Blind Spots and Pitfalls: Putting Pride in its Place
Have you ever done one of those team-building activities where one person is blindfolded and has to navigate some kind of maze while their teammates shout out directions? I have. And to be honest, I don’t like it. There’s really no part of me that enjoys being that vulnerable. The idea of not being able to see a single thing and having to rely 100% on the voices of others is devastatingly uncomfortable.
I mean, what if they steer me wrong?
What if they lead me into a pit of poisonous snakes?
(Side note… Do not play this game around giant pits full of poisonous snakes.)
Being blindfolded is completely debilitating. It eliminates your ability to make proper choices and pick a healthy direction. However, the unfortunate truth is that often times so many of us walk through life with an even greater blindfold on. Something that limits our sight far more than a black piece of fabric. An evil that takes us off course at every turn. That blindfold?
There is none more blind than one who is enraptured in their pride. Imagine being the blindfolded person in the activity above and deciding to ignore the voices of your teammates screaming at you…
“Look out for the snake pit!”
It’s easy to see how ridiculous that would be. But it is just as easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking that we always know best and choosing to drown out the voices of the people around us. However, in reality, it is often those outside of ourselves that have the greatest degree of objectivity to offer.
I have learned this lesson the hard way at many times by refusing to allow myself to be vulnerable and transparent enough with others, by trying to do it on my own, and by straight up ignoring the advice of those around me who can see the full picture of my blindfolded state—by clinging to my pride.
And honestly, some of the missteps that this blindness has resulted in have been more painful than falling into a pit of snakes. (I actually don’t have any concrete data to confirm that.)
So, here’s my question for you. Do you find yourself stumbling around blindfolded by your pride, foolishly ignoring the warnings, directions, and ideas that are being screamed out at you by your teammates? Please honestly ask yourself that. Better yet, ask someone who knows you really well to answer that for you! They might find it easier to see your blindfold than you, even though it’s right in front of your eyes.
I’ve been here far more than I’d like to admit. But then there have been these redeeming moments where I’ve seen the blindness for what it is and have felt the immense joy of finally allowing a modicum of humility to restore my sight. And one of the most important things that has made this possible is hearing the voices of my teammates.
So, I want to challenge you with a practice that has become more of a norm in my life and has been revolutionary in this process. It takes two steps:
1. Ask those closest to you to give you an honest and objective assessment of yourself. Ask them to highlight your strengths and your weaknesses. Ask them to encourage you, but also to challenge you. The tricky thing about our blind spots in life is that we can’t see them (hence the name). And we all have them. There are things in your life that you are blind to. Allow others to help you see those.
2. Actually listen and make the suggested changes. The first step is hard, but this one is way harder. For some reason, we love wandering around blindfolded. But you will learn to love your new sight far more than you ever loved your blindness.
May your blindfolds ever be removed.
May your sight be clear.
May your life be snake pit free.