Mindset, Awareness & Tactics
We will refer to self-protection as opposed to self-defense. Self-protection is proactive and in control. Self-defense is reactionary and already in a position of vulnerability. Self protection is made up of mindset (observing red flags), situational awareness and tactics (drawing the line). We want to empower you in every way possible including how you embrace the new tools you will be learning.
MINDSET IS THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE…
During my kidnapping my mind could not find anything to pull from or a path to follow to tell me how to act, what to say, or what to do. I was left scrambling. Significant research exists promoting the theory that when we are in a new situation or meet someone for the first time we make snap judgments that are based on the smallest bits of experience we may have to pull from and the judgments we make are unconscious. People do this because they have to and have come to rely on that skill. There are many hidden firsts that we experience in our life and many situations where careful attention to the details, for no more than a second or two, may provide valuable information. Then, we make snap judgments regarding the situation to comprehend it quickly. When we don’t have any similar experiences to fall back on then our mind searches through all the closed doors and corners of our minds to find something to cling on to in order to make sense of what is going on around us. Most of us do not have previous experience with violence nor do we have plans or preparation for how to respond to a threat. Conditioning your mind, preparing for the unexpected, and being open to the fact that someone may bring violence to you will allow you to perceive the threat and react in a faster manner.
I experienced multiple signals that were in direct conflict with my brain desperate to make some sense of what I was experiencing and trying to assign or find some normalcy to it or logical explanation to it – there was an internal dialogue that was like a war. My logic was warring with my instincts… I chose to ignore my instincts and follow the logic almost to my grave. That is the mistake, that is why we freeze, that is what creates a longer perception reaction time that is why we fail to take action quickly. We are unwilling to take action until we understand the WHY, instead of simply accepting that something is telling me I am in danger, I don’t know why, but I am willing to protect myself by using tools to stay safe or escape.
Consider this example: you are snuggled with your dog and he suddenly – without any warning – jumps off the couch, runs to stare out a window, and starts growling. He is being obedient to his instincts. Humans, especially in a polite, politically correct, do unto others society, tend to negotiate with or suppress our instincts. So much so that we expose ourselves to great danger before taking action. Every victim I have spoken to remembers a distinct feeling inside right before tragedy struck. Some uncomfortable feeling that was ignored – because we didn’t know how to identify that it was a warning signal trying to protect us. In the example above I doubt most of us would continue to sit on the couch and doze in and out of a nap while our dog growled out the window. We would do something. Me, I would grab my cell phone and my gun and not necessarily in that order. We would honor the instincts of our dog yet we tend to negotiate with our own.
Keeping context in mind as we look at the warning signs is crucial. A failure to keep the behavior of the predator in context is what keeps us from responding aggressively enough. We feel “rude.” If we look at and acknowledge that the behavior of the predator is inappropriate then we are free to respond accordingly in rude or aggressive ways that we would never otherwise respond. If while you are in your car stopped at an intersection a big man comes running to your car, jerks open your door, drags you out from behind the wheel and starts putting his hands all over you — you could be the victim of a car-jacking and rape or you could have just been rescued from your car by a fireman who is pulling you out of a wreck and attempting to administer CPR. The first scenario would be your worst fear, the second would be an answer to prayer.
What will you do once your brain registers the threat? You may run, freeze, or faint in those moments that follow; your brain will swirl looking for direction and cling on to anything it can find, including bizarre and possibly dangerous ideas. You need a plan to go to, reflexively, to protect yourself.