Let’s be honest here.
I teach men, women, and teens about self-defense, predators, avoiding attacks, all fear based stuff. I do think about fear and “bad things” so I can help others most quickly get past denial and deal with that reality in their lives.
It’s empowering, and I think I’m a happier person because of it, believe it or not.
I think there’s a misconception that self-defense instructors are Rambo (Rambette?) types, paranoid, and are dissociated from the reality that most people live in. There’s a misconception that it defines who we are to the point that we’re paralyzed by it.
Not me. I love to read motivational books on being the best I can be, and living the most fulfilling life I can. I meditate, practice yoga and like to look at fashion. I cook, love gourmet food, enjoy great espresso and top shelf tequila.
Like a lot of you, I have an iPhone. I can’t wait to hear the next song to inspire me on my runs. I brake for squirrels. I love to paint, children’s paintings and abstracts. I live a life of mindfulness and I realize how blessed I am to be alive and healthy everyday. I collect eggs from our free range chickens, am happily married and have four awesome daughters to take care of.
I lived in fear for a good part of my past starting as a child after my best friend’s mother was murdered and I got to tour the crime scene with him (it was the ’80’s after all). As a former ICU nurse, I’ve dealt with life and death more times than I care to remember. Believe me when I say I’ve had my sleepless nights, afraid. There have been some things I’ve done in my life that have made all the difference in putting the nightmares to rest, and after seeking answers to what the threats really are in my life and in learning to prepare for and deal with them means I can finally live my life on my terms. This is what motivates me.
I’ve heard from “guru’s” in the defense industry that 80% of their clients come to them after an attack or tragedy. I’ve had the same experience too, many students were “scared into” seeking defense training. And while you would think that I would be quick to preach against this (I am), I fell into this category myself. As I discuss in my training, I had a moment where I was very frightened for my safety and that of my daughters, as I let a man get far closer to us than he should’ve and in a very non-Rambette way, I froze.
That was my motivation, my “moment of truth” where I realized that my personal safety and that of my loved ones lies in my hands. And I wasn’t prepared properly. My education then began which culminated in founding Pretty Loaded, to inspire others to get the training before you may need it.
Although I can’t take credit for this phrase, I believe it wholeheartedly: It’s better to have the skills and not need them, than need the skills and not have them.
If you’re not convinced of your need to seek training and skills yet, you may resonate with a “Top 10 Big Ideas”, to think about when you are deciding whether you need Situational Awareness and Self Defense Mindset training.
Top 10 Big Ideas
1. Violent people exist all around us and violence seems more prevalent these days.
2. Safety is a basic human need.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs proves that we need to feel safe in order to make it to higher levels of growth to reach our full potential. We need to feel safe when we are traveling for work or running to the store or it will affect our overall well-being and effectiveness.
3. You are the first responder! When seconds count, help is minutes away!
You don’t want to learn how far away law enforcement is when you need help “NOW!” Speaking of calling for help, have you ever considered turning on your phone, unlocking it and dialing 911 while in the scariest moment of your life? On top of that, the average attack is complete in 3 seconds. Are you really going to bet your life on calling for help as a good defensive game plan?
4. Learn situational awareness skills and avoid conflict.
Avoiding an attack is your ultimate objective, especially if you’ve contemplated the realities of #3. Learn to watch people and analyze situations so you are ahead of the game, keeping yourself out of the “danger zone”. You may not be expecting to be attacked, but you are always aware of your surroundings and can respond if you need to.
5. Know the predator’s mindset and tactics they use.
Criminals are well studied, as they talk in prison when they “have nothing left to lose”. You can be taught what motivates an attacker and what they’re likely to say or do to test you as a potential victim. Do you know what to be on the lookout for? Predators are attracted to “weak looking” and distracted targets and do not engage a victim that may cause them to fail. Predators can also be charming, handsome, intelligent, wealthy, and in a position of “trust”. They are not just the thugs on the street corner.
6. Intuition is your top safety skill.
Use your “gut instinct” to guide you to make decisions. Unlike worry, intuition will not waste your time. In relating this to situational awareness, we get in trouble when we ignore our instincts and start judging appearances or how nice someone seems to be. “He seemed so nice and helpful at the time” is a regretful judgment made by many victims.
7. Develop the self-defense mindset.
Learn to not be submissive! This fuels a violent person and causes them to be more aggressive with you. You have to know how to use your body to fight (here’s an example we recorded recently) if you need to and never give up. Defensive hardware, if you are trained to use it, can make all the difference. Don’t just throw your pepper spray in your purse and call it good. There is reality to the use of all tools, see this as an example we did last summer.
8. Learn power tactics against predators.
Learn how your strong body language will dissuade a predator and use verbal defenses if someone tries to get in your personal space. Again, we’re trying to avoid the fight at all costs!
9. Build confidence and learn a new skill.
As if saving your life isn’t motivation enough, many gurus of positive psychology claim that you will find happiness in learning a new skill. The most successful people are lifelong learners; they constantly ask questions and never cease to find wonder in the world around them.
10. Have the courage to protect yourself!
You have one precious life to live and your life is your dream. No one has the right to hurt or harm you. Unfortunately, people who take charge of their lives by empowering themselves with self-defense skills are not the norm. Becoming more self reliant with your Personal Safety Plan is a very fulfilling, empowering and potentially a priceless skill set.
It’s not about becoming scared, paranoid, and frozen by fear. It’s about becoming awakened to realities that you can’t deny, using that as motivation to seek education and skills, and then living your life more confidently on your terms, not a victim to the psychopathic nature of some predator.
Keep Calm and BECOME Pretty Loaded!
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.