We’ve all felt it. The external, invisible power that drives us to do things we don’t really want to, just ‘in case we miss out’.
All it takes is a blink, and suddenly our lives are full of over stimulation and information overload.
We’re bombarded with marketing messages that tell us all the things that are wrong with us, how we got ourselves into the ‘mess’ we’re in, and of course, the exact steps we need to follow so we can ‘turn our lives around’.
‘I’m so busy’ is one of the most commonly used phrases today.
It’s closely accompanied by ‘I’m so stressed’, and ‘I’m so tired’.
We overload our lives with unnecessary activity because we’re focused on finding the ‘golden nugget’ that is going to catapult us to success, and we’re worried that we’ll miss out on the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives.
Even when we were forced into lockdown, stuck in our homes, we found ways to rush around. Whether it was through scheduling back-to-back online meetings, working longer hours, taking constant phone calls or signing up for way too many online courses, FOMO has taken an even greater hold over our lives than ever before.
FOMO wants you to be lost in life.
FOMO is now the major factor silently driving our society. It’s also playing a massive role in the increased stress levels, ill-health and untimely physical and psychological breakdowns that are on the rise.
Life is so busy now that it’s easy to find ourselves powering along, pushing through and forcing ourselves to get things done. We get glimpses of how unwell we really are, how unhappy we are in our lives and just how much we need to make some changes … we push on anyway.
But then we find ourselves completely lost. For every expert that tells you ‘this is your solution’, there are another five experts that claim the first expert is wrong, and that what they have for you is perfect.
It’s overwhelming. It’s confusing. It’s exhausting.
5 ways FOMO impacts us regularly:
- Being tired and stressed is normal. We’re run off our feet, trying to be everything to everyone around us. We live in a highly visual world that pushes us to have constant proof of what we’re achieving. We’ve moved to a place where we believe that if we’re not stressed and exhausted then we’re not working hard enough.
- Being unable to say ‘No’. Even though we’re left with our heads spinning, trying to fit everything in, we find ourselves unable to say ‘No’ to any of the networking, professional, charitable, community or personal development events. If we miss something, we might get left even further behind.
- Life is driven by fear, panic and stress. Our lives are out of control, and it seems impossible to overcome the overwhelm that threatens to drown us at any moment. We’re left desperately scrambling, willing to grasp onto anything that might turn out to be the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives forever.
- Other people are worse off than you are. Surely, this means you should just ‘suck it up’ and get on with it. Accepting our ‘lot in life’ is one of the earliest forms of conditioning that we’re given. Surely we should be grateful and simply keep going?
- The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Hope is one of the greatest driving forces of life. Where there is hope, there is a step forward. But when hope is attached to FOMO, it becomes something that throws us into a never-ending loop. We find ourselves stuck in desperation, anxiously hoping that tomorrow will bring the salvation that we desire.
So, what’s the answer?
Getting ahead and achieving success is not about being busy. It’s about allowing our life to be filled with the things that give us more energy than it takes to do them.
Each of us is a unique human being, and as such we need different things to support us in our everyday activities.
Here are three simple and easy things that we can do every day to help us start to reconnect to who we are as individuals:
- Understand where you get your energy from.
- Make a list of all the things that give you energy – these are the things that make you happy, make you smile and make you laugh. They can be related to people, places or activities.
- Understand how your energy is drained.
- Make a list of all the things that drain your energy – things that make you tired just thinking about them, people who steal your energy when you see them or work tasks that aren’t challenging or inspiring.
- Reduce negativity.
- Make an effort to stay away from activities or people who drain your energy and replace them with things from the list that gives you energy.
If you give yourself what you need regularly, then FOMO no longer has a role to play in your life.
It’s time to buck the trend. It’s time to start thinking and living differently. It’s time to open our eyes to the cost of living our lives in the shadow of stress and exhaustion.
Want more info on ways to reduce your busy-ness and kick FOMO to the curb? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my books – you can buy your copy by clicking here.
If you want some more questions that can help you to move forward in a different way, you can find loads in the articles and videos in my FREE email series – it’s a great way to help you begin your journey. Simply click here to start you on your way.
This article first appeared on Prosperi Press in November 2020. You can read the article by clicking here.