The other day, while waiting in the barber shop for my oldest son to get his hair cut, I started flipping through a Men’s Health magazine… for the articles, of course, not the six packs (lighting strike).
One article really caught my attention. It was about adjusting the mirrors on your car to eliminate blind spots. What I learned was amazing… I had been driving, for years, with my mirrors completely wrong! I had always complained (and feared) the blind spots while driving and never changed lanes without a quick head swivel to make sure the path was clear. I can’t tell you the number of jolts I’ve received in my driving lifetime when my head swivel revealed a vehicle that I didn’t realize was there.
So… I re-adjusted my mirrors. Here’s how:
- While sitting as you would while actually driving, lean your head over until it is resting against the driver’s side window. Adjust the driver’s side mirror outward until you can barely see the side of your car.
- Now, while still sitting in the driver seat, lean over toward the center of your car. From that position, adjust the passenger side mirror outward until you can see only the very edge of your car.
- Finally, sitting up straight with your head positioned as it would be if you were driving, adjust the rear view mirror so that you can see out of the entire rear window.
Voila… two minutes later, my mirrors were in the ‘correct’ position.
Taking It For A Spin
Heading out onto the road, I realized I could see sooo much more of what was behind and beside me. It was amazing. As the reflection of another vehicle slid away from my rear view mirror, it IMMEDIATELY appears in my side mirror. There was no gap of time (the blind spot) when the other car disappeared from my view.
The world opened up behind me and that created a period of adjustment. Because I could see a lot of what was behind me now, there was much more ‘movement’ in my side mirrors than I was used to. Since the mirrors were reflecting the world behind me, not just the side of my van and the road… it was a little distracting and I found myself glancing over to see what the flashes of color were (at the time of this writing, it was fall in East TN and the leaves of the trees were brilliant).
Overall, after my adjustment period and after several days of beating myself up for ‘not knowing’ the correct way to place my mirrors before… I’m a much more confident driver. Yes, I still do the head swivel from time to time, more out of habit than in the inability to see what is beside me but for the most part I spend much more time looking forward, in the direction I want to go.
Other Blind Spots
This experience was a perfect metaphor of how many of us live our lives with blind spots that we can’t see because we just don’t know how to adjust our view of them. Blind spots that we fear, that distract us from forward movement. Blind spots that keep us looking over our shoulder, using up vital energy and confidence that we didn’t even know was being drained.
An example: last week during a coaching conversation, my client shared with me how much pain his back had been giving him. He had been to the doctor, was seeking physical therapy and losing lots of sleep and productive time to this pain. During our coaching call, he had a flash of knowing, an understanding that part of his inability to reach his financial goals was because he ‘could always do better.’ That was the message from his parents… his grades ‘could be better’, his efforts ‘could be better’. So he was living his life never satisfied with his results, because he should be ‘doing better.’
Guess what happened? He told me that within half an hour of that coaching conversation, his back pain went away! His ‘blind spot’ had been creating phyisical pain in his life and once it was revealed, and therefore under his control, the resulting discomfort was eliminated. Now, he can use his widened rear view reflection in a more purposeful way. How cool is that?
What Blind Spots Are In Your Life?
The tricky thing about blind spots is that you know they are there but since you can’t see them they just feel like a phantom, a threat hovering around you. They can sneak up on you when you aren’t expecting it and lead to crashes both large and small.
- Relationship crashes
- Physical health crashes
- Mental health crashes
- Money and career crashes
You can’t see what you can’t see. Just as my client couldn’t see his ‘blind spot’ until we explored it in the session, readjusted his ‘mirrors’ and helped him ‘see’ his painful past, you may find it difficult to find yours. That is where coaching becomes so valuable.
If you are ready to expand your vision and release the oppression of those blind spots, schedule a free exploratory session with me right away.
Remember, you are on the wrong side of your eyeballs to see how you move in the world. Enlisting a second pair of eyes makes seeing those blind spots so much easier!