Defensive mindset is the key to preparedness, all the gear and training in the world won’t help you if YOU won’t help you.
In my experience, there are three basic kinds of people. Wolves (a.k.a. the bad guys) are the first kind. They are the human predators, the ones that prey on the weak. The Sheeple (sheep + people) are individuals that believe it is society’s duty to protect them. These people blindly submit, even if it means death because they cannot bring themselves to use force.
The third type of person is the Shepherd. Shepherds are those people who are strong and alert. They can protect themselves. Shepherds protect the weak because it is right and because they care. Police, Firemen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines are shepherds, but they are not the only ones. You don’t have to be one of those ready professionals in order to be a shepherd. Protecting your own family is enough. You don’t even have to carry a gun to be one; just stepping up and doing what needs to be done is all it takes. A shepherd knows that all wolves understand is force, and against someone like that sometimes force needs to be applied.
Force should never be used lightly. It is the province of serious individuals. People who use force must make sure that what they are doing is justified. Your mental state should be that while it is not desirable to hurt or kill another human, anyone that uses force to get you to submit to their will has probably done it before and will probably do it again. Is it better to do what a wolf wants and risk death simply because he wants no witnesses, or risk death and fight back? That is a decision only you can make based on the situation. Think about this, what good is it to submit to violence if the aggressor commits a similar crime next week to someone else?
The FBI’s uniform crime statistics suggests that there is a connection between submitting to the will of a criminal to avoid injury and being injured. However, before you decide to resist, you must seriously consider all available options. If all the criminal wants is something you can buy, borrow, or replace, then just give it to him. It is not worth your safety to fight over the twenty bucks in your wallet. If he wants to force you or a loved one to go with him, or if you truly believe he has another motive besides theft, then fight. You have to! Ask yourself is it better to be shot in a parking lot where people can get you medical attention, or to be found six months later in a shallow grave because you submitted to a kidnapers demand?
Remember it is not just yourself that you are protecting. On a practical level, you need to be alive for your loved ones. Your family needs you. If you are not there, who will be there for your family? On a larger level, in the equation between you and some criminal scumbag, the world is better served by you, not them, surviving the encounter.
Above all, you must never give up. You will be hurt, and you will probably be alone. Fear is a given, just don’t allow fear to paralyze you. Train hard and remember your training. Studies have shown time and time again that you fight like you train. Visualize different scenarios so that mentally you will be ready to survive and go home to your family. They need you.