Category Archives: Psychological blind spots

New Year’s Resolutions 2018 & Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap

My New Year’s resolution is to bridge the knowing doing gap in my life. For example I know all about hypnotherapy and I know all about hypnosis and self-hypnosis but I’m not consistently using these powerful tools in my own life. That means that I’m not taking advantage of these brilliant tools and that is a problem because I’m recommending the same powerful tools to everybody but I’m not gaining the benefits myself. I know what needs to be done but am not implementing it!  Another example that struck me recently was that I was advising someone to invest in cryptocurrencies and when that person didn’t respond positively and did not take me seriously. I was a little bit annoyed and in particular because the value of cryptocurrencies went way up and I was thinking that if that person had listened to me he could have made about $14,000! However, did I take my own brilliant advice? No I didn’t invest money that I had sitting in my savings account in cryptocurrencies and I didn’t benefit either.  Sounds stupid – yes it is! The knowing – doing gap strikes again.

Back in 2013 I actually opened an account to buy Bitcoin and had the account verified. However did I actually buy Bitcoin? No! If I had I would be a wealth man today. In 2013 Bitcoin was trading at $100 /Bitcoin. In the past few weeks they hit $20,000 per Bitcoin. An investment of $500 in 2013 would have been worth $100,000 recently. Again the gap between knowing and doing!

So the big question I would like to ask you today is what do you know that you should do in your life? Maybe your New Year’s resolution could be to actually do it and bridge the knowing doing gap.

Best wishes for 2018!



If you would like some brilliant ideas to make 2018 a fantastic year then please check out my book Experiments in Personal Change. It is packed full of useful actionable ideas on personal development. Also keep in touch with Life is a Laboratory for further updates on the Experiments in Personal Change course (I will give a special deal on the course to newsletter subscribers so please subscribe now to keep informed of the launch date).

Spotlight effect

Our mind can either be our best friend or our worst enemy, depending on how we use it. When we develop an awareness of our potential blind spots we will be better able to navigate through life without our mind playing tricks on us.  Life is a Laboratory is dedicated to helping readers make the most of their lives and psychological blind spots can distract or derail us from our goals.  Therefore an understanding of the various psychological blind spots is important.  The first of these I want to discuss is the Spotlight Effect.

All people, but especially those with social anxiety, are very focused on themselves. We are very aware of ourselves, our actions and our appearance and believe everyone else is just as aware.

The “spotlight effect” refers to the tendency to think that more people notice something about you than they do.  Research by Thomas Gilovich (Professor of Psychology at Cornell University) and colleagues (2000) gave the spotlight effect it’s name.  So why do we think everyone’s paying attention to us? Gilovich and colleagues suggest its because we are so focused on ourselves. We are acutely aware of our own appearance and actions, and we have trouble realising other people might not be as focused on us.

The essential point: No need to blush and hide the next time you embarrass yourself since you are probably the only person who was really paying attention to your mishap. But you also have to give people a break when they don’t notice your new dress or compliment you on that really smart comment you made during a meeting. They aren’t paying as close of attention to your appearance and actions as you are because they are too busy paying attention to themselves!