Quick Takes: Fear vs Confidence - the brain science view

Ellen Weber is a treasure. She is able to write about the science of the brain and how it relates to business and professional life in a way that is understandable and enlightening. I'm constantly fascinated by her perspective.

She has written an excellent post on fear and confidence. Here's part of it.

In reality, financial experts increasingly warn us that fear can drain an economy, and it makes sense if you consider the mental disaster fear creates. ... The opposite of fear is confidence, that fuels mind-bending strategies for change and reaches beyond fears that stunt renewal. How so?  ...

Fear causes cynics to react without much reflection. Why so?  Dangerous chemicals such as cortisol rev up in brains focused on negative or scary news. Driven by cortisol, it’s no surprise that knee-jerk responses tend to follow. That’s how brains work. It’s also true that people respond differently to fearful situations such as job loss, and that chemical and electrical activity differs in every brain. Where some run or point fingers over sinking economy,  others optimize opportunities for change. Through taming their amygdala in tough times, successful people win wonders in the most difficult financial situations. Have you seen it happen?

Confidence, the opposite of fear, triggers chemicals such serotonin for winning reactions that open the brain to solutions, in spite of difficulties.

So, it appears there "mind over matter" is a good prescription for handling these fearful times. Train your mind to look for opportunities. Get out, take a walk, get away from the bad news.  In other words, you don't have to live in fear. Confidence can be developed.