What is your Safety Quotient?
Level of Confidence
How is your confidence level when it comes to self-protection? If you were to give it a number from 1-10, your ‘safety quotient’ would be at what level?
Knowing you can absolutely take care of yourself, should a challenging situation arise, is self-confidence. Confidence isn’t thinking you would do this, or you would do that. Being ‘cocky’ or arrogant is not confidence either. Cockiness and arrogance are just masking fear (but that’s another story).
Confidence is knowing your body—not your mind—has a full ‘library’ of movement that will go on auto-pilot when your nervous system tells it to. This does not happen automatically—your muscles must be trained in order for your nervous system to give them the okie-dokie to go into safety-defense mode. Otherwise your muscles will move (or not move) with the memory they currently have programmed into them. The current ‘untrained’ memory might not be best suited to react favorably. And it may very well already be well-suited. Only you absolutely know your truth. Either way. What do you rate yourself right now, from 1-10?
Why is ‘fighting’ so foreign?
Most of us were not lucky enough to grow up learning self-protection skills along the way, simply by ‘play-fighting’ with our siblings/cousins/friends. Our parents didn’t teach us much except to not talk to ‘strangers.’ Most women were taught, as girls, that fighting was just for boys. Consequently as adults, many women have no clue how to defend ourselves (which is learning how to fight…yes, I said fight). And we simply don’t think about it. Why? Over the years, I have heard all these reasons:
• Don’t think we will ever be attacked
• Haven’t been attacked yet, so why think about it
• Too busy with too many things to do
• SHOULDN’T have to learn to defend ourselves because it is wrong, and it’s against the law for others to attack us (FYI, perps don’t care)
• The police will help; or someone will come to the rescue (boyfriend/spouse/brother—simply because he’s a man, or they do martial arts/MMA/kickboxing)
• I’m a lover not a fighter
• Fighting is for males, and besides, it is violence
• Don’t think about it, therefore won’t be attacked
How many other reasons can you think of?
All this thinking has set us up to say ‘it’s not for me.’ After all, there’s:
• shopping for groceries
• taking the kids to school
• board meetings
• housekeeping chores
• filling out forms
• dentist appointments
• calls from kid’s school
• volunteering for the next event
• meeting friends, work trips
• special events
• taking a shower
• getting school supplies
• family celebrations
• kids homework
• date night
• doctor appointments
• salon time
• and on and on
Or put simply, “I’m just too busy.”
Why would you want to even spend time learning this?
Why use up your time training if you don’t think anyone will ever attack you? The truth is we get ‘attacked’ almost daily. Have ever been in situations where someone said something to you/about you/or cut you off before you could finish? And you didn’t like how you felt (your body’s reaction)? You could not think of anything to say (or do).
Daily we must make choices. People come in and out of our lives, and often we are left with a brief encounter in which we were unable to respond as we wanted to, and come away feeling just a bit depleted because they got the ‘best of us,’ or they got their way (again). IOW, they took some of our power (and that is because we let them).
Think about your daily interactions with others. You truly DON’T know what you will do in any situation, trained or not. And that is simply because we cannot predict the future. You will only know in the moment. If you are caught off guard, the outcome can be anywhere from disheartening to devastating.
What is this training about, and why even train?
Training IS about you. In your entire world, you are the most important. Taking care of you first allows taking care of others from a balanced perspective. You will simply make better choices for everyone involved. Your confidence will inspire others. And a myriad of other good things will happen for you when you raise your confidence.
Training builds the muscle memory I talked about earlier. It is not your brain that defends you. It is your body. Let me repeat that: it is your body that defends you. Your body gets it’s messages from the nervous system. The nervous system then allows the reactions. And your body will react with whatever memory is in it. Just thinking about it won’t replace the old memory (for most people, anyway).
Physical reactions and powerful verbal strategies require training time (for reprogramming). Your body needs the time to integrate the new memory—time actually spent on moving thru the motions and movements, and time spent on versing the words to say in difficult situations, and quickly getting past the ‘stuck’ or ‘freeze’ reaction in the ‘flight-fight-freeze’ responses with which most people react.
Repetition is key
Repetition will ingrain voice commands and help to create powerful muscle memory. And that’s because our bodies are more brilliant than our minds. This one too bears repeating: our bodies are more brilliant than our minds. Our bodies rule our world.
Knowing you have instantaneous reactions, builds confidence. Instantaneous reactions come from repetition. Knowing you can knock out a perpetrator, builds confidence. It requires repetition. Knowing you can control the body of another person builds confidence. This too requires repetition. Is that a waste of time? Let’s look at how else this confidence, from all the repetition, could benefit your life.
• How about ‘commanding’ respect? (different from demanding)
• Being listened to when you speak?
• Standing up and speaking your mind when you see a ‘wrong’
• Saying ‘no’ when you mean no, and ‘yes’ when you mean yes
• Standing up for others?
• Speaking to a boardroom full of (mostly) males?
• Asking for the raise
• Letting your co-worker know s/he is a bully
• Standing up to overbearing/bullying parents?
• Standing up to your own kids? (yes, this happens)
• Quitting your job
• Getting up on a stage and speaking
• Making your own choices, daily
Does any of this connect with you?
Building confidence through learning to fight is not just about physically defending yourself. It is about standing UP for what you believe to be true and correct, standing in your center, unwaveringly confident in your choices. And knowing you have something to back it up. It is about being the “badass” of your life.
Learning to defend yourself is not hard. What is hard is admitting it out loud (even to yourself), that you need some training.
I have never been attacked (ok, lol, in 7th grade once, this bully girl who did not like me, caught me alone and hit me once, then walked off). I never encountered her again face to face. I don’t even remember if she got in trouble for it.
Yet, years later, training in self-defense became important to me. I did it because at first it was fun, and then I really wanted to feel that I could defend myself (fight) when I was alone, and then I continued to train because of the confidence it built within my entire body. During the process, my thinking changed. And then I continued because I wanted to pass it on to others.
Our community has unfortunately not gotten any safer over the years, and so my work continues. It is up to each of us to be able to help ourselves when the police, or anyone in our support system, are not present. We simply must empower ourselves. We must make time for our daughters (and sons) to learn skills and strategies for defending and protecting themselves.
Wherever you are on the safety spectrum, more training will be good…always. If raising your safety quotient matters to you, and you know that ‘someday’ you will get some training, my question to you is ‘how long are you willing to wait?’ Every single day is the day to commit. Start. Do it. Cultivate your #BadassCourage starting now. Be the #Badass Boss of your Life. And do it with Respect and Love.
Clara E Minor
#BadassBoss of MINORSAN Self-Defense & Fitness
Or Contact Me HERE