How Clear Is Your Inner Sight?

Bill Abbate

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Image by Thuan Vo from Pixabay .

Are you aware we can see in more than one way? It is true. We not only see with our vision, we also see with our minds. Have you ever said "I see" to someone? What did you see? What you meant was I understand. You saw in your mind's eye what they said.

"The best vision is insight." Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990)

Beyond mere vision

There are essentially two ways we see. Simply looking at the definition of "see" in the Oxford Dictionary reveals this to us.

See (verb)

  1. perceive with the eyes; discern visually.
  2. discern or deduce mentally after reflection or from information; understand.

Likewise, notice the definition of "vision" in the same dictionary:

Vision (noun)

  1. the faculty or state of being able to see.
  2. the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.

Our eyes give us optical vision, while our mind gives us insight and vision in how we think. This second way of "seeing" is often referred to as understanding. You can be blind and still "see." You can also have optical vision yet be blind! The question is not "What do I see?" but is, "How do I see?" which you could also state as "How well do I see beyond what my eyes show me?"

The vision or sight of our mind allows us to understand and make sense of the world. It is from our minds that we create and live our life. You can lose your eyesight or have it taken from you, but so long as you are a living, breathing human being, you can continue to "see" exceptionally well.

Case in point, read anything about the remarkable Helen Keller and her many accomplishments. Although she was optically blind, her inner sight and vision far surpassed most people with eyesight.

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." Helen Keller (1880-1968)

We regularly see in our mind what our eyes are unable to see. Insight and vision in our minds give us understanding, knowledge, learning, reasoning, wisdom, and so much more. What and how we see in our mind affects our behaviors and how we experience feelings and emotions, form opinions, develop our perspectives, mindset, and attitudes. Each of our choices in how we live our lives comes from our minds through this inner sight and vision.

Everything we receive in life results from how we see the world, based on our thoughts, which determine what we sow and what we reap in life. Is it any wonder why the 3000-year-old proverb "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" exists?

"People only see what they are prepared to see." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Checking your vision

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

How well do you see? Not outwardly with the vision of your eyes, but inwardly with the vision in your mind. While it is easy to correct our eyesight to 20/20 vision, what have you done to correct your inward sight? Is it close to 20/20? For the vast majority of us, it is not. Want proof?

The following sentence is from a Harvard Business Review article:

"In our nearly five-year research program on the subject, we've discovered that although 95% of people think they're self-aware, only 10 to 15% actually are." HBR by Tasha Eurich

How many people do you know that are so self-aware they may have close to 20/20 inward vision? Of the many people in my world, I can name very few. Considering many of them have advanced degrees, you might think it would be more than a few, but you would be wrong! Education alone does not necessarily provide this inner sight.

To have 20/20 inward sight, you must be able to "see" or understand and deal with your motivations, behaviors, attitudes, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-imposed limitations, and many other things. For most of us, the quickest path to resolving this issue is with outside help in the form of a coach, mentor, or therapist.

What can you do to correct your inward sight? You can start by asking yourself some serious questions, taking time to think about them deeply, and finding someone you trust with whom you can examine them. To get you started, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Am I able to learn, read, and listen to develop new understanding?
  • How aware am I of my demeanor?
  • Do I have a growth mindset?
  • How open am I to other people's perspectives?
  • Do I know the difference between my needs and wants?
  • How strong are my most important relationships, and where does this strength in them lie?
  • Do I know the deepest sources of how I view myself and my abilities?
  • How aware am I of my self-limiting beliefs?

What other questions come to mind as you read this? When you spend the time necessary to uncover the answers to these questions, I assure you the dividends gained will be great!

You may be able to enhance and accelerate your ability to develop your inner vision through assessments. While you can find many assessments online for little or no cost, it is best to go over your results with someone you trust to get the most out of them. A few assessments to look for include EQ (emotional intelligence) tests, behavioral and personality tests such as DISC and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 360s, and many others that may serve you well. Do an internet search, and you will find plenty of free assessments to get you started on your journey to self-awareness and insight.

Final thoughts

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin (1903-1997)

What is more important than our ability to see? Who wants to go through life blind in how we see and understand the world after all?

Why not go to work on these inner limitations by developing your ability to see with your mind. When you do this work you will enhance your life and the lives of everyone around you.

To make the most of your life, why not begin correcting your inner vision today!

"We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision." Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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