Blind spots are dangerous when driving. Newer cars come equipped with warning signals to make up for the fact that we don’t have eyes in the back of our head. Human blind spots can also be hazardous when it comes to steering yourself in the right direction. Human blind spots are aspects about yourself that you may not be aware of. For example, you may not be aware of your facial expression and how it affects others.
If your resting face looks unhappy, people may avoid you thinking you are angry. Or, if the tone of your voice is intense others may misread you and think you are upset when in fact you are just passionate about what you are saying. When signals get crossed during miscommunication, it can leave you feeling frustrated and misunderstood.
Blind spots around your thoughts and feelings can cause you to keep making the wrong choices over and over again. For example, relationally speaking, you may be gravitating towards people whose personality types are familiar but not necessarily good for you. If you grew up in a home with a difficult Mother or Father, you may be attracted to friends and partners who are also difficult because it is familiar. Unfortunately, what’s familiar is not always what’s good for you. There is an insightful little video from The School of Life that illustrates this point.
In order to be successful, you’ve got to make healthy wise decisions.. Good decisions are made from a place of understanding the current situation, and knowing yourself inside out. For example, you don’t want to choose your agent because on some unconscious level he reminds you of your lovely Uncle Harry. You want to pick that agent based on there merits and a lot of other important qualities. We cannot erase our memories. Our memories influence our views and beliefs. Our likes and dislikes today are also influenced by our past experiences. Things can become very tangled up when you’ve got to operate in the present with a mind that may be stuck in the past.
If you lack self -awareness, you may be susceptible to getting stuck in patterns of self-sabotaging behavior. Stop wasting precious time running into the same walls over and over again and start taking responsibility for what you do have control of …….yourself! Here are some steps you can start to take to promote more self-awareness.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Constructive feedback is your friend, especially when it’s from trusted individuals. Remember there is a difference between criticism and feedback. Criticism usually comes unsolicited and doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a positive place. Feedback is solicited and feels caring and helpful.
- Know your story. Sit down with a professional or sit down with yourself and start writing the story of your life, from the very beginning. As you begin to retell your story, you may start to connect the dots, understanding why you’ve made certain choices in your life. For example, if you grew up in a strict controlling home then you may resent and feel sensitive when someone tells you what to do. But for someone who grew up in a neglectful home, they may hear it as someone being caring. When you become aware of why you feel the way you do based on your past, you will feel free to let it go with understanding and compassion if it no longer serves you in the present. Group therapy is a wonderful way to also learn more about yourself in a safe environment.
- Remember impermanence. Nothing is forever. Look around, life is constantly changing, so are you. You are capable of growth and change in any moment no matter what your past may be. Wisdom is always available to you if that’s your intention.
Being invested in your self-awareness is an investment in your happiness. You will move forward making wonderful decisions for yourself when you have a better idea of who you are and how you got here. Find people who can give you gentle, loving feedback. Group therapy is a wonderful way to also learn more about yourself in a safe environment. Don’t forget to have fun as you travel along in this journey of self-discovery. Keep in mind Rilke’s wise words:
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
I’ve created The Conscious Actor Inspiration Journal; to help actors develop awareness of what inspires them. Beautiful pages filled with inspirational quotes to help keep you strong minded. For New York actors, the journal is available at Drama Book Shop Los Angeles actors may pick up the journal at Samuel French Bookshop
Conscious Actor articles are not a substitution for professional psychotherapy.