A Girl And Her Gun talks about a polite society and personal safety here. The story is horrific but one that we all need to read and think about. One of the things she points out is our inner voice and if we should listen to it.
I am big on that whole 'small quiet voice in the back of your head' that talks to you, even occasionally screams at you. Call it God or intuition or even paranoia, the unquestionable fact is that most everyone has experienced it at least once. Perhaps with good reason perhaps not. My position if there is even a small chance that your inner voice is correct then it's foolish to ignore it.
I was a police officer for more than 24 years. In that time my own inner voice became a trusted friend. Occasionally conversational, sometimes screaming. It helped me discover drugs, guns, evidence, lost children and even hidden crooks. It also saved my life on more than one occasion. Hey, would you look at that? It's story time. Just kidding. I talked a bit about the use of force, mindset and choices here. Included in that post is a story about when my inner voice was in full song. There is no doubt in my mind that, other choices aside, if I hadn't listened and acted on that intuition a shooting would have ensued with all that entails.
That was neither the first nor the last time such occurred. I've often said that a good cop learns to listen and trust that voice. It may be the result of training, subconscious observation, instinct or a combination but the wise will pay attention. But remember, training is where you find it and experience comes from putting your lessons into every day practice. From those seeds comes a trained mind and an understanding of and trust in your inner voice.
Dann from God, Gals, Guns, Grub talks about mindset here. In that post he talks about how to teach your children observational skills. That's not just good advice for your kids but also for all of us.
An example of mental training being where you find it (and perhaps in an unexpected form). There's a driving technique I adopted a long time ago, especially when I'm riding my motorcycle. It's called Roadcraft or Roadcraft Commentary. Here's an explanation.
And in action.
It's a technique for increasing your awareness and observational skills while operating a car or motorcycle but that can also be used in every day activities not related to defensive driving. Walking, shopping, at a social gathering. Who is around you? Where is the possible threat? How many potentially dangerous situations can you spot? And Avoid? What is giving you that cold chill down your back? What are you going to do if X happens? How do I avoid Y? Who, what, when, where, why? It was a fantastic tool for maintaining my situational awareness while patrolling, both on foot and in a cruiser, and works equally well now that I'm a civilian. I use it constantly.
My position is that The Voice is present in all of us but it's only through training and frequent use that it becomes noticeable enough to be a true defensive aid. Exercise yours and Listen when it calls out your name. The best defense is not to be in a situation where you must defend yourself in the first place. Be somewhere else when the trouble starts. But if it's unavoidable, and sometimes it absolutely is, make sure your early warning system is in place and operating perfectly.
Mental training is at least as important as physical. Mind, body and spirit. The trinity of the prepared warrior.