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Apr 02

Understanding FOMO’s Influence On Choice: Get Ready To Liberate Yourself!

Wasn’t life simpler when the choice was either Coke or Pepsi? Dannon or Yoplait? Cheerios or Rice Krispies? Ice cream alone now fills an entire supermarket aisle, making the decision daunting if not impossible (as is evidenced by studies that demonstrate how when faced with too many grocery choices, often we choose NONE!)

How do you make a choice? And how do you feel if you suspect your choice isn’t the best choice? How do you even assess what the best choice is, even if it’s as trivial as choosing a nutritionally-void frozen treat? Now consider the other 34,999 decisions you make each day, and how your ambivalences are due not just to the sheer number of choices, but to a pervasive undercurrent of, “When I pick this, I might be missing out on something better” and “What if my choice causes me not to be accepted and then shut out of future interactions?” It’s a reflection on our most basic of human needs: inclusion; to be part of the tribe.

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, has sharply escalated in our modern world of abundant online choices, where everything from shopping to music to movies to dining offers more choices in a single search than one could ever need in a lifetime. Parallel with this predicament are marketing approaches that have grown more clever and are darkly effective. It also seems that in addition to more choices, we have more “important” choices to make.

Choice-related FOMO gets turbo-charged when you introduce social media into the equation. At this level, one becomes so worried about making the right choice that when a choice is finally made, the action isn’t even enjoyed. Living in the present is replaced with worry and second-guessing of your choices. Social media then draws you in to find out what experiences you’re missing out on. The temptation is to see what other people are choosing to determine if yours was a good choice. But when you end up surfing life’s channels this way, flipping from drama to comedy to awards show, you run the risk of feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Prepare To Liberate!

Throughout the month of April, I’ll explore with you three mindset changes that will leave you feeling excited about your life, and even bring yourself to declare that you’ve released FOMO and embraced JOMO (you guessed it: that’s the Joy Of Missing Out!). You’ll have the opportunity to literally reestablish your personal priorities.

First, I’ll guide you to look inside yourself and get a clear picture of what’s truly important to you. You’ll likely discover that FOMO is so pervasive that you may be reflexively worrying about missing out on things you don’t especially enjoy. For example, that was me and skiing. In high school, I wanted so badly to become friends with a particular girl that I went skiing with her, despite my inexperience. I was sure I could figure it out, and besides— that was a minor detail and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun she would be having. It was a little ridiculous, as I tried to suppress my nauseous in the car on the way to the ski slopes. Strangely, the fears of falling, being embarrassed and getting hurt (each of which occurred again and again) weren’t greater than my fear of missing out! Thankfully, a member of the girl’s family offered me a ski lesson, which didn’t assuage my fear, but reduce my number of falls per run. The lesson is, If you clearly define for yourself what’s important to you, and what provides you with flow, satisfaction and joy, you won’t drag yourself to that baseball game in the rain when your throat is scratchy just to be with your friends.

Secondly, we’ll dig into the fundamentals of acquiring JOMO. These include recognizing the simplicity and power of gratitude. A gratitude practice may be the single most effective booster for your health and wellbeing. This silent and free practice amazingly feeds your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical energies. When you are rich with gratitude, you’ll be thankful to be right where you are, with no tugging desire to be elsewhere.

And finally, we’ll declare and dissect JOMO’s enemy— your smartphone! Challenging yourself to a digital detox might be just what the doctor ordered, and I’m suspecting you might be inspired to take this challenge after learning about what constant connectivity is doing to your spirit, not to mention your friends, loved ones and colleagues. I’ll also be sharing some tips that have helped clients go on a digital diet they could live with. I hope you’ll join me in this early spring journey, and take a chance on JOMO. The choice is yours!

If you enjoy what you’re reading and are considering living life more fully, schedule a complimentary consultative session with DRIVEN HERE.

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