This was a clever quote from a teen who was part of a self defense training program this past week. She was a bright young woman with great wit and wisdom and her words stand true to remind us of the advantages of conducting ourselves with confidence and esteem.
As we move about our daily activities, confidence is implied by putting our phones away, walking with shoulders back, heads held high, making eye contact with everyone we meet. These simple behaviors show confidence and give a clear message that we are prepared for anything. It lets others know we notice they are present, and that we are strong and capable.
We must be scanning our environment – including our shadow, as we walk and our reflection in store windows to establish who may be in our immediate vicinity. Check in with your intuition – what are you really feeling. If ever you have doubt or apprehension, tune in and trust your gut, which is likely giving the message to take charge and avoid the situation. If it feels like someone is following you, step to the side to let them pass. And do so with authority and empowerment. Resist the urge to feel like you will offend them – your job is to protect yourself, not their feelings.
If we are near someone, we must check in with how we feel about standing by that person. If we have any discomfort or uncertainty, we must find another place to stand. And do so with confidence and certainty. It is after all, our responsibility to care for our own safety needs – its our birthright to protect ourselves and the space we are in.
Self defense is a similar concept to wearing a seatbelt while in a vehicle. We may not always be able to prevent a collision, but if we have our seatbelts on we reduce our risks. Similarly, having self defense skills may not always prevent an assault, but if we have skills and are aware and alert, we can reduce the risks of it happening to us.
So, this month, lets carry ourselves like we can kick @ss so that we won’t ever need to!