I was stuck behind as SUV in the rain, and their rear view window wiper kept moving back and forth. If you look closely there is no wiper blade attached to the mechanism. It kept moving back and forth, working hard at nothing. At first I wasn’t sure I was seeing what I was seeing, then it hit me that the owner of the vehicle had no idea this was happening. They probably didn’t even know the rear windshield wiper was active, let alone working hard at nothing.
I wondered how many times this same circumstance had been true for many of us? We were not aware of something about ourselves that everyone else had figured out. Our blind spot was preventing us from being our best self purely because no one had told us what was going on. Ouch!
It’s like having a ‘tell’ in a poker game. Your tell is a habit or gesture or mannerism that you do unconsciously which ‘tells’ the other players about how good your cards are in the game, or whether you are bluffing, or if you think you can win. Your unconscious behaviors give it all away. The only way we get rid of a tell is to ask people to be honest with us. It requires that we have created an environment where people are open to letting us know about a non-functioning windshield wiper, and that they won’t fear our reaction to such personal details about our ‘tell’.
Not everyone wants to know about their tell because once you find out your flaw or malfunctions the expectations is that it will be changed or corrected. And not all of us are willing to change, even if it makes us look foolish. Our own ego gets in the way and we have a hard time hearing and believing the truth. It means we have to create relationships with people who will tell us about what they see that we can’t see and that we are safe to be vulnerable and change. It means working on the parts of yourself that may make you uncomfortable to change.
As I drove behind this non-functioning windshield wiper I realized it has been a while since I asked anyone about my own tells. I have a couple people I trust to tell me the truth because they want to see me get better than I am. Sort of like taking your car to get serviced to let the expert put things back into their best working order. Which is a better use of your time and talents than working hard at nothing, and doing it over and over again.
Ask someone you trust to provide insight into your tell. It takes guts and it will help propel you to being a better version of yourself.