It’s no secret that throughout the ages, women have been underestimated in their strength and determination. Even though females are just as clever and effective as men in countless ways, and even though history gives us many stories of brave women who beat the odds, when it comes to brute strength, women just do not have the same build or muscle mass. Pound for pound, our bodies are different. In fact, as Massad Ayoob explains in Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense, an unarmed man attacking a woman is considered a disparity of force since the unarmed but physically tougher man is easily able to inflict great bodily harm — or even death — on an unarmed woman.
If women are considered unequally matched against men physically, should a woman even try to fight back if attacked? Absolutely — yes! First of all, every woman must know her worth. Know that you are worth saving. You are worth defending. Your survival is important. Your life has value to you, to your spouse, to your children and to your family and friends. Your self-worth is a significant first step because it can also become a driving force to identify and develop your “inner warrior.” And effectively acknowledging and tapping into your inner warrior starts with the right mindset.
Because your life has worth and your life matters, you should start grooming your inner warrior before anyone tries to take advantage of you. Start every day consciously proclaiming your worth and affirming that you are worth fighting for. Start each day with the knowledge that if someone tries to harm you, you are going to fight back. Internalize that you will not be a victim.
Once you truly start to acknowledge your value and self-worth, you can start walking through life with more confidence. And your inner warrior will start to change and shape how you view the world all around you.
As you tap into the strength and wisdom of your inner warrior, you will recognize more clearly that there are people in this world who are capable of extreme cruelty and evil. By incorporating frequent and realistic training into your routines, your inner warrior will also more easily and quickly recognize the need to fight if you or your loved ones are ever the target of violence.
It’s important to realize that not everyone has good intentions; some people will inflict harm with no remorse. While we might think that only a person who is psychotic or high on drugs can commit heinous acts, the reality is that some people have no moral compass, and they may inflict harm — completely “sane” and sober — with no second thought or regret regarding the victim.
Another part of the warrior mindset is recognizing and accepting that if you must use violence to stop violence upon you or your loved ones, you may inflict harm or even death upon an attacker. The inner warrior understands this emotional and spiritual struggle and acknowledges the possible need for the use of deadly force. This need may not occur often and may be seldom used, but she knows it is there and ready if her life is in danger or if her loved ones need protecting. The inner warrior also understands that just because she is capable of violence does not mean that she is a violent person who callously disregards the sanctity of life. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, and this dichotomy cultivates a woman who values life even more fervently. She knows life is worth protecting.
Developing the mindset of your inner warrior will breed more awareness. Forget about “situational awareness” for a minute. Being aware of your surroundings is not just a situational event that only sometimes happens when the need arises. Being aware should be a constant part of who you are, wherever you are. Every time you walk to your car, open a door to your workplace, sit in a restaurant, gas up your vehicle or buckle your kids into car seats, you must be aware of people and objects around you. Notice things. Notice people. Is there anything out of place? Is there someone who does not belong? Then leave! You don’t have to be there. Using effective awareness at ALL times enables you to be better prepared overall … and to be proactive instead of reactive.
As the inner warrior develops more awareness, confidence will continue to grow. And what does confidence have to do with the inner warrior? The inner warrior knows she can handle even the worst situations because she is prepared — both physically and mentally. Just imagine a person with confidence walking down the street. You see that person with her head held high and walking with purpose. Her confidence shows through in her body language — and yours will too. Even if you struggle with confidence now, your inner warrior will gradually bring it to the surface.
Once the inner warrior helps boost your confidence, you will be able to walk with your head up and look at the world around you. You will start to observe things before they become an issue. You will notice people before they see you. You might make eye contact with some people, smile at others and let confident body language warn the rest. Yes, your inner warrior will warn people that you are not an easy target. People will notice that you are a person with fight inside, and with this kind of confidence, you will notice situations in which someone might attempt to hurt you. You will see not just what is around you but also what could be around you. Dark alleys and blind corners can easily hide assailants. That person begging for money might be after something else.
Your inner warrior will give you permission to be in control of your mind and body. For example, if someone is aggressively panhandling, you have the ability to say, “NO! BACK OFF!” Your inner warrior is not worried about what anyone thinks but is instead concerned for your safety. Listen to that voice; that intuition. Say, “No,” and keep walking. Do not allow people to move into your space or make you uncomfortable.
With your newfound confidence, you will also start to recognize opportunities all around you. For instance, you may start to see more tools available to you in your car, purse and pockets for the purpose of surviving. If one is not on you, you will look around for the nearest object. And if there is no tool to use, your fists and feet and your own body become the means to survive.
Confidence in taking care of yourself will prompt the inner warrior to be prepared. You might recognize that bad things happen in the dark and that you should therefore always have a flashlight. So a flashlight is now in your pocket or purse at all times. Multi-tools and serious first-aid items will also become standard necessities.
In addition to those tools, your inner warrior will also want to be prepared for possible violence aimed at you, and what you carry and surround yourself with will start to reflect that. Knives, pepper spray, stun guns, tasers and firearms are all common choices of warriors, and for good reason. They level the disparity of force and — quite literally — offer a fighting chance.
The true warrior does not seek out a fight, but she is prepared if the occasion calls for it. As your inner warrior grows in strength, you’ll recognize that the need for being prepared is not only having a weapon but also knowing how to use it. Your inner warrior will crave knowledge and preparedness, and for this reason, you should seek out quality training. Your journey may start with self-defense instruction or basic pistol classes and then grow into martial arts sparring or concealed weapons courses. The sky’s the limit for your inner warrior.
It might sound odd to place so much hope and trust in an element of yourself you may have never even realized existed, but your inner warrior is definitely someone you can depend on. If you are ever in a position in which your life is in danger, she will help you survive. She will fight to win. She will fight to live. The inner warrior will not give up, will not give in and will keep fighting until she is out of danger. She will fight with her whole being to live another day.
If you have not met her yet, start tapping into your inner warrior. Get to know her. Welcome her with open arms … and an open mind. She will help you build the correct mindset, awareness and confidence to defend yourself and the ones you love.