Mindset is defined as “the established set of attitudes”. Whenever I leave my house, I establish a mindset that includes telling myself that:
- I am in charge of taking care of myself and my loved ones.
- I am in “condition yellow” – I am alert and situationally aware of what is going on around me. I will carry myself proudly and confidently.
- I will make it a point to know where exit doors, escape routes and cover are for any building I enter.
- I will remain calm in all situations. I won’t get mad or overreact to the actions of others. I will just take a deep breath and let it go. Over-reacting or getting mad is the worst thing you can do in any potentially confrontational situation, especially if you’re carrying a handgun.
Situational awareness is defined as “the ability to scan the environment and sense danger, challenges, and opportunities while maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities.” Whether you carry a handgun or not, you should always be acutely aware of what’s going on around you. If you see someone suspicious coming towards you, stare back at them and remain calm. By doing this, you’ll accomplish two things – he’ll know you’ve seen him AND he’ll no longer see you as an easy target. Predators look for those who are weak, vulnerable and totally oblivious to what’s going on around them (i.e. someone texting while walking).
The best way to learn the skill of situational awareness is through daily practice. Learn how to clear your mind so that you’re not distracted by the things happening in your life. Test your observation skills. What store or building are you close to? How tall is that person? Are they male or female? What color hair do they have? What are they wearing? What’s the weather like? Pretty soon, being situationally aware will become second nature to you and you’ll become empowered.
Originally appeared in the June 2018 Newsletter