Episode 132

What a Top Brain Surgeon Can Teach Us About Fear

With Dr. Mark McLaughlin

The first time neurosurgeon Mark McLaughlin cut open a patient’s skull, he found himself confronting a powerful force that his fellow brain surgeons agreed was best never spoken of— fear.

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, I talk to Dr. Mark McLaughlin about how so much of what we perceive as fear is wrapped up in a story. We discuss what prevents people from seeking help or counsel about a problem or fear they have. We also talk about tools and strategies for overcoming fear. 

For more on Dr. Mark McLaughlin, you can follow him on Instagram @mmclaughlinmd, on Facebook @markmclaughlinmd, on Twitter @mmclaughlinmd, and through his website here. You can find his book, Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeon’s Quest to Out-Think Fear, right here. Take the Cognitive Dominance Assessment here, and check out his blog here.

Also mentioned in this episode:

Maps of Meaning: The Architect of Belief by Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris

10 Percent Happier Meditation app


For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit.

Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2819627591487473/.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
Wishing you health and happiness.
Dhru Purohit

In this Episode, you will learn

  1. The first time Dr. McLaughlin was introduced to fear  
  2. What wrestling taught him about fear
  3. The fear freakout
  4. How to map out your fear
  5. Where fear lives in the brain
  6. The fear of vulnerability
    (27:23 )
  7. The misconception that we have to get over our fears
  8. The power of taking tiny actions to overcome fear
  9. The importance of partnership when dealing with a challenge
  10. Where to learn more about Dr. McLaughlin


Dhru Purohit

Dhru is the host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, a top 30 health podcast with over 30 million downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Dhru Purohit is also a serial entrepreneur and investor in the health and wellness industry.

Dr. Mark McLaughlin

Dr. Mark McLaughlin is a practicing board-certified neurosurgeon, a national media commentator, thought leader in performance enhancement, and author of the book, Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeon’s Quest to Outthink Fear.

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