The Positive Side of FOMO in Midlife
FOMO in the middle of life takes on a new meaning. The biggest question is not what you will miss out on if (fill in the blank) but what you will miss out on in life if you don't (fill in the blank.)
In episode 120 of the To 50 and Beyond podcast, I talk about the fear when I quit drinking and challenging belief's that alcohol is fun in midlife and how to lean into fear instead of embrace it to start living your desired life.
The Fear of Missing Out overall is a feeling that you are not included.
The inclusion of people of all races, sexual preferences, and people who don't have the physical capability to do what I can do. I don't want to ever take anything for granted - this year has changed me, but I don't know the realm of the change, and that's okay.
Inclusion coincides with the questions I have been asking myself to learn about my privilege and where I've fallen in supporting inclusion here and in my coaching.
Intentionality is something that I work on daily and am always learning new things about myself, where I need to focus on being intentional.
Nothing is intentional until you set the intention of what you will show up and get done.
In midlife, we have the power to change anything we want, including our intentions.
I used to think; if I say I'm going to (fill in the blank) and I don't do it, I will be a failure. I thought everything was all-or-nothing and written in stone forever. The ability to change your mind and do something else is your right to live a curious life.
I'm a failure, and a success story, and so are you.
Fear at this stage of life is the catalyst for shaking things up and reigniting the flame that you had when you were younger. You know, before we became a product of trying to be like everyone else.
The desire to stay connected to others is a big waste of time. I scroll my phone and can easily knock myself down a few notches unintentionally.
So, let's take the fear of missing out and turn it into the Freedom or the Fun of Mission Out.
Switch your focus to what you desire in your life. Your desire is a feeling, an emotion, a vision that you don't want to leave this earth without experiencing.
You know when you leave the house after you are rushing around and you feel like you've forgotten something?
Back when I used to leave the house, I felt like that a lot!
I don't want you to get to the end of your life feeling like you forgot something because you were too occupied with other people's life.
Let's take drinking and giving up alcohol as an example of how FOMO plays a part.
A beautiful woman who is 65 says, "I feel like I'm missing out on the fun if I quit drinking."
Alcohol, for so many of us, me included = fun because that is how it started.
I had so much fun drinking in my teens, twenties, and even the early part of my thirties. In my late thirties and forties, it wasn't the same.
If you are in a place where you want to fight to make it work because it used to be fun - I get it but say it with me - It's not the same as when I was 21.
Fear is an emotion, and it's felt in layers when you quit drinking.
I felt fear in the following order:
#1 I felt the fear of what other people would think if I quit.
#2 I felt the fear of isolation because I told myself that I would NEVER go on vacation or a concert or a party, etc. (the set in stone)
#3 I felt the fear of being successful and enjoying sobriety
I lean into fear and being uncomfortable because I know now that is the only time I have ever changed my life is when I'm scared.
It is my mission to help women get beyond thinking that if you quit drinking, you will miss out on the fun, won't be fun, people won't like you, etc.
If you focus on the first sip of alcohol, where the fun starts instead of the next day, where the doom and guilt, regret, shame, and hangover live, you will never get past the fact that alcohol is anything but fun.
FOMO is deep. It brings me back to when I was little. I'm not liked, they pick other people first, I'm missing out on the "cool" stuff.
It is the sincere desire to be someone I wasn't or didn't even know why I wanted to be that kept me in this constant state of - I'm not good enough, I have to have what other people have to be valuable in life.
That's simply not true.
Ask yourself the following questions to get a better understanding of FOMO showing up in your life:
Are you fearful if you quit drinking, you will miss out on parties and dinners and vacations because you don't drink?
Do you go out a lot, or are most of your drinking done from home?
Are you fearful if you change anything in life that is not status-quo, you will be talked about or made fun of?
Do the family and friends that would no longer align with you are becoming worth the risk of staying the same?
Are you fearful that if you aren't on social media every 30-minutes scrolling that you will miss out on someone else's life?
Put your phone down. I spent almost 6-weeks off of my beloved Instagram in April and May and didn't miss out on anything. Social media is like a soap opera. I haven't watched General Hospital for years, but I bet if I turned it on, I could jump right back in.
Stop avoiding yourself by procrastinating in other people's life. Save your scrolling time for a time of day after you've accomplished your life and feel good about yourself.
If you feel knocked down because of other people's highlight reels - take the app's off of your phone and get to know yourself.
You exist - you need attention, now more than ever.
Tips to add positivity to FOMO:
- Build that relationship where you become your BFF, so you aren't missing out on anything when you are alone.
- Don't keep up with the joneses - they are fake.
- Take action! Write down your top five desires in your journal. How do you want to think, feel, and take action on daily?
- What do you envision for your future? Make a vision board.
- Practice gratitude for everyone in your life, and everything.
- Exercise daily to build your confidence in yourself.
- Stop engaging in substances that make you feel like you aren't in control of your life.
- Create your fun, even when you are alone.
- Cleaning up your social media feed and unfollowing anyone who makes you feel unworthy, and know that it doesn't have anything to do with the.
Lastly, ask yourself these two questions in your journal:
What will I miss out on if I (fill in the blank?)
What will I miss out on in life if I don't (fill in the blank?)
I hope you find out what you thought you were missing out on is nothing that you will miss.
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