How to Be Aware and Prepared

Words have power.

They can be used to build someone up; they can offend people. We have reactions to them. We use them to educate and to connect. Our first interaction with words as children is typically the adults in our lives explaining how the world works. The words or phrases we hear frequently (even if they are just someone’s opinion) can get caught up in our brains and become our thoughts. Sometimes, these thoughts become limiting beliefs. An off-handed comment from an adult that math is a “boy” subject, or that girls should be quiet and polite can become a limiting belief that affects us for a lifetime.

One of these limiting beliefs that dramatically affected me was that the world was something to fear. Well meaning concern taught me to be afraid of public transportation and walking alone. This fear paralyzed me and taught me to be afraid of the world around me. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, afraid of getting “snatched.” This place of paralysis was my home for years.

I’ve changed my mindset though. I don’t view the world as a “scary” place any more.

I am not downplaying the very real threats that exist in the world, but I encourage you not to let them be your focus. When we allow “scary” to be our frame of reference we spend all of our time looking for things to be afraid of, and that is exhausting! Instead of being afraid of the things in the world that mean to do you harm, be aware and prepared.

Here are our top 5 tips to help you be aware and prepared:

  1. Don’t be a cellphone zombie – Attackers go after easy targets so make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings.
  2. Scan your surroundings – Whether you are on public transportation, sitting in an audience, or walking down the sidewalk, take a moment to notice the people around you and the exit routes.
  3. Trust your instincts – If something feels off about a situation or a person, trust that. If someone is approaching you, don’t be afraid to firmly tell them to back off.
  4. Know some basic self-defense moves – Check out the Nov 2 – 3 Fearless Warrior Workshop hosted by The Fearless Movement at The Women’s Wellness Center
  5. Practice self-defense scenarios – We will only respond the way we know how to. Learn and practice self-defense so you are ready for any situation that may come your way.

When you think fear, your actions reflect fear so let these tips empower you to be rooted in confidence. Responding to an attack from this place of awareness and preparedness could be the split second that saves your life.

Imagine how much mental energy you could have if you stopped being afraid of the world around you. As I said, it’s easy to get caught up in the bad. It’s easy to look at attacks against women, gun violence, and drug crises and determine that we need to spend our lives afraid. But when we do that, when we play small and look over our shoulders, we give the world an abbreviated version of ourselves.

Once again, words have power. So let’s use that power and reframe the words we say to ourselves.