There are, as everyone likes to say, two kinds of people in this world: Those who face trouble head on and those who run away from it; Those who fight and those who roll over; Those with a victim mentality and those with a predator mentality; Protectors and the protected; Cops and robbers; Predators and prey.
Wolves and sheep.
Sounds simple enough, and this sentiment is what drives a 110lb woman to sign up for a beginner’s course at the shooting range or invest in self defense classes. In fact, Google “self defense” and you’d be forgiven for thinking that learning to protect and assert yourself was only for women.
Self defense is about making yourself bigger, badder and tougher. It’s about tactics, weapons and moves you learn in a makeshift dojo so that the next masked attacker loses a few teeth for his trouble.
Most self defense originates from a place of fear.
Thinking this way only reinforces the idea that women are weak, fragile and vulnerable. When efforts to learn self defense come from fear, the person is locking themselves into a victim mindset that may even make attack more likely.
When somebody thinks of themselves as weak and in danger, all of their behavior communicates that fact to the world around them. What they are essentially doing is broadcasting their vulnerability to those who would take advantage of it.
Don’t think like a victim
The first step to learning real self defense is to shake off the idea of being a victim. Deliberately deciding that you're in control of your body, life and safety is not only liberating – it’s smart. Of course, nobody would suggest that “victim blaming” is appropriate or that you can avoid all attacks if only you think like a badass.
But a resilient attitude is practical, calm and to all the ways that you can take charge of your situation at any time – even when that situation becomes dangerous.
How to cultivate a warrior mindset
A scared and disempowered woman with a can of pepper spray in her handbag is still a scared and disempowered woman. But a woman who knows she can think quickly, assert herself and defend against attackers will feel powerful no matter what the situation and no matter what she has in the bag.
She can even translate this warrior mindset into her daily life.
- Communicate calm confidence. Walk with purpose, erect posture and at a natural pace. Criminals can easily spot someone who is fearful and trying to hide it, and walking quickly, avoiding eye contact, being awkward or unsure can all signal your vulnerability.
- Constantly maintain the upper hand – it’s always preferable to act than to react. Look at a situation well before it develops into something worse, and be proactive in removing yourself.
- Don’t second guess your gut feeling. Predators of all kinds rely on most women’s socialized politeness – in fact, many women say that they’d rather risk an attack than accidentally offend someone! Don’t do this – trust your instincts.
Ask any trainer, drill sergeant or hell, even anyone who’s held a crowd hostage – toughness has nothing to do with size, age or gender. The most important element of taking control and acting firmly from a position of confidence is all mental.
So, you don’t want to be anyone’s victim?
Then stop thinking like one.
Do you have any more tips that might be helpful? If you liked this article, feel free to share it on social media so someone you know might benefit from it.
What You Can Do
The founder of Combat Mindset, Michael Saad, is a straight-forward and easy to follow Results Coach that helps athletes, fighters and tactical operators get mentally and physically stronger.