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Discussions with Damaris

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  • Damaris Chanza

Fighting to Conceal Anxiety

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

We’ve all had the internal battle between anxiety and confidence. When you plow through to get things done, it can be hard to tell which feeling won.


I constantly advertise that I write this blog, do freelance media work, am writing my first manuscript, and work a full-time job. I’m proud of my ability to juggle so many projects simultaneously, but it’s also very overwhelming. I also struggle with waves of imposter syndrome, which stops me from advertising. That feeling of “I’m not good enough to feel this confident” or “am I just overconfident” can be creatively crippling. The lack of advertising and consistency for a small creator like myself can result in a lack of views, clients, and progress which only creates more doubt.


These feelings can be stifling, but I have an excellent support system that constantly praises my work and remind me of all my capabilities. If they love what I’m doing when I don’t have the time or energy to devote to the project, imagine something with my undivided creative mind’s attention. That thought can be liberating. They are also a source of inspiration, and any creative knows that once inspiration hits, it feels impossible not to act on it. Thus, sending me into a whirlwind of creation and ambition.


Still, those thoughts of doubt linger in my mind waiting to resurface once mistakes appear. The errors don’t even need to be grand; minor mistakes that a non-trained eye would rarely notice are the ones that bother me most. Mistakes like the imperfect alignments on the flags for my Maya Angelou-inspired poem or the horrible shading on my home-cooked meals post, or the mildly pixelated nature of the bat symbol for my batman post irk me because I know how to fix them, but I don’t have the time to commit.


I could endlessly rant about all the minuscule media mistakes I’ve made, but at the end of the day, I’m still proud of all of my work. I’m confident that my work is regularly excellent and extraordinary when I can devote the time necessary to do it well. Whether that be overconfidence or trying to speak dreams into existence doesn’t matter because either way, I will find success.


I imagine I’m not the only creative to struggle like this. Inspired by my struggles and one of the most powerful and anxious characters, I wrote the following poem. I hope it helps anyone dealing with anxiety to verbalize their thoughts in a way that allows them to work through their fears and ultimately helps them find success.


 

Conceal Don’t Feel


A catch in my throat

Fumbling with my fingers

Jaw tightens

The ground unstable

And words just fables

Sweat builds

Discomfort grows

Eyes wander

But mind focused

Excuses

A fake text

A dry throat

A full bladder

Conjure an escape

And avoid attention

When facing the fear of rejection


Spine straight

Shoulders back

Chin up high

Calculated words

Movements controlled

Feet planted

Thoughts organized

Prepped and ready

For the pitch that will make money


Anxiety and confidence

Trapped inside

The same body and mind

Which will be revealed

Which will struggle to stay concealed

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