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You Are Worth Defending

Mar 19, 2023

Learn To Establish Healthy Boundaries

Do you have a strong sense of self-worth to believe you are worth defending? Do you know how to go about defending yourself from physical, mental, and emotional attacks from strangers, non-strangers, yourself, and energy vampires?

The concept of establishing healthy boundaries came to my awareness when I started the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Women Empowered Program. ‘Boundaries’ was not a term that I had previously considered. Establishing healthy boundaries is important for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

If you have not established healthy boundaries or had a boundary violated, there may be a tendency to beat yourself up, and that impacts self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-love. Recognize that it is never too late to establish and enforce a healthy boundary. Learn to forgive yourself if you felt you had given your power away. Now is the time to take your power back by recognizing what is in your control and learn verbal, mental, and physical jiu-jitsu or other self-defense techniques.

3 Steps to Establish Healthy Boundaries

Step 1: Awareness that a boundary may potentially be violated or has been violated

Step 2: Believe that you are worthy and worth defending

Step 3: Challenge yourself to take action to establish and maintain healthy boundaries

How to counter a stranger's attack

Verbal and mental self-defense starts with believing that you are worth defending. Practice saying “Stop”, “Stay back” and putting your hand up in a universal known gesture to stop are ways to clearly establish a boundary.

The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Women Empowered Program teaches scalable techniques to defend against each phase of an attack. Recognize that you are never at fault when attacked. Avoid the “shoulda, coulda, woulda”, even when you learn self-defense techniques. Whatever you did to survive, was the right thing, because you are here now.

How to counter a non-stranger attack

Studies show that up to 80% of attacks are from non-strangers versus strangers. Recognize that you are under no obligation to continue to accept the behavior. It’s never too late to establish and enforce a boundary. Three steps to verbal self-defense:

Step 1: State the behavior

Step 2: State how it made you feel

Step 3: State the desired outcome

Learn to effectively communicate the desire for the behavior to end. A well-meaning person will not insist on making you uncomfortable or make you feel embarrassed for feeling uncomfortable.

How to counter self-attacks

We can be our own biggest critics. Sometimes we may say things to ourselves that we would not say to others, or that we would not tolerate from someone else. If you can’t stop beating yourself up, you may need SELF-defense. The subconscious mind is always listening and it is like a computer that doesn’t distinguish between right and wrong. Some techniques to counter negative thoughts:

Step 1: Transform the Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) into Automatic Nurturing Thoughts

In his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Dr. Daniel Amen talks about the 9 Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) and to “kill the ANTs”. My sister challenged me to come up with a more gentle approach. So, I decided to transform the ANTs from Automatic Negative Thoughts to Automatic Nurturing Thoughts. When an Automatic Negative Thought pops up, immediately say “Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!” and reframe to an Automatic Nurturing Thought. For example, if I say “I don’t like my body.” I immediately say “Cancel! Cancel! Cancel! I don’t like my body, yet. I nurture my physical body in healthy and loving ways.”

Step 2: Question your beliefs

Ask yourself questions: Is this really true? What evidence do I have that it is true? What if the opposite were true? How would I feel?

Step 3: Challenge yourself to go beyond

Be a third-party observer and say “Isn’t it interesting that” Ask “How am I capable?” “What am I to learn from this experience?”

How to counter attacks from energy vampires

Sometimes, we may encounter someone and feel drained after an interaction. The person may be an energy vampire without being consciously aware of it. Or, we may leak energy to them consciously or unconsciously. There are several methods to defend ourselves from the energy-sucking and energy-draining attacks, including:

  • Drawing a white circle around yourself

  • Envisioning yourself in a white dome

  • Baby fists, with the thumbs wrapped by the fingers

In summary, establishing healthy boundaries is important for our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. You are worth defending against strangers, non-strangers, yourself, and energy vampires. It is never too late to establish and enforce a boundary. Some follow-up steps:

Take advantage of a 10-day free trial at a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center. If one is not available nearby, then check out for online training. Learn the attack strategies of strangers and non-strangers and how to defend against each phase of an attack in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Women Empowered Program.

Visit and watch the video on defensive strategies against each phase of a non-stranger attack.

Contact Agnes at for personal coaching sessions for self-esteem, personal power, health/body, prosperity, and other life transformations.

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