Chapter One – Introduction


Have you ever wondered why certain people can be so unaware of their clumsy behavior in social situations? Or how about those people who are consistently unsuccessful in close relationships but have no clue why this happens. And what about those who seem blind and deaf about a few of their habits that make others uncomfortable. Even when friends offer gentle advice about these issues, they seem unable to grasp what they mean. 

Remember that old saying that life is difficult but will be more difficult if you are stupid? The sad truth is that many knowledgeable and well-educated people have blind spots that cause them to act ignorantly in specific areas. Some are unaware of being too opinionated, narrow-minded, overbearing, or argumentative. They don’t seem to recognize when they need to moderate their style or edit out comments that will upset others. The problem is that intelligent people often have blind spots that disable their ability to recognize when their beliefs, behavior, lack of tact are harmful to their best interests.

What exactly are these blind spots? A simple way to define them is to describe them as essential knowledge and abilities that we do not know that we don’t know. This lack of awareness can sometimes be the empty part of our character that must be filled to achieve maturity and honor our spiritual potential.

The public often falsely views some of these blind spots as a simple excess of confidence and ego that prevents us from recognizing that we are too critical, opinionated, or insensitive. However, describing the problem of blind spots in this way bypasses the real issue, which is being unaware of our lack of specific knowledge and skills.

Individuals with blind spots often fail to understand the significance of them even after friends and counselors carefully explain the details and harm they cause. Thus, many of the difficulties caused by blind spots are never corrected. Friends learn to tolerate these traits as minor idiosyncrasies while others strain to endure them. Some put these people on their “avoid if possible” list.

Naturally, these habits can compromise our potential for success. Our social life can become restricted and difficult. Many potential connections are never developed, and meaningful relationships can be compromised. Anything that impairs our relationships with others will also complicate our connection to the divine. Life will continue for those with blind spots in their character, but it will be uncomfortable for reasons that often remain mysterious to those who possess them.

Recognizing our blind spots 

Blind spots occur in the best of us. It is erroneous to assume the more intelligent we are, the more we will detect and eliminate every questionable habit. In fact, being knowledgeable and clever enables us to invent strong  excuses to continue our unique ways of viewing and responding to our experiences.

For instance, as adults, we are all biased to assume we are appropriate in our behavior. While we may be aware that we seem to cause some discomfort to a few specific individuals, our blind spots will deflect attention away from any fault in our behavior. We tell ourselves that others are being too sensitive and demanding. Or we assume the problem is that society has made up silly rules. It can’t be our fault!

Blind spots come with their own “bodyguards” (our automatic subconscious defenses) which will protect them. These bodyguards are quick to justify our behavior or shift blame for any difficulties onto someone or something else. None of this distress is our fault, and neither is it our responsibility to fix it. The case is closed!

These rationalizations produce a stalemate instead of resolution! Blaming parents and nursing grievances are never more than a bandage for a gaping wound. They do not provide enduring relief to personal problems. Those who persist in taking this path succeed only in shifting responsibility to enemies and other forces who will do nothing to help them. These “solutions” merely add more confusion to an already dysfunctional situation.

The bodyguards of our blinds spots often use our old, unpardonable traumatic experiences as a virtual license to be excessively suspicious and wanting to avoid close relationships. Or they claim their demanding parents left them with too many self-doubts and no confidence. The insecurity and lack of support as a child made them hesitant and insecure. All their problems seem outside of their control.

These destructive practices often continue for an entire lifetime. This is because we fail to fix them due to one or more of these four reasons.

  1. We fail to acknowledge or own the fact that we have blind spots. Even after they are carefully explained to us, we will deny their presence in us.
  • We recognize our blind spots as problematic, but we have constructed a fire-proof rationalization that they are not our fault, and that we are helpless to change them.
  • We accept the fact of what others call blind spots, but we view them as habits that protect us from more serious difficulties. We claim that our strong fears protect us from deception. Our hostility prevents us from being exploited. We want to keep them.
  • We view all so-called blind spots as an excess of ego instead of a lack of sensitivity, self-control, understanding, and tact. Unfortunately, being less angry, less aggressive, or less anxious does not completely solve the underlying problems that keep resurrecting our dysfunctional habits.

