Getting to know you

There is a well known saying that ‘ignorance is bliss’. However, ignorance of ourselves and our faults may be bliss for us, however for those around us and living with us on a daily basis, especially in lockdown, this may not be quite so true. In fact this may be the very opposite. Self-awareness is, in my view, extremely important. It is from this foundational platform that we can build change into our lives.

Not all of us can see ourselves very well. There is sometimes, just like driving a car, a ‘blind spot’.

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We may think we are objective about ourselves, however usually we are not. Let’s face it, it is far easier to see the faults of others and not see our own weaknesses.

The concept of a blind spot was devised by psychologists Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916–1995) in 1955, and is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise. Luft and Ingham named their model “Johari” using a combination of their first names. It is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.

The model is fairly self-explanatory, in that it highlights there are some secret parts of ourselves that we are aware of and do not show to others and some that others can see, but may be hidden from our own view. It is an interesting model and fits nicely with yesterday’s post where we explored self-actualisation.

I would argue that it is very difficult to reach self-actualisation, without a good understanding of who we actually are in the first instance. It is very easy to fool ourselves and make ourselves into an idealised view of who we would like to be, rather than who we actually are.

So, today’s recipe of hope is to have a look at this model and think about whether we may have a ‘blind spot’. Is there something people close to us keep telling us that we dismiss such as ‘you could do with losing a bit of weight’, or ‘you have a short fuse’. Or maybe we know something that eats us up, that we try to bury, but it is in there. Perhaps it is time to face up to truths about ourselves that we may not like. It is good to speak to others we trust for help with issues, or reach out to organisations such as The Samartitans (116123) or Mental Helath Matters or CALM which is for men in the UK. There is always help out there to change that blind spot into something we embrace as part of us and maybe, just maybe want to transform into something better that we are proud of.

I wish you all the courage and self-compassion to change X

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