We all have them, every one of us.We suffer for them as they cloud our judgement.We make poor decisions because of them.They can effect our relationships in work, family and all aspects of our lives daily.
What is a Scotomas?In simple terms it is a blind spot.It is our judgement of a particular person or situation and has no basis in fact but it is our judgement based on past experience.Lou Tice in his book Personal Coaching for Results has a really good explanation of the effect scotomas have in peoples lives.He delves into how our mind works and how it can play games with our perception of those around us.These scotomas or blind spots can really lead to important information not reaching our brain because we are blind to it.We have a pre-conceived idea from our past in our heads about somebody or something and because of our scotomas it does not matter how wrong we are, no matter how others try we will not see the situation ending any other way.
Take your children for instance.Suppose you have a very good child who does well in school,has a better than average sports life and has plenty of friends.Is mannerly to all the people that he meets and does all the homework without you having to chase and hassle about it,but he does not clean or tidy the bedroom after him.This drives you nuts and you hassle and moan about this to the child and to their friends and other adults in the family,” see him he never tidies his room you should see the state of it.I have to clean up after him all the time”!
Now in the greater scheme of things a tidy room does not rate very highly when all the major things such as school and all other activities are well sorted, but the tidy room becomes the issue between you and the child.It is the one issue all the time, the nagging and hassle leads to rows and this confuses the child and the child starts to rebel against it.The child is thinking it does not matter what I do all I hear about in the bloody bedroom.I just aced my exams and all I heard about on arriving home with the results was the bloody bedroom.Why do I bother?
That is only an example of how our mind plays tricks on us.How we are blinded to the truth of the situation and yet we make so many of our decisions on all aspects of our lives without the correct information.We do not listen, as Stephen Covey says in his brilliant book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, seek first to understand, then be understood.We have to listen to people actively not just pretend to listen we have listen to everything they are saying verbally and their body language, take in all the information and then make our decision.Mostly we make our decision based on past information and that information may not even relate directly to the person you are dealing with a the time.
How does that work?In his book Tice gives the example we would all recognise, the woman driver.No matter how many stats a man is presented with if he believes that women drivers are not good drivers he will always believe it.Whats more he will be on the look out for all the bad driving by women but he will never see the vast majority of safe woman drivers.This is a scotomas, a blind spot as we all know that the insurance industry gives women preferred treatment on their insurance because the vast majority are safer drivers.This view will only change if he will listen to all the information that is out there.
All scotomas are you fooling your self it is bending the truth of the situation to suit yourself and can really retard your lifes progress.You are in effect blinding yourself from all the possibilities in your life.You are setting the limits of your ambition.I could not go back to school?I could not run the company?I could not write a book?All preconceived judgements on your part and if you do not challenge them they will keep you right where you are.
You can reverse the process and use it as concentration enhancer.When you have made that decision to go back to school or write that book you can be extremely focused on the goal and nothing will take you off that course.You will stick with it despite all the distraction going on around you.You will bring a focus that you never would have believed existed within you before.A good example of this is Ronan O’Gara who despite all the mayhem going on in the match on Friday night kicked four out of five penalities.Unlike his opposite number who missed nearly everything.
How can O’Gara remain so calm when he is about to kick.Focus, focus on his routine and belief in that process.You can take your scotomas and switch the focus around and realise that the child is really an incredible child and when you feel the need to hassle him about his room, you can be alert and concentrate on the great points and come to some arrangement regarding the bedroom that works for both of you.When your scotomas kicks in you can be alert to it and use it positively and develop the relationship instead of damaging it.
If any of the above topics raise issues for you please contact me or any personal coach in your area,we would be delighted to part take in your life journey and share that experience with you.