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Which Help Should You Get?

Part VII: Balancing caution and fearlessness

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: Apr 15, 2011


My last two columns said that some players need help against irrational fears (“monsters under the bed” — MUTB), while others are too fearless. This column will discuss when to emphasize caution or fearlessness. Base that decision on a realistic situational analysis, not on your feelings. Although feelings damage decisions, many players don’t consider them. Instead of analyzing their feelings’ causes and effects, they rationalize, giving good reasons, but not the real reasons for their decisions. Timid people will tell you why real monsters might be under the bed. Reckless people will tell you why fearlessness pays off. Both will be partly right, but their decisions are based primarily on their feelings, not realistic analyses. They do what they feel like doing, then think of justifications. Don’t pretend that your feelings don’t affect your decisions. If a situation requires acting more cautiously or fearlessly than you’d like, suppress your feelings ...

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