I want to talk about “situational awareness” today. Isn’t that a cool phrase? A dear friend of mine who is a pilot introduced me to that phrase years ago, and I’ve been using my interpretation of it ever since.
When you have good “situational awareness”, you are taking stock of everything that’s happening in a moment…what everybody is doing, what all of the circumstances are, what the potential consequences of these circumstances and actions are. And you are acting based on all of that.
It’s great! I have very good “situational awareness”, and it has definitely helped me a lot in many different areas of my life. But it has a flip side, and that is the one I want to talk about today. Because it does get in my way.
In any given moment, I’m onboarding A LOT of external information that may or may not be necessary. That is crowding my mind.
It causes me to live in the land of assumption a lot more than I would like. I’m taking in all of this information and I’m making assumptions about what I think is going to happen, and then I start to try and control all of the circumstances. Some of them are not even related to me! I start to stifle other people. And frankly, that has me sometimes concerned about things that may or may not happen. Those are assumptions, so who actually knows?
Those are some of the ways my “situational awareness” gets in my way, but there is another really important way it trips me up. It prevents me from hearing the voices of two very important friends. Creativity and Intuition.
Sometimes I like to think of these as friends that I have living in my mind. They are very quiet friends. They do not shout, and they will not try to be louder than that din of external information that I’m onboarding. They’ll just wait until I’m listening.
They’re very loyal. They’ll show up every single time I make space for them, but they are kind of fussy. They like my mind to be open and still and quiet. That is not a state that I am in when I am in high alert about the situation that I’m in.
It requires a lot of balance.
If you have high “situational awareness”, Congratulations! That can be something that will serve you nicely. But you’ll have to go out of your way to create time for those old friends, so that you can hear them and you can commune with them.
If you have low “situational awareness”, that is something you may want to develop so that you can protect yourself. But Congratulations to you! You probably commune with those friends a little more frequently than the person who is on high alert and that is wonderful.