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  • Lesson Activity

Enterprise Skills

  • Adaptive Mindset
  • Problem Solving


  • Lower Secondary (Year 7-9)
  • Senior Secondary (Year 10-12)
  • Teachers


  • 45 minutes


  • Projector (with sound)
  • Internet enabled device for students

Forget Goal-Setting, Try Fear-Setting

Use this classroom activity to help your students (or yourself!) practice a fantastic wellbeing strategy.

1. Watch Tim Ferriss’ TedTalk “Why you should define your fears instead of your goals” (13 minutes, 13 seconds).

2. Then, have students complete the ‘Fear Setting’ exercise using the templates from his TedTalk (accessed here)

    – Get clear on the decision that you fear making OR action that you fear taking.
  2. STEP TWO – DEFINE | PREVENT | REPAIR (page 1 of the ‘Fear Setting’ template).
    – Define: Get intimate with your fears… What might go wrong from making this decision or taking this action? What are the worst case scenarios?
    – Prevent: Determine how you could prevent those scenarios from occurring… What actions could you take that would reduce the probability of them happening?
    – Repair: Determine how you could fix it if the bad scenarios occur… What actions would you take to repair the damage done? How hard or costly would it be to repair?
  3. STEP THREE – BENEFITS (page 2 of the ‘Fear Setting’ template).
    – Determine the benefits of going ahead with the action that you fear… What are the potential positive consequences of the decision or action?
    – Quantify the benefits of action… How big of an impact will these positive consequences have on your life, happiness, and fulfillment?
  4. STEP FOUR – THE COST OF INACTION (page 3 of the ‘Fear Setting’ template).
    – Determine the costs of inaction… If you do nothing, what will happen? What are the costs of taking no action?

What decision or action could YOU use this strategy to overcome?

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