The Gift and the Curse of Tunnel Vision.

We’ve all had it. We get into this narrow view of something and it just sucks us in. We get drawn in closer and closer. Before too long we’ve forgotten all about looking to our right and left. In other words we have overlooked plenty of information that may have changed how we would have acted. This is dangerous. It can cause all sorts of problems in our day to day lives as well as have significant long term effects. Sounds like a good thing to avoid then right?

Why would we develop such a habit if it could lead to such awful outcomes?

When you need to focus on something it often helps to block out everything else. This can be a huge benefit if we are studying for a test or focusing on getting that end of week report in. If you couldn’t shut out all the unnecessary information your brain is processing you wouldn’t be able to get much done. So tunnel vision is actually a good thing.

Where we run into a problem is when we don’t examine all the details/perspectives before tunneling in. What do I mean? Let us pretend you have a test on Friday morning. On Tuesday you decide, “I’m going to zone in and make sure I am prepared to crush the test.” This is great. You will most likely go on to do this. OH NO you forgot all about redoing a paper from last Friday due Wednesday morning. Ahh. You see this wouldn’t have been a problem if you had examined all the details of your situation before getting tunnel vision. It could have been avoided if you took a casual step back though.

It really gets to be an issue when we get emotionally charged. When we have failed to examine our situations for quite some time and then remain in tunnel vision. We go forward thinking we know exactly how to handle the situation because we are so sure of ourselves. This is where we can do some real damage. This is where we need to be careful with our words and actions.

So what can we do? 

From time to time ask yourself, “Have I taken a good step back before I tunnel in any further?” Have I examined my situations lately? If something doesn’t seem right… Then it may be wrong! Go ahead and step out of that tunnel and look around to make sure everything is in order. You are allowed to take some time to do this! I know we want to focus in. It is natural to assume everything is right and ordered for us to move forward and execute. Just be certain to examine the peripherals every now and then. It can’t hurt. It can only improve awareness and lead to making the best possible decision more often!

Have you been keeping something in the peripheral lately?
Take a breath. Now take a look ‘around’

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