Fears Release Worksheet

Fear is a pervasive and at times toxic emotional element in organizations. I think it’s beneficial to do a fears detox from time to time, as the accumulated and unacknowledged vibration of fear can darken the hue of the group dynamic and bleed into the project outcome. While we are all sort of used to living with low-grade fear buzzing in our emotional channel, it doesn’t mean we can’t clear it from time to time to get some relief.

Assuming that I want to be a heartfelt contributor to the success of my team, reducing my personal fear quotient is an act of service that benefits the whole. Uncleared fear can infect the product with heaviness, over-caution, dullness and risk-aversion. Clearing fears can help re-infuse the project with creativity, focus, and new energy.

The following fears release exercise can be used personally or, in a team that has been working together for a while or has especially high trust, with the group. If done in the group setting, I would not push anyone to share anything specific, unless they choose, but would rather just ask people to comment on their experience doing the exercise. Of course adapt and use as desired and appropriate for your setting. Take what you like, and leave the rest. Thanks for reading!


Fears Release Worksheet

A. What is your intention in doing this worksheet?

Eg. My intention with this exercise is to help me be less stressed/anxious at work

B. Please briefly describe a situation you are struggling with, where you are aware of feeling fear (anxiety, dread, etc).

I’m worried that the tracking bug is going to be a problem. We didn’t get enough time to fix it and now we are going forward just hoping it’s gonna be fine. This makes me really nervous.

C. Please write down some of your fears related to this issue (as quickly as possible, there is no such thing as a mistake in this exercise). Doesn’t matter how big or small.


  1. I am afraid that it’s going to blow up in our faces.
  2. people will talk about how badly I messed up, it was my responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen.

2. I am afraid that the project will fail bc of this and I will look like a moron

C. For each of the fears you identified above, please now ask yourself, “so what if that happens?” and see what you come up with. You may have to ask yourself “and so what if THAT happens” a few times before you get to the bottom of it.


I am afraid that people are talking about how badly I have messed up.

So what if that happens?

It will get back to my boss & he will start thinking I am messing up.

So what if that happens?

I might lose my job.

So what if that happens?

I will feel humiliated. And I will have to tell my family that I got fired. I will also be scared about money.

So what if that happens?

I will feel humiliated & I will feel like a big loser. My wife will be disappointed in me. I’ll have to tell my parents.

Root Fear: humiliation

D. When you have gotten to a place where you seem to be going in circles, or you have identified the “root fear”, ask yourself:

If this happens, could I survive it physically?

How long might it take me to recover from it?

Which areas of my life might still be ok, even if this happens?

What does my ego not like about the idea of this happening?

If this happens, could I forgive myself?

Do I know anyone else that this has happened to, and they survived? (ok to pick people in the media, inspirational figures, etc)

If this happens, could there be any positive effects of it? What if this was actually a “good thing”, can you imagine how that could be the case?

Can I have compassion for myself for this fear? What if a good friend of mine were having this fear, what might I say to him or her to make him/her feel better?

E. Take stock of how you feel. If you feel even the tiniest bit better, celebrate that and thank yourself for the time you took to care for yourself. If you do not feel better (or you feel worse — see below), do not blame yourself, simply try to accept — ok, I tried this exercise, and I don’t feel better, but I will keep trying things until I feel better.


Feel worse, not better?

If this exercise amplified your fear (turned it into panic) and left you stuck there (can happen for some people or for especially scary fears), use some physical interventions to soothe yourself, such as:

-10 long, slow, deep breaths

-jumping jacks, squats, or other rigorous activity until you’re exhausted, at least 30 counts

-stretching and focusing on your physical sensations (especially in feet and legs)

If you were able to soothe yourself relatively easily, continue with the exercise as desired.

If you are still flooded with fear and could not easily calm your anxiety, prioritize rebalancing yourself physiologically now and return to the exercise at a later time, if at all (maybe it’s not a good tool for you). For right now, get the fear out of your system by repeating the above physical exercises, and perhaps by the following breathing pattern (works for many people to stop a fear pattern cold in the body):

in-breath 4 counts

hold 4 counts

out-breath 4 counts

hold 4 counts

repeat cycle 8 times.


Credit where Credit is Due:

I wrote this for a client but it is basically a version of one of many Cognitive Behavioral Therapy worksheets. Interested readers may enjoy this site: http://psychology.tools/download-therapy-worksheets.html