Everyone has certain traits of abilities that they're really, really good at. Even if you don't think that you have a skill or talent that you perform better than others, just look at some of the things you do on a regular basis. You'll know what they are when you sit down to do whatever it is, and everything just seems to flow effortlessly. Often, it's the things you do when you're at your happiest.
However, everyone also has blind spots in their arsenal. These are the things that feel extremely difficult or even impossible to do. Regardless of the reason why those are blind spots, whether it be lack of desire or just because you've never done those things before, you actively spend lots of time doing whatever you can to avoid them. After all, you want to do the things that feel uncomplicated and simple so you can feel at ease.
Unfortunately, ignoring your blind spots is one of the worst things you can do for your growth. Often, people overlook their shortcomings to the point where they forget that there's a gap in their skill set. They think that as long as they don't think about it, they won't have to deal with it. Unfortunately, even if you disregard them, they will always be there.
Neglecting to see the things you don't want to see won't make them disappear
Not thinking about your weak points and how to deal with them will eventually drag you down, because there will be a void in your abilities. Even if you're not actively thinking about your blind spots, they'll be running wild in the back of your mind. Whenever something pops up where you have to deal with them, you immediately freeze, get frustrated, and make you want to quit whatever it is that you're doing.
I have experienced this first-hand many times in my life. As a software engineer, I'm perfectly happy working with code, setting up servers, querying databases, and doing all sorts of things that interact with computer systems. I can spend all day doing these things. However, one of my most significant blind spots is design. Whenever I reach the point where I need to create something that is front-facing, like designing a website, my motivation drops to zero. I can't tell you how many projects I've abandoned because I felt I couldn't get over the hump of creating a simple design.
Don't ignore what's already there - deal with it as soon as possible
How can you best deal with your blind spots? The simplest thing to do is acknowledge them. You need to know that they exist and that at times they have prevented you from moving forward. Being clear on what your shortcomings are is the first step towards eliminating them. Stop spending time and energy blocking them from your life.
Acknowledgment by itself is not enough, though. Eventually, you will have to take action if you want to deal with your shortcomings. Once you're aware of what your blind spots are, you can choose what you want to do.
Delegate your weaknesses to someone else
The easiest way to deal with your blind spots is to delegate those tasks to someone who is capable of doing it. You might have a family member or friend who is willing to help you out and take on the things you're not good at yet. If you don't know anyone close to you, there are lots of online services that will let you outsource your work to skilled individuals across the globe. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork - just to name a few - allow you to focus on the things you're really good at.
While clearing your plate and not have to worry about some tasks sounds great, in reality, there are plenty of downsides to this tactic. The main disadvantage is that by passing along the things you're not good at, you'll never give yourself the chance to improve. Your blind spot will always be there - still lingering in the background, still being an obstruction.
You'll be at the mercy of other people for some of the work you want to do. You will never have full control of the things you want to do. Additionally, your work will never be as important to others than it is to you. At any time, the person you delegated your task to can stop, nor will your work be done with the same amount of care that you would expect if you were the one spending time on it.
It's fine to delegate tasks if they are time-consuming and don't have the luxury of spending time doing it yourself. But the best thing you can do to bypass these pitfalls of delegation is to take the necessary steps to start fixing your blind spots instead.
Work on correcting your blind spots
Taking the time and performing the steps needed to fix your shortcomings is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. But on the other hand, it's also challenging and time-consuming. It won't be as simple as just passing something along - you really need to want to do the work, and you have to be in it for the long haul.
If you do decide to take steps to fix your blind spots once and for all, make sure you have plenty of time to work on the things you want to improve. It will take time, no matter what you do. It will need even more patience to avoid falling into a pit of despair and frustration. You'll always run into obstacles as you learn new things, and it will feel like a slog at times, especially when you're already so used to doing other things so smoothly.
