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Tribe 13 Psychological Readiness Center

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Boris K. "Sentry"
Threat Assessment and Management Expert ​Instructor
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Part One of the series dedicated to the Basics of Psychological Readiness for Combat is now available in the blog:

I’m very grateful to Tribe Commander Brother Griffin for welcoming this series both in the blog and as part of this center.

It’s a great honor.

Each of the articles in this series will come with a special exercise or set of exercises to put theory into practice. These exercises will be published in this center soon after each new article comes out.

Below, you’ll find the psychological conditioning exercise that comes with Part One.

It may look simple at first glance. Yet it may be a psychologically hard one for some of us to go through. Before you proceed, make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of recalling and analyzing some of the most traumatic experiences from your past.

It’s our natural human tendency to keep this stuff in the depths of our memory.


“Remember that the fear of pain does more harm than pain itself. One exaggerates, imagines, anticipates affliction. Do not let us build a second story to our sorrow by being sorry for our sorrow.“ - Marcus Aurelius

Set aside some time for this exercise at some place where you can be alone and at peace.

Empty your mind.

Relax as much as possible.

Now, recall some of the most dangerous situations you’ve ever been in. Grasp the very first recollection of fear that those situations made you experience. What did you feel like at those moments?

Try to identify the underlying theme of how you felt as fear took over.

Did those situations throw you into rage, making you want to destroy the source of danger?

Did you end up with a deep desire to just get away from the source of danger?

Did you feel stuck in shock not knowing what to make of the situation?

It’s very important to be honest with yourself here, accept yourself, and be kind to yourself.

Remember that there’s nothing wrong with any type of stress response. We’re hardwired by Mother Nature herself to respond the way we do. Our task is not to resist this reality but rather work with it and make the most of it.

This is what our series on psychological conditioning for combat will help us accomplish.

By acknowledging our vulnerability as we go through this exercise, we get to lay the right foundation for all further psychological conditioning work that we’re about to cover.

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” - Zig Ziglar

Despite having gone through this exercise, as well as the process of conditioning my mind for combat in general, I believe in this wise saying. There’s always room for improvement and deeper understanding. And this is why I happily go through this exercise again and share its results with you.

In the majority of dangerous situations I’ve been in where an emergency stress response was activated, I experienced the “flight” response the most. It happened at its extreme on the days when I was already chronically underslept, malnourished, and generally stressed. In the next part of this series, we’ll cover how these and other factors can affect our response to fear and how to make sure they don’t work against our ability to manage fear effectively. It took a decent amount of psychological conditioning work for me to learn to transition from this “flight” stress response into an effective course of action, which is now my go-to response strategy to dangerous situations in general.

Nonetheless, it’s important not to get too comfortable with our results, and I don’t ever consider myself “ready” for that reason. We should keep learning, training, and improving our psychological readiness for combat as well as our other skill sets on a regular basis. Our training as protectors is never complete.

Please share your findings if you’re comfortable with doing so.

We can have an interesting discussion and learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives.

Stay frosty.

John Gordon
TRIBE13 - Griffin


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