FOMO…What are You Really Missing Out On?

 

FOMO = Fear of Missing Out

 

If you have a teenager in your home, I’m sure this is a familiar acronym. I’ve fought many battles that started out with “But Mom, I’ll be the only one…yada, yada, yada.” Do they even know who they are talking to?! I’m the mom who relishes being on the outside of all the wrong things. Just look at me. I use essential oils every day, I don’t eat fast food unless I have no other choice, and I rarely drink anymore. I’m the poster woman for being alone in a crowd. But that’s okay. That means I miss out on a having a medicine cabinet. I miss out on medicine side effects. I miss out on feeling crappy. I miss out on living symptom to symptom. I miss out on having hangovers and sleeping like poop. I guess I’m anti-FOMO.

I wasn’t always like that but I eventually made the choice to “miss out” because I finally learned that FOMO wasn’t aligning me with my true self. I have said yes to so many things when I should have said no (like getting set up for date parties in college. Ugh. Every one of them was a disaster!), carried on toxic friendships for way longer than they should, drank lots of drinks when I knew I was going to feel horrible the next day, ate gobs of fast food even though they gave me a rolling gut ache within minutes. I sat quiet during morally wrong conversations even though I knew they weren’t okay. FOMO made me feel conflicted and twisted inside. For a long time, I didn’t know I was living out of alignment because I didn’t know myself. Perhaps it was the realization that I was too old to be living like that anymore or that I really didn’t care what people thought about me anymore. I took back my life and kicked the FOMO to the curb.

My teenagers and I have LOTS and LOTS of talks about FOMO and how it’s all bullshit. Someday they have to look back on this time in their life and they will either be proud or disappointed. I was such a FOMO teen and my view of those years is definitely disappointing. I had no idea who I was and what I stood for so I was basically a chameleon. I became whoever I was with.

It’s taken a long time to not give a shit about missing out on things anymore. What matters to me now is that I live a life I love. I connect with others who make me a better person, not drag me down to make themselves feel better about their bad decisions. I have wasted enough time living out of alignment and it’s a huge effing drag.

 

What does FOMO look like in your life? 

 

Are you afraid to miss out on being involved at your kids’ school but don’t really have the time? 

Are you afraid of missing out on being part of who’s who in your community but don’t really feel a true connection with them?

Are you afraid of missing out on drinks with “the girls” but you really need to get some sleep?

Are you afraid of your kids missing out on activities just in case one of them just might be their thing?

Are you afraid of standing up for yourself for fear of being alone?

We’ve all been there, babe, and some of us are still there. Don’t give up on yourself and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to have FOMO when has to do with cutting out all the junk you don’t need in your life.

My FOMO is the fear of missing out on an amazing life. I will miss out on that happy hour and go exercise to take care of my body. I will miss out on the fast food drive-thru and make a healthy meal that fuels my body. I will miss out on “girls’ night” and go on long walk in nature with my husband or dog to feel connected. I will miss out on binge watching ALL the television shows and go take a long bath with a good book that relaxes me. I will miss out on saying yes to people and things that aren’t me and say yes to who and what make me come alive.

I’ll own that FOMO every damn day.

 

 

Say It, Believe It

It’s amazing the bullshit we tell ourselves.

“I’m fat.”

“No one loves me.”

“I’ll never be successful.”

“There is no way out.”

“I’m a nobody.”

“I can’t do ____.”

“I hate my <insert body part>.”

Blah, blah, blah. The list of negative things we tell ourselves on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis is astounding. It’s almost like we enjoy torturing ourselves. I have told myself so many lies over the years that I, the real me, got completely lost. Lost under all that BS I had been telling myself and it’s been a real bitch trying to dig myself out.

Did I think someone was going to come rescue me because they felt sorry for me? Yes, I did. I’ve wallowed in self-pity for so long that it stained me a very ugly color. But in that long wait to be rescued I realized that it was up to me to rescue myself.

I came to that realization a couple of years ago when I was feeling very stuck and less than enamored with what my life looked like. It was a big slap to the face to finally see that I had created the misery myself:

  • I said yes to things when I should have said no
  • I did things because everyone else was doing them
  • I had limiting beliefs about who I was and what I was capable of
  • I sought the easy road rather than the tough one
  • I gave away my power
  • I let opinions of me matter more than they should have
  • I gave up too easily
  • I minimized my worth

Does any of this sound familiar? I know. It sucks to read it and find yourself nodding your head, doesn’t it?

There are two simple yet very powerful words we can add to the dialogue with ourselves that will change everything.

I. Am.

I had a huge shift a couple of weeks ago because I started saying these two words. I had been talking with my mentor and she challenged me on the way I thought of myself. She knows the goals I have for myself yet the verbiage and my self-doubt were never going to get me to where I wanted to go.

I thought about what image I had of myself when I was a kid. I was the child of an unhappy marriage so I was never home. I spent fourth grade through senior year with my best friend. She was funny, outgoing, athletic, the youngest of five, from a divorced family (also an alcoholic father) and chose me to be her best friend. As we grew up, she went from a freckle faced gangly child into a beautiful young woman. In my eyes, I grew into her chubby sidekick. I attributed anything and everything to the fact that I was because of my association with her and not from my own merit. I have always been in awe of her because of what she chose to become in spite of her broken home.

