Put Your Blinders On

I’m giving you permission to put your blinders on. That’s right - cup the sides of your eyes so that you can only see what is on the path in front of you. Get rid of your peripheral vision. Look straight and don’t move your head from side to side. I’m giving you a free pass today to block the distractions around you and help zero in on what is right in front of your beautiful face.

Sophie's eyes through the blinds.jpg

What’s it like? A little weird, maybe? Does it seem strange to only look ahead? Think of it ano...ther way. It’s like peeking through a set of window blinds. You are only seeing a thin slice of the whole view.

Accusing someone of wearing blinders has a deep, negative vibe, doesn’t it? You might have heard, “She’s got blinders on! She’s totally oblivious to what’s going on around her!” It’s the same as saying she’s in her own bubble. Wearing blinders also suggests that someone is narrow-minded, myopic or intolerant of other viewpoints.

But consider this -- they put blinders on horses to block their peripheral vision so they won’t get distracted by what’s going on behind them or next to them. It’s to help keep the horse focused on what’s ahead, not what’s happening with other animals or movement in the buggy that they’re pulling.

So when is okay to have your blinders on?

Theoretical blinders are a good (and necessary) instrument in your emotional toolbox and here’s my ‘for real’ moment for you. Anytime I’m feeling noticeably jealous or insecure of someone else, I slap those imaginary blocks on the side of my head and hide them from my view. I force myself into a narrow tunnel vision every single time I start looking around at “everybody else” and grow envious of “all of their successes.” I put my fictional blinders on when my vision becomes distorted and when I start believing “other people” have all their mess in a tidy, little pile. (It’s not true by the way.)

Everyone struggles.
Everyone survives storms.
Everyone has doubts.

If you wear blinders so you can focus on your own task and prevent yourself from seeing what’s happening next to you, then I say high-five chica and I’ll help you strap those blinders on the side of your head. BUT, if you are wearing them to avoid seeing something so you can stick your ostrich head in the proverbial sand, then no - tug them off. Blinders aren’t meant to prevent you from filling a need because you don’t “see” the need.

But it’s okay to put them on to protect yourself and keep you between the lines of your own road. I have to put on my notional blinders when I find myself focusing on others success. I have to cup my eyes and draw my attention away from someone winning a race that’s not mine. They may have success in your same field or they’re doing the same thing you want to do - but that’s their race. Not yours. Walk, run or crawl on your own path - but don’t stop trying because you see people blowing past you. Get up. Adjust your blinders and get back to it.