I’m going to share three brief observations that I’ve been chewing on this week.
- Familiarity makes most things fall into the background.
For example, if you’re used to your kitchen table being covered with mail (hypothetically speaking), then the mess will probably become invisible to you over time. At a certain point, you have to clean off the table to notice that there was a mess.
I noticed this today because I am replacing an outdated piece of hardware in my office. When I turned it off today, this annoying whirring sound finally stopped. Yesterday, I could not have told you that there was a whirring noise in my office that was bothering me. But now that it’s stopped, I feel so much more relaxed and relieved.
Because it was familiar, I didn’t notice.
- We often underrate our own perspective.
Our own expertise and perspective is also invisible to us. I know there are those among us who tend to be arrogant or not recognize our own limits, but I find that appreciating our own skills and perspective requires a certain amount of vulnerability that is difficult. Other people probably want to hear what you have to say, even if they don’t know it yet.
Sometimes I assume that other people know the things I know, but if I have the courage to say it out loud, I find that maybe they didn’t. I noticed this a lot in school, I would often raise my hand and ask a question (thinking that I was the only one who had a question), but more often than not, it turned out that other people were struggling with the same thing, and appreciated the explanation.
- You can have valuable insight, even when you’re new at something
I often get great feedback about my business from my brand new customers. They bring fresh eyes to things that has become familiar (invisible) to me or will ask questions about things I take for granted. This has helped me realize a new solution to a problem I thought was unsolvable.
So whether it’s sharing your observations or asking your questions; whether your new, highly experienced, or somewhere in between — your perspective is useful and you have something to offer.
And, it’s worthwhile to get the perspective of other people around you. They might see, hear, understand, or have questions about things that you’ve become accustomed to that can open doors to new observations, insights and breakthroughs.