Whether you consider yourself a saint of honesty or you don’t mind bending the truth, we are all in the same boat: We lie to ourselves.
In fact, we lie with an alarming frequency and with great efficacy.
Research done on patients with damage to their occipital lobe shows just how good we are at tricking ourselves.
The occipital lobe is where we process visual information, so these particular patients were blind. However, they didn’t know they were blind. Visual information was being sent to the brain, which thought everything was fine. It wasn’t until late in the image processing that the problem occurred.
The result is a normal person like us, revealed to be pathological liars.
When asked questions like “What am I wearing?” the patient would make something up.
“You’re wearing a blue shirt and slacks.”
You tell them, “No, I’m not wearing that.”
They’ll reply “Oh, I’m sorry it's just so dark in here it's hard to see.”
You say “The lights are on and it’s actually quite bright. Are you sure?”
They’ll laugh it off and say “Oh my, I guess I’m just tired today. My headache is getting to me.”
And so on...
We are incredible liars. Especially when we are lying to ourselves.
If you think of yourself as an able-bodied, competent individual, then being blind deeply contradicts your personal identity. You will go so far as to completely deny your blindness to yourself. It's easy to neglect important information when it disagrees with our understanding of the world.
You probably don’t have any brain lesions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to find your blindspots!
Easier said than done right?
Take for example, how easy it is to push the knowledge that we SHOULD go to the gym to the back of our minds. What other important information are you hiding from yourself? How many decisions are you making based on your desires instead of the facts?
Mindfulness is the first and most important step in the process of becoming more honest with ourselves. Being able to bring awareness to your own desires and the reality of the world around you gives you the tools to self-assess.
It also helps to be aware of common blindspots that crop up. Move Mountains helps bring mindfulness towards common blindspots to ensure accountability for the most important parts of Leadership in your decisions.
Check out our website for more information on finding your blindspots.