Dr. Mark McLaughlin is no stranger to fear. A practicing board-certified neurosurgeon, he has helmed countless high-stakes surgeries in which any miscalculation could mean life or death. But decades performing under immense pressure in the operating room led Dr. McLaughlin to a surprising discovery: the secret to success isn’t just conquering fear – it’s engaging with it more productively.
In his new book, Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeons Quest to Out-Think Fear, Dr. McLaughlin shares a new framework for dealing with fear to think and perform at the top of your game during stressful situations. He combines philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and his own experiences to provide unique insight on how the brain processes fear and how we can change our mindset about this universal condition.
“Cognitive Dominance is a way of thinking, a methodology, to get better and better at quickly performing at the limits of your mental and physical capacity under maximum pressure with the highest probability of success,” says Dr. McLaughlin, who first discovered the concept while teaching in military circles.
Dr. McLaughlin credits Cognitive Dominance with helping himself move past the common “Fear Freak Out” problem – that “deer-in-the-headlights” feeling under pressure – that holds us all back from high performance.
Dr. Mark McLaughlin is a neurosurgeon, author, acclaimed keynote speaker and founder of Princeton Brain and Spine Care. His expert commentary regularly appears in national media outlets such as Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Reader’s Digest, MSN, Costco, Thrive Global, KevinMD, Becker’s Spine Review and the NCAA. A member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, he was named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for the last 10 years and an NJ Monthly Top Doc.