How many times have you seen the memes on social media displaying how nature differentiates apex predators? There’s one with a black snake that looks like a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Then there’s one (see inset) about people with cauliflower ears.
These memes make for an interesting discussion. What about your appearance indicates you know how to fight? Do you carry yourself with poise to let others know you are willing to do whatever it takes to win?
Posturing and positioning yourself in public can have several positive outcomes.
1) It makes you less likely to be a target of people who might want to hurt you or use you for nefarious purposes.
William Aprill, a leading criminologist and former law enforcement officer, said in an interview with the Personal Defense Network, “In the natural world, apex predators (sharks, tigers, etc.) do not attack other apex predators because of the risks involved. It is possible that we could avoid selection by appearing to carry a higher risk for a potential threat.”
Ask yourself this question: “Do I look and feel like a tiger?”
If so, are you prepared mentally and physically to be an apex predator? If not, what’s keeping you from it? Are you training to bare your teeth, clench your claws, and destroy your target if needed? Maybe that’s not your thing, and I get that. But, you still need to be prepared for a fight if it comes your way.
There is a Chinese proverb where the martial arts student asks about how his master can teach him about fighting yet always talk about peace. His master’s reply was, “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”
2) The second reason is it helps you feel empowered to meet the day ahead. In the first chapter of his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Jordan Peterson recommends that you “stand up straight with your shoulders back.”
Taking this stance is no simple display of machismo. Its purpose is twofold. First, your body language signifies to the world that you are capable and confident in handling your business. Second, it creates a positive feedback loop of empowerment for yourself. It boosts your self-esteem and puts you back in control of your destiny.
Peterson says, “So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them— at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous.”
You don’t need a black belt in a martial art or cauliflower ears to keep your head up and embrace your inner tiger. You do, however, need claws to go with your growl. Make sure you are training to be the warrior in the garden.