top of page

Undoing shoulds: Undoing fear

(making friends with your fear)

Resisted fear is a major foundational component

that supports our internment in the HOGAB

Fear (and being frightened) 


This is the rush of energy that we feel when we make some (often automatic) assessment that something we value is or may be threatened. Unresisted fear will typically give us energy that we can use, even providing us with a sense of confidence. Most of what we call fear is not fear; it is resisted fear. It is what I call dufear (dammed-up fear).


Dufear (and being dufrightened)


This is resisted fear, fear that we are resisting because it’s the “bad guy” and the “enemy,” as something unwanted. Dufear is created automatically resulting from our habit to resist our fear. Dufear results in less energy and less resourcefulness. This resistance is automatic; it happens without direct intention. Most of us started building this habit when we were three or four years old. Worry and anxiety are examples of dufear.  Another less obvious example of resisted fear is guilt. The Undoing Fear process (to be accurate it should be called the “Undoing Dufear” process) will turn dufear back into energy and resourcefulness. If you want to understand how guilt is resisted fear, enter this door: Undoing guilt.


"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

—Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President of the United States)


Franklin, you were wrong (incorrect). Fear, unresisted fear, is our friend, a great source of energy and even confidence. If we changed the quote to, “The only thing we have to fear is dufear itself,” it would be more accurate, but still misses the mark as a broad generalization. There are definitely things that are helpful to be frightened of (but not dufrightened of).


Paper-threat fear cf. valid-risk fear


A large majority of our fears (and dufears) are partially or entirely paper threats. Yes, a paper-threat fear feels just as real as a valid-risk fear. But, with a paper-threat fear, there is little or no external risk in the world. For example, imagine going for an interview for a job you really want. Many of us might feel nervous about this. Yet, the only external risk is if you don’t go for that interview. To avoid our fear of hearing a possible “no,” we may shy away from that interview. This is a paper-threat fear. 

Valid-risk fear


Some of our fears (and dufears) may have an element of actual risk. If your brother asks you for a loan and you say “no,” depending upon how you say it, you risk damaging the quality of your relationship with your brother. Of course, on the other side, if you say “yes,” and he doesn’t pay the loan back in a timely manner, then that could also damage your relationship. 


Most of us indulge in risks every day in which no obvious fear is stimulated


  • driving our car

  • eating some angel-food cake

  • sitting at a desk all day

  • shaking someone’s hand where we may catch a cold

  • not looking for that new job

  • not examining our life direction

  • not sharing ourselves more openly

  • blaming others

  • blaming ourselves


These are risks and dangers we indulge in daily, usually without feeling any associated fear. We don’t even recognize that it might be helpful to feel frightened of doing these, and tapping into the energy of that fear to serve us.

Making friends with your fear


I have adapted/invented a specific technique to turn dufear back into resourceful fear. Full instructions are at this link: Undoing Fear.




The first step of choosing courage is always “Making friends with your fear.” The full courage definition and the instructions for choosing courage are at this link: Courage.


“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

-Mark Twain (American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, 1835-1910) 

My definition of courage is almost the opposite of the one that Mr. Twain (and almost all others) give. However, I do agree with Mark that, if there is no fear, there is no courage.

Here are the words for courage in many of the languages around the world

bottom of page