Happy New Year!
2015 was an amazing year for Pretty Loaded! Our influence spread significantly with our Personal Safety Videos reaching millions of people around the world. Our online training is making people just like you safer each day and just this past week we were contacted by a police officer in Texas that served victims of the tornado disasters looking for safety training for his community. We donated our online training to these people who didn’t want to become victims of the crime that can follow natural disasters.
We are grateful for and humbled by the support we have received and are excited for what is to come in 2016! How about you start this with the resolution of increasing your safety? Here are some concepts to consider:
We can frighten you with crime statistics, but the truth is that it really shouldn’t matter if you have a 1% or 66% chance of being attacked at some point in your life. All innocent lives are worth protecting and even 1% is a huge number of potential victims! Pretty Loaded receives stories of violence from victims from all over the world in the most bizarre of circumstances and nearly all of them said “I didn’t think it would happen to me.”
It’s better to have the skills and not need them than need the skills and not have them.
This year, we urge you to commit to the following 8 important safety resolutions to increase your Survival Intelligence:
- Use situational awareness whenever you are in public.
This is a relaxed state of general alertness, with no specific focal point. You are not looking for anything or anyone in particular; you simply have your head up and your eyes open. You notice everyone and everything around you. You are difficult to surprise, so therefore, you are difficult to harm. In Jason Hanson’s book, Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Jason points out that one of the most important things he learned in the CIA was impeccable situational awareness.
- Trust your intuition at all times.
If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Many victims have told us “something didn’t seem right” and then they didn’t listen to their intuition’s advice. Read Gavin de Becker’s book Gift of Fear and you will learn so much on the importance of gut feelings.
- Reduce your vulnerabilities.
Don’t run or walk alone in the dark. Don’t park next to people that are loitering. Don’t look at your phone while walking. Know how criminals think and operate so you can notice a potential threat before it happens. Walk with purpose and confidence, using body language that is assertive and shows you are prepared and ready to run or fight. Research done on criminals in prison verified that they are attracted to weak and distracted looking individuals. Click here to view the interesting Grayson-Stein study discussed in our training that addresses this issue.
- Enhance your capabilities.
Read body language and know the warning signs of a possible attack. A stranger that takes an interest in you and stares for long periods of time without blinking is an ominous sign. Clenching and unclenching of the jaw and hands equals getting prepped for an attack. Nostrils flaring and facial flushing? If you haven’t already, get the hell out of there! Movement is your best friend and always protect your personal space. Continually assess 30-50 feet around you and if someone moves toward you, create distance. If they keep moving toward you, more drastic action may be necessary. Don’t be afraid to completely turn around and check your blind spot, that’s where the predator lurks.
- Use your eyes to divert a threat.
If you see someone that frightens you or makes you nervous then make eye contact to say, “I see you!” This actually sends a subconscious message to the predator that you are a fighter. In addition, the element of surprise is lost so the criminal will likely look for a different target.
- Learn to profile people.
Does the person look threatening or are they loitering? Do they have an awkward gait and are they holding their arm to their body trying to hide something under their coat? Speaking of coats, are they wearing one on a hot summer’s day? Do they seem like they are acting nervous? Are they asking you a question to distract you? Become a “Noticer”, always looking for what may be out of place.
- Have an escape plan in mind at all times.
Know where the nearest Exits are, and remember that heading out the back door of a restaurant or store (employees only area) is likely the best course to take. Now would be a good time to have a flashlight with you in case the lights going out is part of the emergency.
- Carry a defensive tool.
Carry a defensive tool or tools in case you can not get away. You need to “own” whatever your tool is and practice with it. Make sure it’s effective and train with it often. When you’re in your “moment of truth” and scared for your life, you will NOT rise to the occasion, you will revert to your training.
In 2016, join the movement to learn Survival Intelligence, because along with it comes a radical confidence. Radical confidence comes from the proactive mindset and action an empowered individual develops when they realize that they are in charge of their own safety. This confidence also creates positive changes in a myriad of other areas of your life as well. Ponder these two truths as you craft your resolution for increasing your personal safety in 2016:
When seconds count, help is minutes away.
You are your own first responder.
Beth is the founder of Pretty Loaded. On a mission to install strength, awareness, and confidence, Beth began her journey as an educator and speaker after a close encounter with a would-be predator. She has trained thousands of people in person, and through her online training around the world. Beth loves spending her time reading, running, cooking, and painting. She is married and has four wonderful young girls, organic chickens, and lives on an organic produce farm and vineyard.