I think radicals are the door that opens to the world of quadratics. If one can relate radicals to monomial expressions next linear equations can be compared to quadratics. Then anything you see in Calculus is possible.
If a student is defeated before they start an equation then I let them know that speed doesn't matter and mistakes are not a sign of weakness. I often think of my past mistakes, and reflect on how I corrected them. I wasn't sure how to correct everything but "sometimes you have to jump and build the wings on the way down. " Kobi Yamada
Then fly to a resolution you desire to live with.