Many words written about mindset and self-defense are misunderstood, wrong or both. I would like to take a different path to mindset. Most people are slow to use force. The reason is usually due to ignorance of the law. They have not read and understood how to apply the law to force. Once they do use force it is late in the encounter. Using force earlier in the confrontation often results in a better outcome.
As you parse the law and it’s application in your, “What if” scenarios you will know exactly when (mental trigger) to use a certain level of force. That is everything from running, fighting with your fists, pepper spray, improvised weapons and firearms. You should become an expert in mental triggers long before you become an expert with the firearm.
I did not talk about being tough. It has absolutely nothing to do with mindset. As a human you have everything inside you to survive.
There are somethings that tend to go wrong during force encounters with people who are new/untrained. When they do go wrong it is often attributed to not having a proper mindset. I’ve already mentioned not understanding the law. Next is people in a life threatening encounter tend to shoot very fast. But if you’ve never shot fast, then what you are doing is over driving the gun past your skill level. What happens is that you miss more and the bad guy gets to continue to shoot at you. You need to shoot fast while maintaining control.
A person should always practice pushing beyond their abilities of speed and accuracy. Shoot strings of fire that are faster and faster until you start to miss with 3 or 4 out of every 10 bullets. Then concentrate to see that front sight centered on the blurry target sooner and clearer. Tighten the group up while shooting the same speed.
At the end of each practice session you should shoot a few strings of fire at a slightly slower pace. That pace should insure your hits at 100% but still be at the faster end of your ability. This is learning to control the rate of fire while still shooting fairly fast.
Another problem with many encounters is not moving enough. I’m not talking about running and shooting like in the movies. I’m talking about taking from one to four steps while you are drawing and shooting two to four rounds.
The last big problem is people not changing their focus from the bad guy’s weapon(reason for using lethal force) to the center of the target. Many people shoot the arm and gun during force on force training. That’s not the end of the world if you hit it under real life stress. But not so good if you miss. Training to look at the waistline (or wherever the weapon is) and then changing focus to the center of the target as the front sight is coming up is a good procedure to practice. It should become an unconscious procedure. You can even practice at home during dry fire practice where it’s waistline or face changing to torso and the ending on front sight.