We have five senses that everyone is very familiar with – touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. According to ancient Egyptians we as a species have 365 senses. Regardless if you just opened up a new tab to Google that, I want to focus on an additional sense we have all used at one point in our life – intuition.
According to Positive Psychology, intuition is, “that feeling in your gut when you instinctively know that something you are doing is right or wrong. Or it’s that moment when you sense kindness, or fear, in another’s face. You don’t know why you feel that way; it’s just a hunch.”
Intuition is your sensory awareness alerting you to something, or someone, in your environment that is worth taking a second notice of and heightening your five primary senses toward in this moment. When we talk about situational awareness this is what we are highlighting. Using your five senses to establish a knowledge base around what is going on in your environment, what is happening around you.
My mom taught me to drive defensively assertive. My dad taught me to drive offensively aggressive. I mixed the two together and I drive offensively or defensively when the situation calls for it. Am I aggressive or assertive? Depends on the situation. I’ll tell you this, I think the most important skill to possess when driving is depth perception. Having an ability to judge speed, distance, environmental conditions, and being able to intuitively “know” what the other drive is anticipating, thinking, or doing has saved my ass more times than counting allows.
When I am on the street, in the mall, at the club, the arena, stadium, or anywhere else outside my house for that matter, I am highly attuned to my environment and the comings and goings of the people in my energetic field. By tapping into my intuition I notice body language, eye movements, paths of travel, slight shifting of attention, and so much more. What I gain in this observation of details in my immediate environment isn’t actual safety, it’s not even the illusion of safety – it’s information, it’s intelligence.
Mike Glover talks about intelligence and information a lot. He identifies it as a top-of-the-line defense against other people’s actions toward, near, and around you. Situational awareness is so important to him he has posted many a video on this subject.
When your intuition alerts you to something in your environment, and you feel a shift or charge in your body, that is your subconscious mind telling, “Hey, pay attention right F’ing now!”
When I was younger I’d be at a party and just know something was off. Something wasn’t right and I needed to get the hell outta Dodge right freaking now. I didn’t wait around for the shoe to drop. I didn’t need to know WHAT was going to happen, I didn’t need to stick around to see if anything did happen – I left because feeling something is going to happen is enough for me. Sometimes I heard the cops showed up minutes after I departed or a fight broke out. Other times nothing happened but maybe me not being there is what stopped something from happening TO ME.
You want to be defensively assertive and offensively aggressive in situations where your intuition is sending you up red flags. Situational awareness isn’t just a buzz word to throw about, it is literally a way of life, and your intuition is going to be your first line of defense. When you feel it kick in, listen to it, look around even more instinctively, and then choose your method of action.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore it. The room for failure is a millisecond or the skin of your teeth. Sometimes there is no need to respond and recover if you listen to your gut and get the hell outta there before the other shoe does drop.