Here's where light loads come in.
Find a 7/8 oz ultra light load and use up lots of that. It will help as you firm up your form and technique.
Reduced Recoil 00 or even 4 buck will do you better than 4 shot for defense.
Do not depend on pattern spread to make up for poor shooting skills. Practice until you can place that narrow little pattern exactly where it needs to go to STOP the threat.