I had a time in my life where I stepped up to something big (at that time it was HUGE!) and acted in spite of fear. I ran for Rush Chair of my sorority, not because I wanted the limelight as much as I felt I needed to do something out of necessity. I ran against someone else and I actually won. I thought, “Oh shit. What the hell did I just do?” But I knew that I was doing this to serve and to help guide our house down the right path so I strapped on my boots and went to work. I figured things out as I went along.

The thing that makes this crazy is that I was deathly afraid to speak in front of others and considered myself a team player and not a leader. But there I was, in a leadership role. Funny how I think back on that as just something I had to do and not really who I was.

When I thought about that time as I spoke with my mentor, I realized what a crock I had been feeding myself for so long. Shortly after our talk, I declared to the ladies in my Skinny Dip Society Facebook group who I was. I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain teetering on plunging forward into the unknown or leaning backwards, tumbling toward old habits and negative self-dialogue. I chose to plunge forward.

And from that moment on, I have felt different inside. I say a lot of I ams these days. Some I believe 100% and some I have to just say it until I do.

These days I say

I am…

strong
nurturing
free
generous
loving
inspiring
curious
funny
courageous
loyal
witty
lovable
tenacious
adventurous
mindful
purposeful
encouraging
intelligent
wild
fun
contagious
unfuckwithable
authentic
leader
worthy
enough

And these words have changed everything. I stand taller, I walk more confidently, and I am acting as if I am all those things. Because eventually, the more I say it, the more my brain will believe it.

Two words…I am. The rest of the sentence is up to you.

The Image We Tell Ourselves

 

Up until age 12, I was skinny. I’m talking beanpole skinny. I had a barely there butt, zero point zero hips and wore slim jeans forever and a day (my favorite were the ones with the roller skates applique with REAL laces on the pockets.) I see my youngest child and he is built just like my daughter when she was his age. Abs for days and arms and legs like a colt. But you know what I used to say when people commented about my kids’ physiques? They take after their father.

Me to me: Um, hello?! Have you SEEN pictures of your husband at that age? Remember, he wore Huskies. (Sorry, babe. I’m just trying to highlight a point here.)

It’s time to call bullshit on myself. I had forgotten that skinny little kid even existed. She’s so far removed from my brain that I can’t even recognize myself in my own children. Sure, my son Kysen and I have the same coloring and Avarie and I sound just alike but that’s all the credit I gave myself.

For so many years, the image I’ve been carrying around, the one I see when I look in the mirror, is still that chubby cheeked teenager with thick thighs and a bubble butt. But I KNOW I’m not overweight. I know I’m healthy and strong but there she is, every damn time, always looking back at me. I see her at the gym, in the dressing room mirror, when I walk down the street and see her reflection in the store window, and in the rarest of rarities, in a photo of myself. The chubby girl is relentless.

But I’ve realized something. By hanging onto this image of her, I will never attain me. As long as I keep imagining her when I think of myself, I will only become more of her. You’ve heard of visualization techniques, right? Well, imagine what I’ve been doing all of these years by visualizing her when I think of myself. Hello, self-sabotage.

I will never look the way I feel if I keep up this unhealthy habit. And not that I’m trying to become a size zero or that appearances are the most important but there is a level of frustration here. I eat amazingly well, exercise 4+ times a week on average, rarely drink alcohol, and sleep at least seven hours a night. What does a girl have to do to get some results around here? I believe that would mean some serious shifting. Specifically, perspective, mindset, and gratitude.

Perspective

What could happen for me if I stop thinking “Damn it, I hate my legs” to “Nice abs, rockstar.” If I stopped focusing on the negative and shifted to the positive, what else might I find? Or perhaps my legs will get jealous from all the attention my abs are getting and they’ll decide to finally show up.

Mindset

What’s important is that I’m eating what’s good for my body and what fuels me with the right kind of energy. I exercise because it feels good and I love how strong I feel because of it. If I keep telling myself my metabolism is slower than molasses and that I’m just destined to look this way than guess what? My body is probably believing that story and sticking to the script.

Gratitude

I’m healthy. I’m strong. I’m a healthy role model for my kids. I never get sick. This should be on repeat every day in the gratitude journal. Instead, I tend to focus on the scarcity in my life. I can’t see the muscles in my legs. I look gross in shorts. 

Who wants to hear that effing sob story every day? Not me. Not anymore.

The more and more I read, watch and learn, changing my perspective, mindset and level of gratitude can shift my life in ways that I thought that were for other people. As I listen to podcasts (seriously addicted these days), I find that this is the common denominator in people who have fulfilling lives. They see things in a positive light, they believe in themselves and acknowledge their strengths, and they express gratitude every day for what they have.

I am not this image I’ve been carrying around with me all of these years. I am so much more than I am giving myself credit for. So, to keep up with my word for the year, freedom, I’m setting that chubby teenager with the thick thighs and bubble butt free. I’m letting her go forever.

This is the only me I need to see, the one sitting right here and now. The one who loves herself for what she has, who she is inside, and how I love others. Not the one who hates herself for what she doesn’t have or for her faults. Life is too short to keep living life through lens of my past.

I am who I tell myself I am. I will become what I tell myself I will become.

It’s amazing what you see when you let go of that image you’ve telling yourself for far too long.

  • How many of you are doing the same thing?
  • Do you have an image you keep playing in your head on repeat, like an old film reel? 
  • What can you do to finally set that image free? 

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