The Bulletproof Mind

From Team Hollis

Notes: From The Bulletproof Mind.

The fear of failure, is greater than fear itself…

I recently had the pleasure of attending a “sheepdog” seminar here in Michigan. The instructor and designer of the course was Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman. He is a well known author and on the US Marine commandant’s required reading list with books like “on killing” and “on combat”.

The greatest take away, is that EVERYONE who carries a gun, knife, or seeks to protect themselves, or others, should take this class, more than once. The take away that you should get from this short rundown of the presentation, is the management of fear.

Fear of training, fear of methodology, carrying a round in the chamber, fear of what you may or may not do in the key moments where your skill set is required.

All the NRA personal protection courses contain the physiological responses the mind and body have to a life and death encounter. All of my pre-mobilization training and LE courses have included “expectations” and statements on what to expect from being in proximity to death or violence. Specifically, the kind caused by other humans.

Embrace fear. Welcome it, train with it, realize it will be present with you, even if your gun is not. Embrace it, don’t discount it or allow it to prevent you from doing what must be done in the moments where your own life, or the lives of others may be in the balance. Expect the aftermath, the excitement, the dread, and the joy, at still being alive, at having done your best.

The three steps to success, as laid out by Lt. Col Grossman:

  1. What is your motivation, purpose, the WHY you want to survive or aid others.
  2. Motivation, turned into action: The skills you have, are still needed here and now.
  3. Make sure the body is ready: Fitness, hydration, sleep, training!

We rise to the level of our training. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the acknowledgement of it, and carrying on anyway.

Manage your fear. Train with your tools as often as possible. Carry your gun wherever and whenever you can. Play the “what if” game with yourself mentally. And be ready for not just the moments that count, but the minutes, hours, and years after.



Chris Hollis


Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.