Oscar-winner 'Free Solo' offers an important lesson for overcoming your fears

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Synnott’s perspective is echoed by Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscientist at New York University who specializes in the study of the amygdala. LeDoux noted in Synnott’s book: “By self-exposing, training himself in those situations, he’s going to reduce the amygdala activity, because that’s what exposure does.”

It also draws parallels with the 10,000-hour rule made famous by Malcolm Gladwell and espoused by top leaders like Oprah Winfrey. The theory states that if you work on something for long enough — 10,000 hours to be precise — you can master it.

That mentality, said Synnott, is something that can be applied to other walks of life and challenges big and small.

“We all have our own El Capitan,” said Synnott. “If (Honnold) can free climb El Capitan, what could we accomplish, if we truly set our minds to it?”

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