The tagline I often think of adding to this blog is, “What you don’t see but everyone else does”. I was speaking about this concept with a client this week and she reminded me of something I studied in College called the Johari Window. The Johari Window was created in 1955 by two guys-Joe and Harry. Get it?Joe+Harry=Johari! (They were way ahead of Bennifer and Brangelina in the name-merge game.) The Johari Window is a technique used to help people understand themselves in relation to self and others. Basically, the quadrant outlines a simple way to view personal and interpersonal development.
In the top left corner lives the self that we show the outside world. I would call this our public persona. It can now be found quite prolifically represented in Social Media because we are able to widely broadcast to others the version of our self WE would like seen. Lately, the Selfie phenomenon has been linked with Narcissism and other mental illness but in lesser extreme cases, we are simply creating our image and inventing the perception of our public self. Branding, really. Here is my version of what I want you to think about me:
In the next corner is what this blog is about-blind spots. What others see about us but we do not see. The back of your head. The back of my head. Here is a picture of the actual back of my head:
The Johari Window technique has been widely used in the workplace to specifically target blind spots. The idea is that we should minimize our blind spots, see our weaknesses or behavior and perhaps better forecast the impact of our choices faster with awareness. If I could see myself more clearly, would I make the same decisions? High levels of personal development require us to rid ourselves of this gap.
Athletes utilize this technique when they look at footage of their own games. They are trying to see, from the cameras standpoint, what they can not see in themselves while performing so they can make adjustments and achieve better results. I remember watching the show, “What Not To Wear” and always enjoying the moment when the subject views themselves from all angles for the first time. Usually, this moment of clarity is enough for the subject to want to change when they finally see what other people are seeing in them.
Similarly, as Hairdressers we learn to use the mirror to show us what our own eye may not perceive. We turn you into the mirror to check for balance, light, proportion and also to try and see what you see as our client. I use my camera the same way. I want to see accurately. I want to close the gap between my eye and the perception of the lens. It is these moments of truth (as seen by others, by the mirror, by the camera), the moment when we have a chance to truly see ourselves.
The next corner is the self that we see but we do not show others. I think of it as the bad picture, the one you delete. The double chin, the wrinkles. The way we really eat when no one is around. The underbelly, the sloth. Who are we when no one is looking? I took this Selfie when I was crying and sad and feeling like crap. I am still managing how I look here as my “sad self” so I don’t look as bad as I probably do really crying but it’s pretty raw nonetheless:
The last corner of the Johari Window is the self that we do not even know ourselves. What we don’t know that we don’t know. Our lack of awareness could be because the depth of self is still unconscious, repressed or even possibly undeveloped strengths and talents. I don’t know what unhidden talents I have. I feel like I am maxing out the ones I am aware of! I do know that I suffer from some anxiety as best represented by this:
For example, if I get a rash, I am pretty sure I am dying. Fortunately (and from 20+ years on a spiritual path), this aspect of myself doesn’t rule me but I see that if I could get to the root of it and make it merely a correctable Blind Spot, I could be happier. I would gamble to say that the reason people seek Psychics or even Therapists is because we don’t feel we have access to this part of ourselves. We feel there is something bigger, hidden and mysterious inside of us and in store for us.
What is it?