How easy is it to make assumptions about your personal abilities? In an era where technology dominates, it’s all too simple to inadvertently gain a false sense of security. As the old saying goes, “Less talk, more work.” You can talk the biggest game in the world, but if you don’t execute and create forward movement, it is all null and void. Constantly testing yourself both mentally and physically is a surefire way to avoid the manifestation of an unhealthy ego. You need to be able to tell if you are an asset or liability to yourself and others.
In the gun and self-defense worlds the amount of posturing and excessive narcissism is exhausting. Many embrace the concept of being a master at one specific aspect or skill, in lieu of being a jack-of-all-trades. Look at any professional competitive shooter, grappler or weightlifter to see at how well they often perform other skills that involve self-preservation. Does the shooter have both strength and unarmed combat skills? Can the lifter not just be strong, but shoot and grapple as well? Is the grappler able to carry a maximal load and shoot accurately? Ideally, the answer is that each should be able to be effective in all three arenas, and not so exclusively focused on one that the remaining two suffer neglect. All too often, the importance of having a well-rounded and balanced skillset is underemphasized due to the amount of work it takes to achieve it.
This takes time and will be a never-ending battle until you take your very last breath. There is only a small minority who embrace a lifestyle that welcomes conflict and discomfort. The remainder abstain from this uncomfortable path out of weakness and a fear that is caused by a lack of self-confidence. Doing something new can be scary, but only if you allow it to be. Fear functions as a safety measure, similar to how that pop-up window appears when you want to permanently change or delete something on your computer. You can’t ignore fear, or else your actions will turn into sheer recklessness. However, what you can do is acknowledge it and carry on through it. You must first consciously accept the terms of the risks that are in front of you. Only then can you have to nod your head and put one foot in front of the other.
Life from the macro perspective is a gamble, nothing is guaranteed, and you have to take responsibility for your own actions. What you can guarantee, however, are the actions you consciously undertake in every day of your life. Two goals to aim for are to constantly seek self-improvement and to be a lifelong student. Both of these will allow you to have perpetual growth through the daily testing of your will. It is all too easy to quit when there’s a lack of accountability involved. It is on you to be your own last line of defense. The place from which you start doesn’t matter; however, what does matter is taking that first step toward greatness. Whether it’s stepping on the mats for the first time, gripping a barbell or learning how to run and gun, you simply just need to begin your journey toward self-mastery.
Statistics may seem to tell you otherwise. There’s no “need” to defend the gates that keep evil at bay—that’s someone else’s job. However, the simple question that few bother asking is why would you rely on someone else to guarantee your safety or the safety of those you love? This circles back to that lack of accountability that was mentioned earlier. When things aren’t going your way, shifting blame to someone else gets you off the hook.
Taking responsibility for your own safety or for those you love forces you to accept that the world isn’t as safe as you might have originally believed it to be. Accepting this responsibility in a serious way also means forcing yourself to practice and improve constantly to become that much more dangerous to those who would harm you and your loved ones. Most individuals who steer clear of anything that involves the potential risk of violence do so because they have never been placed in situations where their very lives hung in the balance. Remember, your adversaries don’t care about what scares you. In fact, your fear just makes harming you that much easier for them.
Projecting positivity or happiness onto the world doesn’t mean that an individual who was raised on violence. Someone who is now intent upon victimizing you—will think differently about his actions. This isn’t about fear mongering. It is just a simple fact of life. Humans have been killing other humans since the dawn of mankind. And while this is an age-old practice, the manner in which killers carry out their tasks has viciously evolved.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you live a life of luxury, you are somehow “beyond” engaging in the act of violence for the purpose of personal protection. If you believe this, you could very well meet an untimely end. With every new dawn that breaks, you need to ask yourself if you are an asset or a liability. Are you able to help yourself, your family, your teammate or your partner. Your successes and your failures are yours alone. Never stop preparing for all the trials and tribulations you will inevitably face in this life.