Can You Overcome the Lizard Brain? - J.E. Wilson Advisors

Can You Overcome the Lizard Brain?

“Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us fight a constant battle to overcome a part of our brain, the amygdala (located behind the temporal bone), sometimes 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.

No One is Immune

For the main, otherwise successful individuals think that they are immune to “the resistance,” but they are not. Overcoming the reach of the lizard brain requires steady support and discipline and that is what we provide. This is one of the things that makes us different. Most investors, on their own, will eventually succumb to fear of the unknown. We provide context, experience, and objectivity.

For those nearing retirement or perhaps already retired, it is crucial not to let the sensory overload of daily “news” trick the amygdala into fear mode. We try to keep clients focused on the purpose for investing…their long-term planning goals.

Ready to make a change? Ready for a real conversation?

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