CHAPTER 2What Not to Do With Fear

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.

—Mark Twain

Animals in the wild follow the laws of nature. Each has a built-in response to fear that increases their chance of survival and quiets the fear response. When a lion is afraid, it attacks. When a bird hears a twig snap, it flies to a higher branch. When a deer smells a foreign scent from one direction, it runs the opposite way. When a mouse is afraid, it burrows in its hole. If it makes it there in time, the amygdala quiets and the fear mechanism shuts off. If a hawk eats it, the response ceases as well. Each animal has a prescribed, hard-wired response that leads to a cessation of fear and, hopefully, success. The animal moves ...

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