Imagine you are cruising down a busy street on your motorbike when a car suddenly noses into an empty parking spot in front of you. A collision seems inevitable. Then your instinct kicks in. You lean the bike into the empty spot, around the nose of the car and back into the street. Your brain’s fear response is fast – much faster than that of your conscious mind. And it functions automatically. All day, a subconscious region called the amygdala scans for signs of danger. When it finds a match, it activates instantly, triggering off the old fight-or-flight response.

The trick with making the most of the amygdala’s acute responsiveness is to make sure that the conscious mind doesn’t interfere by introducing doubt. “In [an emergency] situation, we have limited ability to process new information,” says Dr Jason Kring, president of the society that publishes the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments. “Your options drop down to just one or two.” The solution: outpace your fear by focusing on the thing you do want to do (go through the gap) not the thing you don’t want to do (hit that car). “You start focusing on where you’re heading, and suddenly you’re there,” Kring says.

There are other ways to Knock Fear Out of other situations. Just follow the link.