Perhaps the most crippling (and energy-hungry) emotion at work is fear. An emotion that is often experienced negatively and that can cause quite a bit of stress.

Since fear is a survival emotion, it seems that there is a potential danger. The person experiencing the fear is apparently counting on a situation in which the survival mechanism must be activated.

As a lot of literature shows, we have 3 reactions to anxiety:




The person is in the supreme state of readiness. Being ready takes a lot of energy.

Really extreme a lot. For the one is paralyzed by fear and is about to: flee, fight or freeze. Every action is accompanied by a lot of energy. Often you see that these people are stressed, see sick more often, are absent, you name it.

If this goes on for a long time, it is such a huge attack on a person’s energy system, that is unimaginable.

It’s good to look at that.

When it comes to burnout prevention, this is an important starting point.


Someone who has fears feels unsafe. It is important to tackle this together.  Together we look at where the fear comes from.

Is that because of bullying, is the task too heavy, is someone in danger of losing their job, unwanted behavior, etc. Try to work together on a solution and think about what actions can be taken to reduce the anxiety.

The question of whether the fear is justified should not be asked. The one with the fear has it and suffers from it too.

So together, in connection, working on the fear.


It can be helpful to look at this openly and honestly. To create a safe place for the team and employees to express their fear. Think of a confidant id.

From that point you can work on remedying or reducing the fears.

Here, you start looking seriously at someone’s fears and naming them, that can already be a change. Awareness is the word.

In Phase 3 (having a burnout), I extensively reflect on fears (theme thinking, thinking, thinking) (I’m still writing that, but can help you).


The team can grow if you tackle this together. If people have fears and are in survival mode, help them.

Some people duck or hide. Make sure you stay present and that you keep in touch.

Talk about it with a confidant or helpwith a coach to get the team further in this. But make it negotiable and actively work on it.


Only if people trust you will they be able to expose their fears.

Try to give that confidence. Maybe not right away, but in time people will appreciate that.


Fear takes an enormous amount of energy. If there are people in the team with fears, get to work with them. It provides great energy gains.