The Struggle to Grow while Dealing with Anxiety

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Mental health, particularly black mental health, is a topic that's seldom talked about, and because of that, I've tried to be as transparent as possible about my struggles with anxiety, and how I work through it on a day-to-day basis. In the past, I refused to acknowledge I was dealing with it because I was trying to protect everyone around me, but I quickly found out, I can't save myself if I'm trying to protect everyone, but myself.

Related: Self-care for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Anxiety typically arises from uncertainty and the fear of failure, and while success and anxiety are hot topics right now, none of them tell you how to succeed and grow while dealing with it. As someone who is consistently working on myself—physically, mentally, and spiritually—the desire to grow and succeed brings on its [own] bout of anxiety and oftentimes stops me from doing everything I need to do to succeed. Sounds counterproductive, right? It is! 

 
 
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The thing about anxiety that many people don’t talk about is; everyone faces anxiety at one point in their lives, and it’s often disguised as worry—two feelings that are interchangeable, but are [very] different. Worry is thought-based and occurs inside the mind, while anxiety shows up in your body through your actions, behaviors, and symptoms. You can have one without the other, but they often go hand-in-hand; and while both can stop you for doing everything you want and need to do, it is possible to grow while dealing with anxiety.

I. Work through the fear

We all have been at the point where we feel stuck and scared, and this feeling usually makes an [easy] situation feel more difficult than it [truly] is. It’s the feeling of being trapped and paralyzed or judged and unaccepted that often makes us feel fear; the goal isn’t to eliminate that feeling, it’s to work through it. The truth is, fear will never go away; it’s a natural emotion that we all feel and will continue to. However, dwelling in the past and obsessing about the future will keep you stuck and grounded in fear. If you’re feeling this way, I encourage you to take your power back by working through it; feel the fear and do it anyway. Give yourself time to create a daily practice of gratitude and meditation; also, don’t want until you have this-or-that, work with what you have to make proactive decisions towards what you want. 

II. Trust the process

By far the hardest thing for me to do is to trust the process. I enjoy putting in the work and being challenged, but I’m [very] impatient when it comes to results; I like to start and complete something knowing what the result will be and when it will be; this is harmful to success because it causes the need for instant gratification. Instant gratification causes procrastination and self-sabotaging; two things that can be detrimental to your success. As much as I am aware of this, I continue to fight against the process, and it has lead to a lot of wasted time and results that never came. No matter what you’re doing—weight loss, school, entrepreneurship—trust the process. Respect the level of work that goes into getting [lasting] results that matter and respect the time it takes to get them. Waiting for something to happen quickly does not mean you will get the results you want or need; I’m learning that day-by-day.

 
 

III. Believe in who you are and your voice

Working through fear and trusting the process is half the battle. While you’re dealing with anxiety, the one thing you must do to succeed is, believe in yourself and your voice. We are in the height of digital influence and social media, so it’s easy to get sidetracked by what everyone is doing, and question if you’re on the right track—trust that you are. Everyone’s idea and path to success is different, and while it's okay to be inspired by someone, don’t become infatuated with their highlights that you become distracted from your [own ]voice. Believing in yourself takes times; it takes getting to know who you are and what you want to stand for. Give yourself [that] time (trust the process) to grow your voice in an authentic way.

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Jacket // ASOS -- Sweatshirt // Uniqlo -- Trousers // Uniqlo -- Sneakers // adidas

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We have read countless stories of our favs who have suffered from anxiety, fear, and a host of other things, so it’s not impossible. You must believe in yourself and know that everything in this moment is setting you up for what you’re working towards. Feel the anxiety, feel the fear, but don’t let it stop you from being the person you are meant to be. Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.

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What I'm wearing

As I become [more] self-aware, my style is becoming [more] minimal. And because NYC and mother nature are on a consistent struggle for power, it's hard to dress in anything else but layers. I love these Uniqlo trousers; they're a [good] mix of casual and athletic and can pair with a sweatshirt (pictured) or casual woven for a daytime office look. Rounding out this look is a minimal statement duster jacket from ASOS; this will easily be my go-to jacket for Spring, and the perfect upgrade to my favorite teddybear coat from Winter.

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