The signs that we have significant blind spots in our awareness

The key to recognizing our blind spots is to notice the subtle signs that people are irritated, disappointed, or bored when we speak or act in specific ways. Their window of tolerance will not always close until we have used up their quota for annoying activities. Only then will they demonstrate the signs of their impatience and frustration. When these types of responses become a pattern that frequently recurs (and it not due to a single exceptionally demanding person) we must ask ourselves how and why we are annoying or boring others. For example, are we guilty of being condescending, elitist, insensitive, or narrow minded?

Recognizing our blind spots can be difficult. Long before people tell us to our face that we need to shut up or go away, there are sure signs that we are interfering with our best interests. 

  • We consistently fail to develop friendships or closeness with some of our associates or co-workers. 
  • Our opinions and suggestions are often met with silence or mild rejection.
  • We are made to feel unwelcome in certain groups.
  • We tend to talk too much, dominate discussions, or often ignore others and their opinions. 
  • We regularly bore others with our stories, ideas, and plans that might not interest them. We often act as if others need our approval to believe what they believe.
  • We seem alert and enthusiastic only when we are talking and revert to boredom as soon as others speak.
  • We refuse to reform our introverted style, rarely making eye contact with those we address. We radiate our sense of insecurity and uncertainty.
  • Our general demeanor is condescending or cynical even when we are desperate for a friendly reception.
  • We seem unable to agree with people because we like to challenge everyone’s opinions and beliefs. This is how we prefer to demonstrate our individuality and get attention. We automatically stereotype others and project our assumptions without taking notice of their actual qualities and intelligence.
  • We are nearly unable to offer opinions about any topic because we are terrified of being criticized and rejected.
  • We are secretly jealous of those who seem better than us in appearance, intelligence, poise, or experience. This attitude automatically is reflected in our manner of speech and behavior.
  • Every time someone suggests that we have a significant blind spot in us, we rush to defend it and rationalize why our beliefs and behavior are entirely appropriate.

Blind spots also have a profound impact on our spiritual life 

Blind spots can influence how we view and respond to all aspects of life. This can include how we relate to our spiritual life by distorting how we regard the nature of spirit and develop our connections to divine love, wisdom, and purpose.

For instance, if our blind spot prevents us from recognizing our worth, we will be unlikely to sense the divine elements already present in us or how they have been involved in our well-being since birth. If our blind spot is excessive confidence in ourselves, we may never develop the humility to accept divine guidance or cooperate with divine order. 

Sometimes our blind spot causes us to make safety and security to be our top priority. Such individuals tend to seek the easiest way to accomplish everything while avoiding any sacrifice or work. They will search for the most effortless way to develop our connections with our spiritual life. This passive orientation makes them vulnerable to accepting simple platitudes as great wisdom and being empty as the perfect way to cultivate our relationship with the divine. They will waste much time in shallow activities such as:

  • Believing that faith in God is the chief way to attune to spirit instead of developing an enlightened character and lifestyle.
  • Practicing mindless devotion and surrender to God as a complete way to enlightenment instead of working to collaborate with our divine plan.
  • Relying too much on merely “releasing” our anger and fear instead of overcoming them with forgiveness, tolerance, and courage.
  • Mastering the stories in the Bible or other sacred texts without applying them.
  • Concentrating on eliminating selfishness, greed, cruelty instead of working to build kindness, charity, and humility.

There is another level of blind spots that is difficult to detect or cure

Ordinary blind spots are usually easily detected if you observe people under a variety of situations. Eventually this will reveal that, in special circumstances, they are insecure, defiant, too assertive, arrogant, defensive, or fawning. However, there is a special set of blind spots that are more difficult to detect. These are major limiting beliefs. They require a study of the entire breadth of their life to recognize strange patterns of limitations that can restrict success and fulfillment in key areas.

These major limiting beliefs seem to fall into a few areas such as these.

  • I will never truly be successful. Something will always prevent me from reaching my goals.
  • No one will ever truly respect or love me. I will always be surrounded by those who will see me as insignificant.
  • I can never recover from my illness. I will always be sickly and never enjoy robust energy or health.
  • I will always see myself as weak and unworthy in many areas, and so will others, because I am a flawed person and can never improve.

