Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Do you currently feel like you're in a fog and can't seem to find your place in the world around you?
Do you often find yourself forgetting why you came into a room and what you were looking for?
Are you frustrated with yourself for having the same arguments with your spouse and feel like you're just going in circles in life?
Well if you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then you are living in a house of hidden windows!
Back in 1955, two American psychologists, Joseph Luft (1916-2014) and Harrington Ingham (1914-1995), created what we all know as the Johari Window. It is a tool used in psychology and in personal development to help you better understand how you interact with the world around you.
In the Johari Window model, there are 4 quadrants or panes of your window.
The first quadrant (top left) is your OPEN pane and this represents what you know about yourself that you are willing to share with the world around you.
The second quadrant (bottom left) is called the HIDDEN pane and represents things you know about yourself that you are not willing to share with others and you essentially hide from the world.
The third quadrant (top right) represents your BLIND spots which represents things that you are unaware of about yourself but others around you can see clearly.
The fourth and final quadrant (bottom right) is the UNKNOWN pane and this represents information about you that neither you nor others are aware of!
The ultimate goal of this awareness exercise is to see how large each pane is in your overall window. They are all relevant to one another. So if you're OPEN pane is very small, it is likely that your HIDDEN, BLIND and UNKNOWN panes are much larger than you're even aware of!
When I'm working with my clients, I like to describe this challenge as your House of Hidden Windows!
You see, most pain and suffering is self-inflicted. And this is the good news! We can chose a different way. We can chose to uncover all the windows in our home and let the light in!
I find that many of my clients, when they first come to me, are living a life filled with shame and guilt. Their HIDDEN and BLIND panes are so large it was unbearable to even look at on their own.
Over the course of time we build up their self-esteem and self-worth and begin the process of growing their OPEN window. The GREAT NEWS is, you can begin this process on your own at home!
All you need to do is find one or two people you trust. Sit down and have a conversation with them about what you just learned here. It's likely you both have heard of this activity before.
Now, share with them something they didn't know about you - it can be silly or something from the past that you just never brought up in your relationship before. Don't share your deepest darkest secret. Keep it simply and have fun with this!
Once you begin this process, keep going. Make it a point to share something new with this friend or loved one each time you see or speak to one another! This will help you to increase the size of your OPEN window while simultaneously decreasing the size of your HIDDEN window.
The second part of this exercise is to ask this person, whom you trust, for some kind and constructive feedback! A fun way that you can lean into this is to ask your friend if they notice funny quirks or habits that you have whenever they hand out with you. It could be as simple as noticing how your laugh can start a chain reaction and raise the energy of a room or it could be the way you start your sentences when you're excited about something.
And remember, only ask for feedback if you are ready to receive it with love! This will allow you to become more consciously aware of who you are and how you appear to the people around you.
Once you are able to minimize your HIDDEN and BLIND panes, your UNKNOWN pane will start to shrink as well.
Living a fully authentic life requires you to develop an empowered self-image. Begin living in a House of OPEN Windows today!
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