I read a blog article at the Huffington Post by Judith E. Glaser called, “Innovate or Evaporate“. This is a good article about innovation, but I have one disagreement her statements about fear limiting innovation. In a nutshell she says,
"When fear 'owns our brains' we cannot think creatively... All we think about is how to protect ourselves."
There are indeed processes that happen consistently within the human brain. We have responses to inputs that travel in ‘ruts’ or along strong synapse paths. In these cases inputs create a cascade of reactions. Fear can cause a cascade of reactions that does indeed ‘close down’ the creative parts of our brain and get us stuck in protection mode. But, and this is a big ‘but’, it doesn’t need to. A person can train their brain to respond differently to fear – interrupt the cascade – deflect the automatic response – and react more usefully and creatively. Serial innovators train themselves to be able to change states.