Today we discuss healing, renewing, and developing self-worth and using cognitive dominance to outthink fear.


My first guest, Dr. Mark McLaughlinis a practicing board-certified neurosurgeon, a national media commentator, author, and acclaimed keynote speaker. He joins me today to discuss the power of Cognitive Dominance and shares a new framework for dealing with fear that helps us to think and perform at the top of our game during stressful situations.

My second guest, Anne O Boudreau, is an inspirational author, coach, and successful executive who devotes her life to helping others develop healthy self-worth. She joins me today to discuss the foundation for sustainable personal change and how we can retrain our brains by altering our habits and practices to improve our self-worth.


We Discuss:

  • What Cognitive Dominance is and how we can use it to out-think fear and overwhelm
  • Enhanced situational awareness that facilitates rapid and accurate decision-making under stress
  • How Cognitive Dominance improves emotion regulation and our reactions to the hurdles in our lives
  • Extinguishing the fear response with a systematic approach to dealing with unexpected life events
  • Healing, renewing, and developing our innermost core being to change our lives for the better
  • The distinction between self-worth and self-esteem and how we can have sustainable self-change
  • Retraining our brains by altering our habits, practices, and learning new thoughts and behaviors


Fear is just a response that we have. We’re constantly trying to turn the alarm off rather than put the fire out, but we need to remember to put the fire out before we turn the alarm off.” –  Dr. Mark McLaughlin


About Dr. McLaughlin:

Image of Dr. Mark McLaughlin

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 (Black Irish Books, Nov. 5., 2019), 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.

He is the founder of Princeton Brain, Spine, and Sports Medicine, where he practices surgery focusing on trigeminal neuralgia and cervical spine surgery. McLaughlin is also a thought leader in performance enhancement and physician-hospital relations.

McLaughlin’s commentary regularly appears in Business Insider, where he is a contributing author.  His performance enhancement, medical interviews, and original pieces have appeared in magazines and on websites including Entrepreneur, Reader’s Digest, MSN, Costco, Thrive GlobalKevinMD, Becker’s Spine Review, and the NCAA.

Dr. McLaughlin has been chosen to give keynote addresses that focus on coaching, traumatic brain injury, antidotes to aging, personal development, and youth coaching. Dr. McLaughlin is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and coaches with the Princeton Wrestling Club and Trenton Youth Wrestling, which he co-founded. He resides in Princeton, New Jersey. For more information, please visit


About Anne:
Image of Anne O Boudreau

Anne Ockene Boudreau is an inspirational author, coach, and executive who is devoted to helping others develop healthy self-worth. In her new book, “A Human Mosaic: Heal, Renew & Develop Self-Worth,” she reveals how self-worth is a critical element for sustainable personal change.

Anne’s desire to focus on the topic of self-worth is derived from her lifelong passion to address the array of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual issues that impede a person’s ability to feel fulfilled and enjoy inner peace. As she learned during her own challenging early years, low self-worth is a root cause of negativity, fear, anger, hatred, violence, bullying, and bigotry.

After years of research and study, Anne developed a unique niche in coaching others to build self-worth that is predicated on neuroplasticity — changing one’s brain through learning new thoughts and behavior. Her comprehensive knowledge of the science of neuroplasticity has been instrumental to mentoring and teaching sustainable self-change. Through creating new neural pathways in the brain, anyone at any age or stage of life can transform themselves to live with healthy self-worth and live the life they have dreamed.

Prior to her career as a writer, Anne served as director of marketing and communications for numerous global corporations. During her 22 years as a business executive, she created programs to enhance staff morale, increase internal communications, and train staff on winning client service practices.

Born in Santiago, Chile, Anne has lived in South America and Europe, traveled extensively, and is multilingual. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in English and writing. Through broad exposure to many cultures, she has gained a profound understanding of the importance of spreading acceptance, compassion, respect, peace, and love.

“A Human Mosaic: Heal, Renew & Develop Self-Worth,” is foundational to the genre of self-improvement. The capacity to lean inwardly for strength, courage, and compassion has never mattered more than in our current volatile world.

Anne lives in Atlanta with her husband, three spirited children, and three attention-hungry canines who rarely leave her side. Learn more at


“You really realize how you speak to yourself when you’re in isolation, or when you’re alone in a setting. It’s a very important time to reflect on what you’re thinking so you can change it if it’s causing you distress.”  –  Anne O Boudreau


Check out the video below to watch our interview:


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