Many will see no earthly reasons for such beliefs, but a closer examination of their life experiences will reveal that these mysterious restrictions seem to control the outcomes in their life. They can recount how opportunities continually eluded them, how they almost seemed to achieve what they wanted only to lose everything at the last moments. In general, these people are convinced they are doomed to repeat these experiences.

However, a detailed scrutiny of their character will demonstrate significant evidence of persistent self-sabotage in how they relate poorly to good opportunities and overreact to signs of rejection and failure. Because of the lack of effective skills in coping with loss, failure, rejection, embarrassment, and disaster, they develop their defensive abilities far more than their proactive skills for coping with the same challenges.

There is often a history of suffering in early experiences from events that seemed to restrict their health, happiness, success, confidence, and other aspects of self-expression. In their youth they leaped to a stunningly narrow conclusion that one bad insult or failure marked the beginning of irreparable damage to their well-being and destiny. These would never be overcome. Their immature mind and judgment did them far more damage than their actual life experience. However, they did not know this, and so they went ahead and made a law for themselves that a major failure or loss would become permanent pattern for them.   

The consequences of these choices are a steady inhibition to being confident, optimistic, cheerful, and ambitious. Thereafter, good opportunities are frequently missed, friends are held at arm’s length, excellent advice is rejected, and they are lost in a fog of hesitancy and frustration of their own making. The constant experience of failure, disappointment, and lack of success reinforces the power of these inhibitions.

What can be done to reverse these limitations?

Subsequent chapters will provide more detail about what can be done to recognize and reverse the impact of blind spots and limiting beliefs. For the moment, only the broad principles of these methods can be listed here.

  • We must be willing to challenge our assumptions about our helplessness and lack of opportunities. Beware of assuming our feelings can be trusted to reveal the accuracy or usefulness of any idea, assumption, or person. Our standard beliefs should not be our first choice in any question about better answers and solutions.
  • We must be willing to admit that we have been mistaken about the power of old traumas and enemies to wound us and condemn us to permanent frustration. Much healing and growth requires proactive thinking—not defensive reactions.
  • We must be ready to work hard to impose new beliefs and habits over our old, inferior beliefs and habits. Bad ideas and destructive attitudes will not just float way on their own. We must push them out with their positive counterparts.
  • We must be willing to accept the fact that we are essentially a good person with a strong potential for being productive and successful in many lines of activity. Poor habits are real, but not part of our divine design for wholeness.
  • The full activity of our capacity for dedication, determination, and devotion to a more effective and fulfilling life will be necessary to accomplish these reforms. Using only faith and wishful thinking will do very little!


Many need to understand how immature beliefs and habits formed in their youthful years can cripple our success and happiness for the rest of our life. One of the many challenges of our life is the tremendous work of revising and repairing these early versions of our standard beliefs and habits. While no one tells us to do this, the seven-year-old must make many revisions of beliefs formed at the age of four. Likewise, the seventeen-year-old must change many ideas formed in earlier years of experiences. By the time we are in our forties, many revisions are needed. This ability to modify and update our beliefs must never stop.     

Instead of assuming our old experiences damaged us and awful trends in our culture restrict us, we need to be aware of how often our blind spots in our awareness and sensitivity keep us miserable. Our inability to dispel or overcome a sense of personal failure or limitation may well be more of a handicap than any external restriction. Our current culture encourages us to resort to the blame game to attack our parents, oppressors, and corruption in our community for our difficulties. However, these accusations are often unfair or just a cheap way to distract us from our own inadequacies.

Of course, there are problems and deficiencies in mass consciousness, our culture, and our leaders, but we often can do little about them. And grumbling and protesting doesn’t seem to help despite its popularity. Let us, instead, focus on the one thing that we can control and change—ourselves. Let us look for these blind spots in our awareness and skillset that handicap our life. Work to release the full genius and joy in us to contribute to solving the world’s problem, one person at a time.


1. While there are many powerful influences in my life, I am the one who has the greatest control and authority to redirect my beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. I am the agent of change and improvement in my life.

2. Demanding major changes in others and society will be ineffective for most of our distress. The efforts we make to improve our outlook and lifestyle will be more productive. 3. It is useful to consider how often we are getting in the way of our own success and comfort by blaming others instead of accepting responsibility to manage ourselves.

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