Having an Article Perform Well Triggered My Social Anxiety

It served as a reminder that I have some internal work to do.

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

What happened when I wrote about regret

My recent piece that did well is named “My 20s Are Over — These Are My 11 Regrets”. I wrote it to deeply reflect on a decade of my life that is now in the past and share what I learned with those who it might benefit.

Screenshots of Medium notifications: 6, 46, 151, 209, 240, 319.
Screenshots of Medium notifications: 6, 46, 151, 209, 240, 319.
How my notifications looked after the piece got published. Image made in Canva by author.

Getting feedback from the public

I checked my stats and saw that the number of claps now exceeded 1.8K. Readers were leaving comments! Thinking about all of this attention and what might be waiting for me in the comment section, I felt the pressure increase on my chest. My mind went into overdrive. What if…

  • They’d demand justification or correct something they didn’t agree with?
  • They were hiding in the alleys with Molotov cocktails, ready to aim at my humble home and burn down my words?
  • They were simply eager to start a fight?
  • Chosen topics
  • My view on a topic

Each comment you as a writer receive means someone took time out of their day to read what you wrote and shared their thoughts on it.

Luckily, my anxiety lowered as I read the first comment, and then the next. And the next.

The problem was in my head

Not knowing how to regulate certain emotions means going into an anxious mode when I accidentally miss one of those mental trap doors, trip and fall through them. I could have dealt with comments once per day, and keep that count down to zero. That would at least satisfy my need for order and structure and being “on top” of things, or feeling like I am.

Writing my way to progress. Topics: personal growth, life lessons, tooling & (failed) ventures.

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