There's no such thing as a natural-born pilot.
Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own.
If you want to grow old as a pilot, you've got to know when to push it, and when to back off.
You don't concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.
You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.
Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a let-down because the real barrier wasn't in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight.
Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don't do, you don't believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane.
I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.