The events of this week in Brussels show that, as I have said, anything can happen — anywhere at any time. And your safety in such a tragic event starts with you and the awareness of your surroundings.
Picture the scene in The Bourne Identity in which Jason Bourne glances around a diner and quickly gets a read on the sight lines and on where all the exits are located. He had already memorized the six license plates of the vehicles that were in the diner parking lot and had identified clear markers and body language of all the customers within the diner to determine potential danger.
Are there people who actually have these skills in real life? The answer is yes.
Do you need this level of extraordinary awareness of your surroundings to improve your day-to-day personal safety? The answer is no, but…
As I pointed out last week, there are three key elements of the security mindset; recognizing that threats and bad people do exist, accepting responsibility for your own personal safety and security, and trusting the little voice inside of you.
|Being aware of your surroundings at all times is key to your personal safety, because disaster can strike anywhere — as events have shown in Paris last year and in Brussels just this week.|
Well, situational awareness is a fourth component of the security mindset that is a building block for your personal security. How do you become better at observing your surroundings and detecting when something is not right or just does not fit?
Having exceptional situational awareness and the ability to make super-detailed observations about the people and objects within your environment is pretty cool, and you don’t have to be a covert operative to acquire these skills.
Color Codes Describe the 5 Levels of Situational Awareness
Let’s begin empowering your mind for this mission by understanding the color codes of awareness. Originally developed for the military, the color codes serve as a scale of readiness. These codes allow you to match your level of awareness with the situation — preparing you to transition from one state of readiness to another more rapidly.
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The codes are designated with the following colors: white, yellow, orange, red and black.
White signifies that a person is unaware and unprepared. A stereotypical example of this is the person walking along, drinking coffee and texting, who then either trips on the broken sidewalk or walks smack into someone.
Yellow is alert and relaxed. You are scanning the environment, taking everything in and keeping a check on things, but in a calm manner.
[Read More – Learn How To Recognize, Avoid & Evade Dangerous Situations – Dr. Jeff Cantor]
Orange is an elevated alert status: You have identified a potential threat.
Red is off-the-charts alert. There is a definite threat.
Black is when you’re actively engaged in combating the threat.
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The Ideal Awareness Level
Let’s talk about what level of awareness is ideal for you at any given moment. It is virtually impossible to be on high alert 24 hours a day. Your body and mind require rest, and when we rest, most people are in “white.”
But if you are in condition white, you are essentially “unconscious” and unable to react to the changes that are taking place around you. In this condition, when faced with an emergency situation or threat, your brain cannot switch gears fast enough to adjust to the changes and ultimately you “freeze,” hesitate or, worse, panic. If you freeze or panic and take no action at all, you fall victim to the situation.
|“If you are in condition white, you are essentially ‘unconscious.'”|
Because of this, the majority of the time your awareness level should be at condition “yellow.”
Remember, in yellow, you are alert but relaxed. This is a state of mind that can be maintained indefinitely without the stress and fatigue associated with focused awareness or high alert. Relaxed awareness allows you to casually center on what is happening around you and gives you the ability to move through your daily tasks and life without tiring, while offering an effective level of personal security.
Give Yourself the Tactical Advantage
Starting now, practice a condition of relaxed awareness, yellow. Then if a situation starts to develop, you are aware of it and can switch gears to whichever condition of readiness fits the circumstances. You are now more prepared to handle the change from a potential threat to an actual threat. On the other hand, if the threat proves innocuous, you can drop back to your relaxed state of awareness again.
Stay tuned next week for the third installment on the security mindset developing keen situational awareness, and how you can be better prepared for potential threats and danger.
Until next time, stay alert, check your six and stay safe!