Automatic Scan Technique For Situational Awareness & Personal Security

Situational awareness and the ‘automatic scan’ technique. It is an interesting thing. How often do you notice others who appear to be aware of their surroundings? Sometimes…

However, a more common site is that of others moving about in their own bubbles. Perhaps the inside of these bubbles are mirror-coated. Because most people don’t seem able to see outside their own bubble.

Just the other day… I think I frightened another human who was blissfully in her own bubble, minding her own business. Until… I spoke to her. (((GASP!))) I had approached the Deli counter at the grocery store. I wasn’t sure if she was “in line”. She was looking at a bag of hamburger buns in her hand (which were located in front of the counter). I spoke to her, “Are you in line?”… the pause, then the realization that another human was near her and actually speaking to her! After a confused look, and the uncomfortable pause, she said “I’m just looking at these buns”. Wow. I think I jolted her psyche.

Okay, back to the post.

People’s minds are “elsewhere”. Maybe they’re in their smart-phone. Maybe a conversation with a companion. Or a conversation in their head with an imaginary friend. Perhaps they’re staring straight ahead. Or mostly looking down while walking forward. They are in their own bubble as they move about.

It’s just not good situational awareness.

After you have learned the automatic scan technique, it will be easy to become a natural part of your subconscious. It will compliment your own situational awareness and personal security.

The automatic scan is about placing some focus and paying attention to the things around you as you move about. It’s about looking beyond your 6-foot bubble of ‘comfort zone’. It’s about a periodic scan of your environment.

One simple analogy is this… When people are in their car driving in traffic, some of them only focus on the car in front of them. The better way is to keep an eye on the cars in front of the car that’s in front of you (while you are still obviously aware of the car in front of you). This way you will better anticipate braking, lane changes, upcoming issues, etc.

Similarly while out and about in public (or anywhere), it is better to be aware of more than just what is in front of you.

The automatic scan technique sounds simple enough. But the trick is to get in the subconscious habit of occasionally scanning your environment. It takes repeated conscious effort at first. And it may take awhile to regularly remember to do it. But after awhile it will become more natural and will not require conscious remembrance to do it.

You might ask, “What am I looking for?”

Answer: You are simply gauging your environment. The baseline. Your subconscious (sixth sense) may alert you to something out of the ordinary. Or you may even see something that is quite obviously out of the ordinary. You will also be recognized as difficult prey to any lurking predator.

While doing the automatic scan, depending on your level of concern, you might be making conscious mental notes of things or people that might look suspicious, alternate routes, exits, obstructions, etc.

When you’re out in public, you should always be in condition ‘yellow’ (relaxed alert).

[ Read: The Cooper Color Code ]

An interesting aspect to the automatic scan situational awareness technique: After you’ve engrained the technique into your psyche, you will begin to ‘see’ (on occasion) another world (another level) which you’ve not really noticed so much before.