How To Develop The Prepper Mindset
For years, those who engaged in survival prepping activities were labelled as insane, extremists, and typically odd in general. But these days, survival topics have become mainstream, and many men and women have been converted into preppers themselves.
Most people start out with this process by writing out a list of all of the food they will need, water stores they have to have, and other gear and gadgets that will help them get through any situation.
But really, your journey should begin elsewhere – in your mind. This is something many people fail to understand, and their lack of psychological preparation causes many mistakes along the way.
Panic Has No Place in a Prepper's Mindset
As society has evolved with technology and access to a variety of conveniences, simple instructions have been lost along the way. Very few younger individuals know basic survival skills that their grandparents were adept at.
They don't grow their own gardens, because they rely on their local grocery store to be stocked with supplies at all times. They assume the electric company will always provide warmth to their house, said they don't know how to heat a home otherwise.
They rely on the convenience of their refrigerator to store fresh foods. They have no idea how to store foods for a longer period of time without any sort of refrigeration or freezer options.
They think they can simply turn on their electric or gas stove to cook, or even pop something in the microwave. If they had to start a fire and cook from scratch, they would be lost.
We have gone so many years and decades without needing to know any of this, that those who were preparing seemed crazy. However, a global pandemic, paired with a winter storm in Texas, showed just how necessary basic survival skills can be.
Unfortunately, what we saw in the news and on social media is that most people were not prepared in any way. Not just physically with supplies, but mentally as well. The fear and frustration everyone witnessed as store shelves were wiped clean during the pandemic was heart wrenching.
Watching people suffer and even die during a winter storm in Texas, as they frantically tried to cope with their lack of preparation and reliance on companies and the government, was equally sad.
You have to not only prepare yourself and your family for extreme situations where you will need ample supplies, but you have to eliminate a possible panic mindset. Those who were prepared with supplies did not have to fear the shutdown of grocery stores and electricity.
What has happened now is more people are preparing for extreme scenarios, and those who don't are the ones who look crazy these days. While both situations have taken a toll on citizens around the world, it has also served as a good wake-up call for families to get prepared and protect their family.
How to Deal with the Barrage of Scary News Stories
While you are busy learning about and saving for the supplies you and your loved ones will need, you should also be implementing a non fear-based mindset for all of you. Your prepping journey should not be one that is rooted in scare tactics.
Yes, it is a frightening scenario when the grid goes down or when the food supply chain is interrupted. However, you can embrace a mindset for prepping that is built on the foundation of empowerment, rather than fear.
One thing that sabotages many individuals and causes them to prepare in a way that doesn't best serve their needs is when they engage in doomscrolling. This is the practice of going onto news websites or social media and scrolling through a barrage of headlines that are meant to incite feelings of panic and fear.
Sometimes, they serve a good purpose. For example, if you were scrolling through social media and saw post about how grocery stores in California were wiped clean of all supplies, you could hurry to your store in Texas and stock up because you know what's coming.
However, ideally, you wouldn't have to hurry to the store in the first place because you would already be prepared. Many people engage in the practice of doomscrolling to the point that they are constantly living in fear and unable to enjoy their lives.
The purpose of prepping is not to have you hunkered down and cowering in fear, but to instead be able to alleviate the anxiety by knowing that you are prepared and capable of providing everything your family needs – from food and water to self-defense, comfort and more.
One thing you may want to do in order to avoid getting trapped in a doomsday mindset all of the time is to make a list of scenarios that concern you. These can include weather events, an economic crash, a health situation, etc.
Then, have a routine set period of time that you visit trusted news sources and gather updates about what's on the horizon. Don't allow yourself to become immersed in these hyperinflated headlines on an hourly basis.
Pick an Approach to Prepping That Includes Personal Satisfaction
One thing you want to do is pick an approach to your survival preparations that will deliver peace of mind for you. Not everyone approaches prepping in the same manner. Part of your psychological health will require you to prepare for scenarios in a way that is not only smart, but that gives you comfort in knowing you feel secure.
Some people prep for an at home or short-term bug out situation. They are preparing for an event that may happen where they need to hunker down with supplies or possibly leave the area with the intent on returning.
These are the same people who go about their lives while they are preparing, working a regular job, enjoying the conveniences have a modern household, and more. But for some individuals, this scenario is still stressful.
Many people don't want to have to react to a survival event. They want to already be living the lifestyle so that no changes will need to be made if something were to happen in society.
If this describes you, then you may want to go the extra mile in transferring your current lifestyle to a more permanent prepper way of life. That may mean creating a new homestead that is off the grid in an area outside of the city.
