Daily Threes- A Morning Ritual To Look Anxiety In The Eye And Tell It To Fuck Off
I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about what could go wrong. I’ve spent a lot of mornings deciding that the day ahead was going to suck. To help organize my anxieties and floating negative thoughts, I started to practice a daily ritual of writing down three fears and three excites, inspired by Dona Sarkar’s Five Gratitudes. As time has carried on, I’ve added three things I like about myself, and three wins of the day. This exercise takes 5-10 minutes depending on how badly I don't want to sit there and look my fears -and myself- in the eye and call them out. Below is a breakdown of all four sections.
- Fears -
One of the most frequent daily fears I find myself writing is that everyone hates me. EVERYONE. EVERYWHERE. This is dumb for two reasons- I’ve never gained enough notoriety to have every being on earth have an opinion of me, and I have a lot of people in my life that like me. After a few days of writing: “Fear 1: Everyone hates me” the rebuttal comes pretty easily: “Rebuttal 1: Thats dumb. Maybe some people hate you, but not everyone.” Rebuttals are key to daily fears. You gotta call yourself out. Here are some examples of my typical daily fears and rebuttals.
Fear 1: Everyone hates me!
Rebuttal 1: Most people don’t even know you. Some People probably hate you, but does that matter? Keep trying your best!
Fear 2: I won’t get enough done today/Am not doing enough in life
Rebuttal 2: Make a list of what you think you can do today. Trust yourself!
Fear 3: I am a failure
Rebuttal 3: Failure is giving up, so as long as I am trying, I am succeeding.
If I notice a fear carry from day to day, I’ve learned to recognize that as a sign that I gotta sit with that fear and unpack it for a longer amount of time. For about a month, everyday I wrote that I was afraid I wouldn’t accomplish enough. Yet every day, I crushed my to do lists. Everyday I made my goals and felt accomplished when I went to bed, but every morning my insecurities woke up with me and told me I wasn't doing enough > wasn’t enough > was actually worthless > was therefore a waste of space. Which means that my low self worth was masquerading as a lil’ fear about to do lists. Once I Scooby-Doo-style pulled the mask off that old insecurity I was able to call it out and move on to the next one.
- Excites -
My favorite section of the whole exercise is the daily excites. I love being excited. Excitement and nervousness are two sides of the same coin, and all of my best work comes when I’m feeling both. Instead of a rebuttal, I encourage myself in this section. Pumping myself up the same as I would if a friend was excited. I love my job, so most Mondays my first excitement is Work. I’m incredibly lucky.
Excitement 1: Work
Encouragement: Hell yeah! Kick ass and lift the team up!
Excitement 2: Family Dinner
Encouragement: Time to recharge with family is so important!
Excitement 3: Work on personal projects
Encouragement: Investing in yourself is important!
Really go wild in this section. Write like no one is watching//List like you’ve never lost before. Get excited about your own life because real, unadulterated enthusiasm is so much cooler than ambivalence. When I’m going through a hard time, this section is a guiding light back. Some of my more desperate days have including excites such as “drink coffee and listen to music on the bus” and “send a thank you note to an artist I admire.” Once when I was sick, I wrote “excited to take my next round of meds.” Perspective is everything.
- Likes -
I added the daily likes to force myself to be kind to myself every day during a dark time. Some days it’s hard to say anything nice about myself, and I gotta grasp for little kindness nuggets such as “I try," but at least I said something nice about myself. Similar to when you got in a fight with a classmate, and your teacher made you say nice things about each other. If you’re bullying yourself, you gotta teach yourself to find things you like about about yourself too. Even the score a bit.
Self Like 1: Funny
Self Like 2: Kind
Self Like 3: Resilient
This section is the hardest for me, hands down. I come from a long line of self hate and half remembered sermons on “Pride comes before the Fall.” You gotta accept what makes you great. You should be your biggest fan, because you will be your longest companion.
- Wins -
The wins section was added after realizing that I only remembered my failures, never my successes. My brain loves pinning my failures to the very top of my internal feed, so I fought back and forced myself to remember the times it all worked out too.
Win 1: Crushed To Do list!
Win 2: Sent scary pitch
Win 3: Really good snuggle session with the cat
I fill this section out after dinner, when I’m feeling the most content. This is also the most fun to read through on New Year’s Eve. Life is not just the big wins - got a raise, saved the day- it’s also about that time you made your barista laugh, when you found the last package of corn husks at the grocery store, or when you surprised your partner with their favorite dinner. Some wins are big, but some are small and the important thing is to remember both.
- Finishing Move -
After filling out the four sections, I read them aloud. Do you know how dumb it feels to announce to your furniture, “I’m afraid that every human being hates me”? Really fucking dumb. And it should, because that fear is incredibly lame, yet feels powerful because it’s hiding in the shadows. Fears build in the darkness. Insecurities breed on things left unsaid. They feel powerful and scary until you say them aloud, and realize they were never that tough to begin with, and you are much stronger.
My finishing move is to tell my cat that we’re gonna have a good day. She definitely will, (her life is clutch) but I will too, because I decided to. This is a tip my therapist let me in on. “Try telling yourself you’ll have a good day when you wake up.” When she sensed my hesitation she cooly shrugged “Well, you tell yourself everyday will be a bad one, so try it the other way for awhile and see what happens” She was right. The Hard days don't feel as hard now if I go out and try my damndest to have a good day. Maybe you’re not as mean to yourself, or as anxious as I am. Good! I hope you’re not. I still suggest you try to do this exercise for a full week and see if it helps you. Please let me know how it goes! I’d love to see your lists. Below are some Instagram Story templates I made. If you post one, please tag me @JazzlynStone.
Take care friend. I hope your fears are small and your excitements come easily.