Levels of Awareness

Your levels of Awareness are the degree to which you are aware of what is going on around you. This will vary depending not only on where you are, and on what you are doing, but on your entire environment. Your environment is the easiest variable to control in any confrontation. Some things to be aware of are:

  • Are you in a familiar location, or are you in a place that’s new to you?
  • What are the people around you doing?
  • How well do you know the people around you?
  • What sights, sounds and smells do you sense throughout your environment?
  • What is the terrain like?
  • What is your intuition telling you about your surroundings?
  • Can you sense the rhythm of your environment?

This last one might sound a bit strange, but crowds and activities usually have a rhythm to them. If you can pick up on that rhythm, you will be able to sense a disruption in that rhythm. This will ultimately give you a heads up for arising trouble, as opposed to someone who is oblivious to what is going on around them getting caught in the chaos.

I also mentioned intuition, which is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning, or simply put, your gut feeling. However, how many of you actually listen to and follow your intuition?

The three levels of awareness are low, moderate, and high.

Low level of awareness– You are somewhere that you know well and feel safe in, such as your own, well-secured home, rather you’re by yourself, or with others you trust and feel safe with.

Moderate level of awareness– You are in a public area you’re familiar with like the grocery store, bank, school, park, etc., but you’re surrounded by people you might not know, or you might not know well.

High level of awareness– you are in an unfamiliar location, and/or a location that might have a higher crime rate, and you are by yourself or surrounded by people unknown to you.

Awareness is the key! Constantly take note of your surroundings and of the people in your immediate vicinity. Survey any area before you enter or exit, like your home, your car, an elevator, a bank, your office, etc.

Along with maintaining an alert mindset, make sure to present yourself as difficult prey by walking tall and confidently, by looking others straight in the eye as though to say, “I see you!”,  and by maintaining a comfortable, reasonable distance, also known as maintaining your personal space. Along with the Levels of Awareness, check out our post on Situational Awareness.


April Iser - Iser Defense

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