“Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Most of us fight a constant battle with a part of our brain, the amygdala (located behind the temporal bone) that sometimes is called the lizard brain. This small section of our brain controls hunger, anger, reproduction and fear. It is why many investors always worry that the next market crash is just around the corner.
Overcoming the “Resistance”
Seth Godin (author, marketing guru) wrote a short piece about “Quieting the Lizard Brain” that is helpful in understanding the challenge. As he points out, this part of the brain is sometimes called “the resistance” as it tells us to “go slow” and “be careful”. Ultimately, it acts as a protector when an immediate response to a threat is needed.
Our website homepage says “Let the power of the markets work for you – don’t let emotions derail you”. Many of us think we can easily overcome this “resistance”, but our lizard brain can be very effective at injecting these emotions just when we know it is important to act rationally.