S:0123 Distinction: Aware vs. Wary

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

 

Picture a small bird hopping around in a search for food. You will probably notice that the bird is very wary, very watchful, and constantly on guard. Not a bad survival strategy — for a bird.

But if you go through life only looking for threats and danger — being wary — you use a lot of energy that could have been channeled toward having the outcomes you want.

To be aware is to be conscious of what’s going on around you, to be mindful and alert, cognizant. When you are aware, you see opportunities and resources, and you have the space to act on them. You are in touch with your feelings. You have a sense of your role in the world.

Wary is about fear. Wary people believe that life happens to them. Aware is about clarity. Aware people believe life happens for them.

To shift from wary to aware, complete with your past, get your needs met, set strong boundaries, and build sufficient reserves so you do not have to be fearful.

 

Copyright 1998 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.