It’s a pretty sweet exchange when you consider all the benefits it offers. When everyone in a community leans in towards each other then no one is left to fall down. Communities encourage and champion one another efforts. They challenge each other to try new things. Communities celebrate the highest of highs together and they grieve together in the lowest of lows. Surrounding yourself with a community of people to compliment, diversify and challenge your skills, knowledge and beliefs is time well spent. This could be the easiest way to uncover a blind spot. Who knows you might find a new blind spot eating a slice of cake at the next birthday party.
3. Be inquisitive and ask yourself the tough questions
Self reflection is a great tool to use when you want to uncover a blind spot. Make time to do self reflection and when you do, ask yourself questions. I use journaling as my go to self-reflection exercise. I like to journal because it allows me to release all my thoughts in a judgement free zone and it's not a huge time suck for anyone but me, I use journal prompts to get me started on any one topic. These are some question prompts for a blind spot journal entry:
Are there any behaviors or experiences in your life (e.g. career, home, marriage, finances) that happen repetitively?
Do you regularly feel emotions like guilt, anxiety, overwhelmed or frustration? What in your life is causing these feelings?
What do you dislike the most in your life right now? Why do you dislike these things?
4. Be proactive by hiring a life coach or finding a blind spot buddy
Hiring someone to help you discover your blind spots is going to be the most efficient way to go about finding opportunities for personal development. Working with me as your mom coach is unique in the regard that my sole job is to help you become a better version of yourself. The conversations are all about you and your goals and the time you’ll spend with a mom coach is very fulfilling and productive. I’ve received lots of varieties of life coaches. Currently my business coach really pushes me outside of my comfort zone as an entrepreneur. To be able to zone in on myself and my career for one or two hours a week when I work with her is gratifying and feels very productive.
If you are looking for something with a lower price tag then asking a close friend to be your blind spot buddy is a good option too. The old fashioned approach to having a sit down with another human in which you give and receive feedback to one another is a tried and true method to learn about yourself. This is a give and take scenario though so be prepared to spend the extra time to help your friend with their own blind spots. When working with a buddy I would start the conversation with words of affirmation (all the good things) to break the ice. Try not to get sidetracked in your discussions because the second part of the conversation is where you share your perspective on how your friend could grow personally. Think of this almost like a two sided performance review at a job. You’ll hear your strengths and your weaknesses from a trusted mentor and in return you’ll share your views on them.
Uncovering our blind spots is a great way to get started on your road to personal growth. I know these tips help you in your discovery. Once you realize you need to merge into a different lane, you have to clear the obstacle. That’s the hardest part of your personal blind spots; addressing the newly found aspects of yourself. How do you fold these into your life in a way that enhances your quality of life? No one said it would be easy, but self awareness is the first step, always. Safe travels in your discoveries my fellow moms.
Meet Mama Bear Domain
Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it. Get your E-Book Mom, Open Your Eyes to Self-Awareness.
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