Fear is the anticipated consequence of failure and loss.

I have good balance and can walk on a curb.  A curb is around 8 inches wide. I seem to be able to balance myself and walk on the curve very effectively.  However, if that same curb were located a couple of hundred feet off the ground, the task — the exact same task — would be extremely difficult That is if I would even attempt it. Truthfully even an 8-inch curb only 10 feet off the ground would cause me to doubt my ability. 


If the curb were  10 – 200 feet off the ground,  there would be an impending opportunity for  injury or loss that was not there before. Because of that, new emotions would begin to surface. Any opportunity for loss opens the door for potential fear. Potential fear causes distractions and that can undermine your confidence.

Your effectiveness would be under attack.   You would still have the same ability, and the curb is still the same width.???? What has changed is that you now entertain thoughts that create fear.

The potential for loss opens the door for fear to flood thoughts and actions. Consequently, what was once done with no anxiety has now changed. It is not just walking along on a curb, it is juggling thoughts of a potential loss, or harm being brought to your life.

It is like you are now carrying baggage that was not present before the curb was elevated off the ground. The more baggage you carry the more difficult it is to balance. The baggage weighs you down and keeps you off balance. Imagine trying to walk along the curb with a backpack, 2 suitcases, a brief case, and a bag of dirty laundry. It would be a major distraction.  

Your confidence would be attacked and a once healthy respect for walking along the curb could escalated into a debilitating fear. Fear reduces our effectiveness until we no longer can effectively walk not only on the curb but how we walk out our life – who we really are. Fear is when you start to believe the lie that impairs your natural ability.   


I was teaching a  Phys Ed; class and a young girl was suddenly telling me she did not feel well and could not participate in the dance routine.  

As I asked her what was wrong,  she hung her head, and through an anxious demeanor stated that she can not do the things others do.  She was afraid. She was only reacting to the way she was feeling and not by the truth. The truth is these steps were new to almost everyone. So, I sat with her and we watched the others make many mistakes and I laughed.

After a few laughs, I told her I was going to do the pattern with her. She was hesitant. I led her to the starting position.   We started sliding sideways with arm movements.   She was successful and better than many. The next  2 sequences came which were certainly much more difficult and she joined in and excelled!

Let us look at what happened…

She was close to being overwhelmed by the fear that she could not participate because she thought she could not complete the task.  This fear was taking her to an anxious place.

What I did not tell you is that when I have students that doubt their ability,  I take the time to teach the dance step to the entire class differently. I deconstruct the pattern down to the basic movements needed to complete the dance steps.  I make sure to use encouraging words and positive reinforcement.  I remind them that we are all made differently so our bodies move differently.   Some of my best dancers were those that at one time doubted their ability.  


If you find yourself standing on the curb and thoughts wander to speculate that the curb is rising, you need a reality check.    It is only a curb.   You can conquer the curb!   Nothing is changing.   Most importantly do it lightheartedly and with laughter.  If laughter can stop a panic attack it certainly can squelch anxiety.

 At times conditions, circumstances, or situations attempt to take over your emotions with negativity.   Your imagination becomes heightened bombarded with what if’s!  Just the thought of walking on a curb high above the ground is enough to initiate anxiety. In many people.   Anxiety can open the door to fear.    

Fear causes you to create negative speculation. When we speculate on potential harm or potential loss to our life, we create a harmful thought pattern. Constant patterns of repetitive negative thoughts that are not taken captive produce debilitating fear in our lives.

When patterns of fear become commonplace the way you live your life is compromised. Fear often comes from reliving negative experiences in the past or anticipating negative experiences in the future.

The saying – Garbage In Garbage Out   GIGO originally started in the early days of computers.  It is very applicable to those with mental torment.   When confusion and fear from speculation start to dominate your mindset, mental torment takes root.    

GIGO as described in Wikipedia:

  • computers cannot think for themselves, and that “sloppily programmed” inputs inevitably lead to incorrect outputs. 
  • if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” 
  • its output can only be as accurate as the information entered into it.

GIGO is commonly used to describe failures in human decision-making due to faulty, incomplete, or imprecise data. This sort of issue predates the computer age, but the term can still be applied.


Control your mindset!

NO garbage in means – NO garbage out.


Be sure to follow this blog and get our weekly updates. Share it with your friends because many suffer silently. The article is based on a presentation by panic attack survivor, author Brian Ludwig.