The kind of person who prefers this type of psychological preparation will feel more at ease knowing they will already be used to the hardships they will encounter in life. Instead of enjoying the convenience of grocery stores, they will grow and raise their own food at home.
There are many people who are fine stocking up on supplies for several months, but once they run out, they would have to resort back to a panic mindset. They wouldn't know how to grow their own food, wouldn't have any idea about how to live more than a few days without electricity, etc.
Of course, you can always embrace both of these scenarios. There are many survival preppers who have the funds to enjoy the current conveniences that society has to offer, while simultaneously building a homestead outside of the city and learning those fundamental lifestyle changes over time.
This may even be a situation where you and your spouse have to consider each other’s personal preferences. For example, you may be of the mindset where you want to leave everything behind and live off the grid right now.
But your spouse and children may not be onboard. They may want to continue living in the city and enjoying advanced technology and simple conveniences. You want everyone to be happy, so you will have to work on preparations for both scenarios.
You can start by getting everything stocked up for a situation at home so that you and your loved ones feel safe hunkering down in place. You can also create 72 hour bug out bags that will allow you to escape a temporary situation such as a fire.
At the same time, you can begin saving up for a plot of land where you will eventually build your homestead to be self-sufficient. Once that happens, or in the meantime, you can learn and teach off-grid survival skills to those you care about.
Avoiding a Smug “I Told You So” Attitude
One thing you never want to do when it comes to the psychological preparation of survival prepping is to make others feel bad about their lack of preparation. There are many preppers who engaged in this behavior when the pandemic hit and when the grid went down in Texas.
This type of smug attitude can put a target on the back of you and your family because others will then know exactly where to go the next time a dire situation occurs, and they need to find supplies.
You don't want to do this with close friends and family, as well as publicly online to strangers. If you are posting under your real name online, or have the potential to be doxed by others, then you are setting yourself up for a frightening situation.
Not only that, but engaging in belittling behaviors does nothing to help you get further ahead with your own survival prepping activities. You want to keep your focus on progressing further with your preparations, and not looking back in the rear-view mirror at those who are suffering from a lack of theirs.
There is no glory to be gained by kicking someone when they are down. A better way to engage in this type of situation is to use it as a learning experience for your immediate family.
There are many times when a spouse or child will not understand the need for certain preparations. Especially if you are giving up certain luxuries to be able to afford survival supplies, they may not feel it is worth the sacrifice.
For example, you may have given up the family Starbucks drinks every morning on the way to school so that you can save up for some solar gadgets. Instead of mocking the families in Texas who had no electricity during the winter storm, you can show your children and spouse their stories.
This will give them peace of mind by helping them understand how the supplies you have purchased will keep them from experiencing the same suffering. You can also have them practice the use of the gadgets (such as a generator) that you have purchased, so that they can see how it would work in a similar situation.
Putting Friends and Family in a Safe Survival State of Mind
It's one thing to be cognizant of the fact that you have to get yourself in a psychologically prepared state of mind for survival situations. It's another to try to get others onboard with these activities, when they don't have the same sense of urgency.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 20 million people engaged in survival preparations. When you look at the total number of citizens in the world, to the tune of billions, that is a mere drop in the bucket.
So chances are, you will be associated with many friends and family who do not share the same mindset as you when it comes to survival preparations. It may hurt to say, but it's important that you not share or gloat about your preparations with those who are not going to be using your supplies.
If a major event happened, you don't want your bragging about supplies to friends and family on Facebook to cause people to show up on your doorstep looking for you to bail them out of a scary situation.
You have to have the mindset of a person who is looking out for their family first and foremost. That means you, your spouse, and your children. You don't want 15 cousins, aunts, and uncles showing up for food because they failed to prepare. Things could turn ugly.
Being quiet about your survival stores and activities is one of the most effective preparations you can make for your family’s survival. You have to also teach your spouse and little ones that quiet preparation is important as well, even if they’re proud of what you have accomplished.
The last thing you want is for a situation to unfold, and your young teenager is bragging to friends about how prepared your family is. You have to balance the warnings you give your children with a sense of having peace of mind about the situation.
Fear mongering will only cause your children to panic and react in a negative way when and if something bad happens. You want the opposite to unfold. You want them to stay calm, react wisely, and be able to handle anything that comes their way.
Being able to acquire a psychologically sound prepper mentality is based on not only having the products and gear you need to withstand an event, but also feeling empowered with their understanding of how to use them.
Dominus Owen Markham