Updated: Aug 3
One of the most powerful self-defence tools at our disposal is our intuition – that fleeting gut feeling, that quiet sixth sense that something isn’t right. We often ignore our gut instinct to our peril. Either we throw off that nagging feeling that something is wrong, as just overreacting, or being silly. Alternatively we fear that our reaction may be considered impolite. After all, what if our gut instinct is wrong?
Not all criminals run around in balaclavas. Many predators are extremely skilled at appearing totally “normal”. They can seem very approachable, likeable, decent, highly professional, business-like and respectable. They are highly adept at luring you into this trap. Coming across as charming and convincing, their mission is to get you off guard, catch you flat-footed, and strike when you least expect it. This is especially true of hijackers, rapists and home invaders in South Africa who drive expensive vehicles and dress well. In terms of rapists, these are often known to the victim, for example, having been introduced by a trusted (and unsuspecting) friend.
Your subconscious mind, like a giant super-computer, is constantly evaluating a deluge of information. Imagine a constantly changing landscape made up of million jigsaw puzzle pieces, scrutinized incessantly by your subconscious mind. If this scrutiny yields a puzzle piece which does not “fit”, the subconscious mind sounds the alarm – consider it an early warning system – letting your conscious mind know that something is wrong. This is an inbuilt survival mechanism which has saved countless lives. Don’t ignore it.
The idea of developing intuition in soldiers is even being formalised by the military. ‘Pentagon researchers began examining intuition after stories kept drifting back from Iraq and Afghanistan about soldiers who seemed to “sense” when something was wrong. Sometimes they would halt convoys even though they couldn’t explain why their spidery senses were tingling. And sure enough, when people would go out and search the area, they would find hidden IEDs. Others reported men or women in their units who always seemed to know when the stuff was about to go down. They’d stop just short of ambushes, or tell their buddies to get ready.’ A Piore
If your subconscious mind has detected a potential danger, and you are armed, have your weapon ready. Look for the quickest exit, and move! And even if you think you have escaped the immediate danger, please don’t assume that you are safe. You could still be a target.
There is mounting evidence that our intuition is often right. But even if our hunch is wrong, always err on the side of caution. Your life could depend on it. You have been given a wonderful, powerful self-defence tool. Use it!