Frightened-Fearless Integrity

Choosing courage = creating Frightened-Fearless Integrity

What I've gotten clear about recently is that what I have been calling the four-step process of choosing courage is one of the major, important sub-categories of creating Now-Next Integrity. Logically, the toolkit for what I have previously called choosing courage, which now is better described as creating Frightened-Fearless Integrity, is just a toolkit inside of the NNI toolkit. It is so fundamental, however, it deserves its own toolkit, which I have recently renamed the FFI toolkit, previously called the CCC toolkit for Choosing Courage Consistently previously.

The other subcategory of Now-Next Integrity

All Now-Next issues not addressed by creating Frightened-Fearless Integrity involve creating Pleasure-Plan Integrity

Giving "frightened" equal footing with "fearless"?!

The word frightened has a somewhat negative connotation, unlike the words Now and Oneself that I use to distinguish those two parts of us. Now's job is to try to be happy now, when it occurs to be in conflict with being happy in the future. Oneself's job is to take care of our own self-interests when they occur to be in conflict with the self-interests of others. 

Who is Frightened?

But what is Frightened trying to do for us? Its job is to try to feel safer and more comfortable now and to even alert us to possible short-term dangers or costs, like someone getting angry at us. Like Now, its job is to focus on the short-term benefits of feeling good now and not feeling bad now, as well as getting short-term benefits and avoiding short-term costs. Unlike Now, who's the "big boss," its speciality is trying to not feel frightened or unsafe in the short-term as well as gaining short-term benefits and avoiding short-term costs, whenever they seem to be in conflict with having the future that our Next is going for. 

Who is Fearless?

I'm designating Fearless as that part of us that wants our future to be good and not be bad. Fearless' job is to get us to push ahead regardless of the fear and discomfort experienced short-term as well as to accept any short-term costs and give up any short-term benefits in exchange for the benefits Fearless is interested in for our future.

Example of Frightened, who focuses near term, and Fearless, who's looking long-term

Your spouse asks you if you paid a bill like you said you would. In fact, you didn't do it yet. You know that, although you're not certain of it, there's a fair chance that your spouse will discover that you didn't do it by the time you agreed to.


Your Frightened is thinking of saying, "Of course I did, Honey." You're frightened they will get upset and trust you less than before if you tell the truth.


Your Fearless is thinking, "Let's tell her the truth, apologize, and then get it handled by the end of the day." Fearless is willing to accept the possible short-term costs of anger and lack of trust because, with the likelihood of your spouse finding out that you lied, the longer term consequences, both in terms of anger, damage to your relationship, and a deeper lack of trust that will be incurred will probably be much bigger than the costs that would be incurred if you lied now.

What is Frightened-Fearless Integrity?

The meaning of Frightened-Fearless Integrity is finding ways for mutual cooperation and alignment between these two parts of us, our Frightened and our Fearless. Our Frightened's job is to try to avoid the short-term discomfort we associate with facing our fears, as well as to gain short-term benefits and avoid short-term costs. Our Fearless' job is to ensure that we take those actions in the face of our fear that will likely create a better future for us, also accounting for the short-term costs and benefits that we might get from not facing the fear. One of the major tools for creating this integrity is Undoing fear. A fuller set of tools are in the FFI toolkit.