How To Find Your Blind Spots

Leadership Coaching, Self Awareness
04/06/21 - Bijal Choksi

We all have blind spots. No one would question the existence of them when driving. Yet people are often oblivious or in denial about their blind spots in relationships, conversations, even projects and tasks.

Blind spots are how you are deceiving yourself. You may say you want one thing, but in the moment, your actions do not reflect this wish. Like my client who said she doesn’t have enough time to “get it all done”…but spends an hour in the morning and more than an hour at night on social media and watching the news. Or the client who wants to lose weight…but never makes time for movement or eating healthy. I’m the first person to say adults are free to live their lives in any way they want as long as it doesn’t harm others but make it a deliberate choice. 

Avoid the emotional dissonance that comes up when you say you want one thing, but your actions don’t reflect it. That can lead to frustration, anger, disappointment, resignation. Maybe you can relate to one or more of those emotions. One reason for this dissonance is your blind spots. It’s like a part of your brain doesn’t want anything to change, so it hides these sabotaging behaviors, habits, beliefs, and ways of being from your awareness.

What’s scary is that generally everyone around you knows your blind spots – everyone that is, except you!

So the question is, how do you find your blind spots?

1. Ask Those Around You:

One of the most direct routes to finding your blind spots is to ask people what they are. Yes you will feel vulnerable, and yes that conversation will take courage. What’s ironic is that people will probably respect you more for inquiring, but in the words of Brené Brown, “People hate to feel vulnerable themselves, but they easily connect with others who show vulnerability..”

Not many people take a leap of faith and ask others in their world, “I want XYZ but am failing. What is my blind spot about this?” For example, “I want to be more patient, but am still angry all the time. What am I missing?” Know that your initial reaction to the input may be denial or defensiveness. That’s normal, but don’t act on it. Instead respond “Thank you for sharing that with me.

2. Take an Assessment

There are a number of online assessment tools you can capitalize on. At Ama La Vida we use many internal questionnaires to help clients take a macro look at all the areas of their life. We’ve recently added a leadership assessment to the list of tools. Even if you aren’t a leader it’s a great way to take stock in how you approach things and to pinpoint what some potential blind spots may be. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and produces one of two leadership styles. You’ll receive an email with your results upon completion that outlines your style, strengths and blind spots. This is a great tool to identify what you may need to draw attention to that perhaps you weren’t aware of.

3. Focus on Your Strengths

This may seem counterintuitive but thinking about your strengths is often the quickest way to to identify your blind spots. 

Let us give you a couple of examples:

  • Strength: Highly Strategic
  • Blind spot might be: unable to execute, avoids details, doesn’t see the impact at the lower level.
  • Strength: Love developing others
  • Blind spot might be: too focused on people and not on tasks, doesn’t develop self well.
  • Strength: Highly empathetic
  • Blind spot might be: easily drained in conversation, not direct with others, concerned about what others think of me.

These are just a few possible examples, but you can see how knowing what you are good at might give you an indication of what your blind spots may be. 

4. Work with a Coach

A skilled coach can be helpful to highlight blind spots and patterns when you know something is getting in the way of reaching your goals, but you cannot quite put your finger on it. 

A coach will ask deep questions that will help you to take a macro view of your life. What is so dear to you that you are not including in your life? What goal do you have that is getting no love? What are you not facing in your life that needs attention? What do you value that gets no energy? What is your purpose and are you living it out? Your answers will be pointers to your blind spots. Schedule a complimentary consult to work with a coach to find your blind spots!

Examples of Blind Spots:

Here are common blind spots we hear from clients: problems making decisions, talking too much, not listening enough, controlling others, rigidity, overly task (vs. relationship) oriented, working excessively to avoid difficult conversations at home, resistance to change, overcommitting, impatience, tendency to be melodramatic, and many more.

Once you identify your blind spots, name it to tame it. Naming the blind spot is critical. It’s through awareness that intentional change happens. Once you’ve named your blind spots you can work on taking the steps necessary to overcome them. 

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