A few years ago, I went on vacation with some of my extended family and stayed at a hotel where the entire back portion is primarily glass windows and glass doors.
This wasn’t a foreseen problem…
…until I got distracted by a motorized luggage cart while walking along a path at the hotel.
As I tried to be polite to the driver of the cart by moving over, I tripped over the sidewalk…and then as I tried to correct my fall, I tripped over a huge rock and fell flat on my face.
Rock – 1
Kim – 0
The fact is, I simply didn’t see the tiny variation in the sidewalk…and apparently, I didn’t see the rock either.
My fall was not graceful or quick. I actually skidded a few feet after hitting the ground.
And the glass windows, doors, and veranda that weren’t previously a problem? Well, they became problematic because EVERYONE who was out on the ground level veranda, and everyone who had a view out of the windows, patios, and doors, got one heck of a show – a free comedy show, compliments of me!
I could hear a few people laughing.
Not that I blamed them because I’m sure it was quite the sight. Even though I was extremely embarrassed as I scrambled to get up, I even laughed at myself because the rock was huge. The variation in the sidewalk wasn’t near as noticeable, but the rock was unmistakable! Both were blind spots to me.
It’s the same with the “blind spots” and “pitfalls” we each have in our own individual lives…most everyone can see them – they’re truly very obvious, while we personally can only see a few.
Some are subtle (like the sidewalk); some are huge (like the rock)…all can create a crazy amount of regrets, grief, heartache, destruction, unnecessary challenges, and hardships in life.
So what are blind spots and pitfalls?
Blind spots – an area where a person’s view is obstructed or in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality.
Pitfalls – a hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty.
Everybody has blind spots and potential pitfalls. It’s so very important to ask people (the ones who you know care about you) what yours are. They can prevent an outrageous amount of grief and life challenges.
Each year, I choose a few trusted people to ask a very important question of:
“Can you please share with me what you would consider my blind spots…the irritating habits, hang ups, insensitivities, and character flaws I may or may not be aware of…and do you see any potential pitfalls I could experience in the future that I can’t – or I’m not willing to – foresee?”
And I always tell them to be completely honest!
I haven’t always enjoyed the feedback, because it’s truly not fun hearing hard truths. But the truth greatly matters to me!
You may be asking (like I did when I first started doing this): who seriously wants to hear family members and close friends picking on you and telling you bad things about yourself?
The Bible reveals the answer: a wise person does. And couldn’t we all use more wisdom? I know I can!
PSALM 141:5, “Let the righteous thoughtfully strike (correct) me–it is a kindness done to encourage my spiritual maturity. It is the choicest anointing oil on the head; Let my head not refuse to accept and acknowledge and learn from it…”
PROVERBS 27:6, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
PROVERBS 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
PROVERBS 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
When I first began asking this annual question, I seriously got my fe-fe’s hurt…but then I began to see the exceptional value of asking this question…and I valued the answers even more!
The answers to this question always allow me to self-reflect and even allows me to avoid many possible bad outcomes down the road. (If you don’t know what to fix or prevent, how can you fix, prevent, or improve it?)
A few of the answers took me by surprise. Some even broke my heart.
With every honest answer received, it is imperative to find a way to change, improve, or create a way of doing things better.
Our blind spots may truly affect others…but they may not say anything.
I never would’ve had the ability to understand how my blind spots were affecting others, so I am beyond grateful I asked. Had I not asked, the results may not have shown up until irreversible damage had been done.
When people give you feedback, listen.
Never resent anyone or their feedback. I genuinely appreciate them because they allow me to make both major and minor corrections so I can continually improve (and safeguard):
- my relationship with God
- my marriage and family
- my character
- my heart
- my relationships with family & friends
- my ministry
Coming to terms with truthful realities vs limited perceptions is so important! It can be very difficult for people – myself included – to truly see and admit their flaws and blind spots…but who wouldn’t want to prevent pitfalls?
I absolutely do not get mad if someone gives me feedback I don’t enjoy or like. I am the one who is asking for honest answers…so I understand what I signed up for: absolute truth.
If you choose to do this incredibly revealing activity, don’t become upset or hold it against someone for sharing important truths with you. They truly are trying to help you be the best you can be!
It is a gift!
Kindly thank trusted family members, co-workers, fellow church members, and friends for their honest feedback, write down what they share with you, and then consider what they told you as if it were gold! It is gold!
PROVERBS 20:15, “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
The truths they share will allow you the treasure of making better life decisions.
Better decisions = better life & relationships
…And absolutely a better YOU!
©2018 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
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