by Kathy Marlor
Personal self defense and internal awareness go hand-in-hand. Internal awareness including listening to your “gut” or your “inner voice,” understanding how you tend to react when confronted inappropriately (Are you passive, aggressive, or assertive?), and knowing what happens to your body internally when you’re in a scary or dangerous situation.
For todays topic, personal self defense let’s break it down to first discussing about listening to your inner voice.
In our society we’re conditioned to NOT listen to our inner voice or gut instinct when we get an odd feeling or feel like something isn’t right. It’s common to tell ourselves things like: ”Oh, I must be imagining it, that person isn’t staring at me in an odd way.” Or “I’m just being silly and paranoid.”
Can you imagine a cavemen sensing that it wasn’t safe to go out and gather food and telling himself…..”I’m just being silly, I’m sure there aren’t any animals or predators around that want to eat me. That only happens to other cavemen.”
If you get a bad feeling that something is about to happen or go wrong- it usually does, doesn’t it? “That feeling or alarm bell doesn’t just go off to mess with you” as we like to say during our FAST Defense beginners course. “It’s there to help protect you.”
One of the most basic components of personal self defense is listening to your inner voice and taking whatever action you deem appropriate to stay safe.
This could be to walk on the other side of the street; it could be to not go to your car alone-but to wait and get someone to go with you; it might be to take out your pepper spray, cellphone stun gun, or personal alarm to ready them for use; it could be to leave a bar or a party when someone there that is giving you an uncomfortable feeling or becoming aggressive towards you; it could be exiting a relationship when you see warning signs that the other person seems to be getting abusive and so forth.
If I could teach only small lesson on personal self defense-and get it to sink-in-this is the one I’d choose. I feel it’s so valuable and can help prevent you from getting into a physical altercation or prevent you from being victimized in the first place.
I wish I had learned this personal self defense lesson as a tween, teen or at least as a young adult; it would have without a doubt have prevented me from being involved in several bad situations that didn’t have to happen the way that they did. However, I’m super grateful that I now have this insight and have given myself permission to follow my gut and hope you can too.
*If you find this personal self defense info useful, please pass it on to a friend or two. I’m available to speak locally to groups, at businesses and meetings on this and other related topics.