“If You Spot It, You Got It”

A few of you may be familiar with the above phrase, best used (in my experience) by yourself, about yourself, when someone is saying or doing something that is getting on your nerves.

But since it’s often easier to spot other people’s stuff than to recognize our own, let’s take a look at a work example from one of my clients:

Recently, a client arrived late to a meeting, where—due to her tardiness—she was confronted by a colleague claiming, “I can no longer trust you.”

Had this issue been an ongoing bone of contention? It had not.

Given that, my client was bewildered, what was up??

When we spoke about it, I mentioned, “If you spot it, you got it” and suggested that, perhaps, it wasn’t that her colleague couldn’t trust her, but that her colleague was having trouble trusting herself. Had she, perhaps, done something untrustworthy?

As it turned out, her colleague had been engaging in some shady behavior.

Now, as noted above, applying this concept to others is far easier than applying it to yourself, but taking a look at yourself is more valuable in the long run.

Here’s an example from my own experience:

I have a history of being, let’s say, “agitated” by people who complain and complain but do nothing to change the situation.

Frankly, it makes me cuckoo.

What I realize when I apply, “If you spot it, you got it”, however, is that *I* have been known to complain about things but not address them…. and that this is one of the qualities I like least about myself.

And the beauty of recognizing that is that once I do, I double down on resolving whatever it is I’ve been complaining about.

So if there is someone in your life whose choice you find baffling/maddening, I recommend turning the magnifying glass around and taking a look at yourself.

Ultimately, I think you’ll be happy about what you spot.


For more on understanding the complaints of others (not to mention your own) take a look at, “Catalyze Complaints: Turn your Complaints (and Others’) into Coping, Calm, or Conquest”.