Awareness is Your Best Weapon

Bogota Police

Make an effort to be aware of yourself, of your physical surroundings, of the mood of your environment, and of the people around you.  It’s important to train for physical fitness. It’s great to develop solid physical self-defense, martial arts, or close quarter combat skills. But mental and emotional readiness is essential for your safety. Train your senses and your awareness. Your best protection against violence is to avoid or evade it. If you can’t do that, escape. If you have no other option, and you decide to fight, you must commit 100%. Become the attacker. For each one of these options – avoidance, evasion, escape, and counter-attack- awareness is key.

Use your senses to be aware – sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. Use your gut reactions. We get messages from inside and outside of our bodies. Pay attention to all of them.

As you leave the security of your home (assuming you  have a safe home, which isn’t the case for everyone), first check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I focused on what I’m doing? What’s my mood? How am I feeling physically and mentally? Am I paying attention to the people around me, my surroundings? Is anything distracting me? Am I  objectively assessing the person I’m dealing with right now, whether this is a stranger or a person that I know somehow.”

Make an effort to begin each day with a commitment to yourself to be aware. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Make it a habit to be aware.




4 Comments on "Awareness is Your Best Weapon"

  1. The cornerstone – awareness. Gives us our sense of identity, personhood, self-respect and information about how we interact with the larger environment around us. We are never too young, never too old to develop awareness. Some may be born with a sense of awareness, maybe they grew up with examples and experiences enriching to their self-esteem (which contributes to acknowledging awareness in the first place), many have not had that, but don’t let that hold you back, don’t keep it. You can begin to develop awareness, a keen sense of you, your environment and others. Any time you make the choice, the path begins. Building blocks: awareness, self-respect, responsibility, action. Great article. Thank you.

  2. Brigitte says:(Author)

    Great reference to the building blocks! Self-respect is fundamental. Knowing yourself, your hooks and triggers, and staying true to your core values are important. Respecting and enforcing your boundaries make you a harder target. Taking responsibility for your personal safety and taking action to become more aware, to prepare, and to defend yourself all increase your safety. Thanks for your comments, Lilie.

  3. Never undermine the power of observation. People have the ability to assess a situation and an environment in a matter of seconds. Sometimes we disregard these gut feelings, and try to use higher cognitive functions to figure out a person’s motives or mood. But in a potentially dangerous situation, it is always a better idea to rely on evolutionary instinct.

  4. Brigitte says:(Author)

    Excellent point, Andi. Trusting your intuition can protect you from harm in many different situations. It may protect you from doing business with a person you shouldn’t trust or from allowing someone to enter your home. It may save your life. After all, assuring your survival is the function of the limbic brain. The Latin root of the word intuition, tueor, actually means to observe, protect, defend, or safeguard. (I was a Latin instructor during my high school years in Germany.)

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