Unfortunately, there's no "silver bullet" when it comes to picking up a new skill. The best way of learning is also the most difficult - by stumbling around and learning from your mistakes. You'll even feel like you're spinning your wheels, not showing any progress, so it's essential to keep track of the small wins along the way to see how you're moving forward.
Once you get over the initial difficulties of taking on a new skill and start getting a grasp of things, that shortcoming will have effectively been eliminated. No longer will you have that blind spot, preventing you from taking full control of your future. You will have grown exponentially compared to merely giving the work to someone else. There is no greater feeling than having done something yourself that you couldn't do before.
You always have a choice
There's no right or wrong way of dealing with your blind spots. Depending on your current circumstances and desires, either of the options mentioned above will work better for you. You need to determine which choice would work better for you at this time.
Let's illustrate these choices with a fictional account. Let's say you're a salesperson with no programming experience but plenty of marketing and sales experience. One day, you come up with an idea for an online service that you believe is going to be a hit, and you decide you want to create it. However, given that you don't know how to code, you have two choices you can make.
On the one hand, you can hire an experienced developer who can spend the next month or two coding up the initial version of the project for you. You don't have to worry about the technical parts and can focus on your strengths on the business side. Doing this will get your new business up and running much quicker, and you can use that extra time to learn how to grow and expand your service.
However, you need to look at what could happen here. The obvious thing is that hiring an experienced developer is not cheap, so you'll have to spend a lot of money up front. There's always the chance that your vision won't be expressed clearly and the developer ends up building something slightly different than what you wanted. And what if your developer decides to stop working in the middle of the project? Many people don't think this will ever happen, but I've personally seen it too many times. You'll be stuck until you hire someone else to pick up the slack, and then have to deal with the time they need to get up to speed with the project.
On the other hand, you can decide that you want to learn how to program. By doing this, you'll have complete control over the core of your business. You can build the project exactly as you envision it since you don't risk the possibility of your explanations getting misunderstood. And as you continue to learn and gain experience, you can use your newly-found coding skills to build anything else in the future.
Of course, this comes with its own drawbacks, the most apparent being the time investment needed. Programming is hard, and it will take a big chunk of time to get to a point where you can just get started. You'll have to put your business idea on the back burner because there's no way you can do both learning and building at the same time efficiently. It'll take a lot longer to have your idea come to life.
As mentioned earlier, there's no correct way of dealing with this situation. It all depends on what you want to do. Are you interested in learning how to program and have the time and energy to dedicate to studying every day? You should go that route even if it means putting your business on hold. But if you could care less about learning how to code, or you want your business up and running as soon as possible, then delegating if the way to go.
The key takeaway from this article is that you should never willfully ignore your blind spots. By ignoring them, you're neglecting your ability to become a better version of yourself. Whether you decide to take on your shortcomings head-first or prefer to let someone else take care of it, learn how to appropriately deal with them for a better chance at achieving your goals.
Small steps for your Practical Good
Don't let your blind spots remain hidden and potentially holding you back. Recognize that they're around, and take a few small steps towards dealing with them for good:
- Be honest in identifying your shortcomings. Let's face it: we all have some things we're not good at. Be honest with yourself in diagnosing your weaknesses. There's no need to brush them aside or make them smaller than they actually are just to keep you at ease. They'll always be there, eating away until you deal with them.
- Decide whether you want to correct your blind spots, or pass the work to someone else. Once you've figured out what blind spots you want to tackle, you need to make a choice on whether you want to correct this shortcoming once and for all, or if you don't mind delegating it to someone else when necessary. Both options have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one that feels right and run with it.
- Take one step today towards correcting any blind spots if you decide to do so. If you choose to proceed with fixing any blind spots in your life, keep in mind that it'll most likely take a significant amount of time. That shouldn't paralyze you - whatever you want to do, break it down and take one step you can accomplish today. By taking action, you'll start to build momentum and will find ways to plug that gap in your skill set quickly.