We all face obstacles and setbacks in life.
Do you ever feel like you blend in too much? Or feel as though you don’t stand out from the crowd?
The term “FOMO” was officially coined in the Oxford English dictionary in 2013 to mean “fear of missing out.”
However, the concept of FOMO has unofficially been around much longer.
This phenomenon is largely attributed to social media, but feeling left out, rejected or lonely is an experience dating back as far as humanity. To our ancestors, inclusion meant protection and survival. When the wolves were literally at the door, being part of a group was a matter of life and death. Not to mention the need to partner with others to perpetuate our species.
But beyond survival, we want to feel included for many reasons. We are social creatures and it’s part of our fabric to belong with others. No man is an island.
So, when we see our friends and family having fun without us, its natural we feel a little sense of being left out. Sometimes it’s a twinge and sometimes it can lead to feelings that are even more deeply unsatisfying. In fact, FOMO from social media is now linked to a myriad of issues from lowered self-esteem to feelings of sadness and anxiety.
If we’re so afraid of being left out, why do so many of us still hold back when it comes to being included? How can we battle FOMO and get what we really want?
FOMO Indicates a Deeper Dissatisfaction
At it’s core, FOMO isn’t really about a missing invitation to the party or wishing you had your friend’s cute haircut. FOMO is actually tied to a deeper dissatisfaction with our own lives. We may scoff and think, “No, not I!” But in truth, if we’re comparing ourselves to others we’re coming from a scarcity mentality.
The world is abundant. There is plenty of satisfaction out there for all of us! If we’re embracing a growth-mentality and working toward bring in more of what we need into our lives, we may realize we each need something different. When we forget the world is abundant and there’s enough to go around, we feel jealous and insecure.
You see, when we’re not on a transformational path, we are nagged by the feeling that we should be doing something more, that we’re missing out on things. We have a vague sense of lost opportunities. This is what the existential philosophers call “ontological guilt,” and we try to drive it out of our conscious mind through soft addictions: watching television, gossiping, texting, shopping and a hundred other things that distract us from the nagging voice in our head telling us we should be doing more.
We Engage Our Soft Addictions
So, we feel we need more in our life and worry we’re unfulfilled. But we’re avoiding that persistent fear by engaging our soft addictions. What’s the biggest buzz today when it comes to soft addictions? Social media!
From our free time to our political climate, social media has taken over and vastly changed the way we interact, socialize, and spend our time. Even a former Facebook executive recently stated he wouldn’t allow his children to spend time on social media because he felt it was damaging.
Now, not to berate social media’s value. As a tool for staying in contact with friends and family and setting up “IRL” (that’s ‘in real life’) meetings and events, Facebook and other social media tools are great. They are a fun platform for sharing with others.
Social media becomes damaging when we use it as a substitute for those important face-to-face interaction: when we use our phones to “phub” (phone snub) others at the dinner table or during conversation; or, when we become obsessed with comparison and “checking up” on what we’re missing out on.
When FOMO comes into play, it indicates your social media use might have veered into soft addiction territory. (Take our soft addictions quizto see if you’re over-indulging.)
We Don’t Ask for What We Need
So, how do we battle FOMO? How do we get what we need in our lives so we stop that twinge of jealousy and fear we’re missing out?
The answer is simple—we need to learn to ask.
Asking isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Many of us have been raised with the idea to be “strong” we need to be independent. We may view relying on others as an indication of weakness.
In reality, the opposite is true. Enlisting the help and attention of others is a way we expand our abilities and power. We achieve more when we understand we need to reach out and engage with those around us.
At the core of asking is yearning. When we yearn for something, it’s deeper than just a “want.” Yearning indicates a longing from our heart and soul. We may yearn to feel included, acknowledged, loved. We may yearn to feel valued.
Everyone yearns. When we feel dissatisfied and left out, it’s often an indication those yearnings aren’t being met.
Asking for what you yearn for is a little frightening at first. It’s hard to ask someone to love you or value you. It might even sound laughable at first. “Love me?”
But asking for what we need is a skill we can and should build. It’s easier to start by practicing with small, low-stakes asks. What happens if you ask someone for the time? To hold the door? To help you carry a box? To pass the salt?
The next time you catch yourself struggling, reaching, or going out of your way in the name of independence, consider asking. Then work up to the larger and more important asks. Request the attention of your coworkers and boss. Ask for your spouse to help you with housework or to take you out on a date. Ask to meet with friends for coffee or brunch (rather than scrolling through their Facebook feed).
As you stop hiding behind your soft addictions and get more practice asking, you’ll feel amazed at the engagement and connection you’ll experience. You see, sometimes we don’t realize while we’re feeling FOMO, so is everyone else. We’re all longing to connect with each other. We all have yearnings we’re hoping to fulfill.
So, the next time you catch yourself comparing your life to the lives you see in your newsfeed, take a step back. Ask yourself what you’re really yearning for and how you can ask for what you need!
For more ways to get what you want out of life, please visit our new downloadable coursework! We’ve packaged many of our popular courses in an easy format, ready for your own self-study. They’re at a special introductory price, so don’t miss this offer. We’re also hosting several networking events coming up. Please visit our events page for more details.
Do you feel powerful? Terms like powerful or strong, often invoke a certain image in our minds, don’t they?
You may think of super heroes—Wonder Woman, Batman—strong, powerful figures who swoop in to save the world. Maybe you think of real life heroes and inspiring stories of strength and power.
But how do you become a super-hero in every day life? How do you discover your potential when you aren’t even sure what the outcome looks like? In heroic tales the protagonist has a destiny, they’ve got a sense that there’s something MORE in store for them. They have the potential for greatness.
But I’m going to tell you a secret—YOU too are powerful. You have great strength. You have the power to transform yourself–to harness your inner strength, reach your potential and use it as a force for good!
How to Discover Your Strength
Do you ever feel like you don’t know how to reach your potential? You may feel pretty good about your life. In fact, your career may be going well, and your relationships may be on the right track. You might be surrounded by friends you enjoy. Yet, there’s a nagging feeling that you are destined for deeper fulfillment or you have a greater purpose.
No matter how happy we are, how much we’ve grown or how many changes we’ve made in our lives, we sense there is more. No matter how much we achieve, we feel the beckoning of our unfulfilled potential. Some part of us wonders, Am I fulfilling my destiny? Living the life I’m supposed to be living? Becoming who I could become? Is there a greater life—or a greater me—awaiting my discovery? And when our lives aren’t going the way we want, we often hope that a better life is available.
The possibility of greatness is powerful, and it’s why stories of transformation are so resonant. We delight in Harry Potter’s developing magical ability, the Force within Luke Skywalker, the hidden courage of Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. We are inspired by the transformational stories of our heroes—Gandhi, from attorney to spiritual leader; Oprah, from abused young girl to a media giant beloved by millions; Abraham Lincoln, from his humble roots in a one-room cabin to the White House.
But is this kind of transformation just the stuff of myths and legends, distant historical figures, or super-celebrities? Is transformation more ideal than real? Can regular people like you and me really change in significant and multifaceted ways? Is it possible to revolutionize all aspects of your life—your relationships, career, sense of self, spirituality, leadership, service?
If you’re like most skeptics, you may think that buying this concept is akin to buying snake oil. In fact, your pantry may be stocked full of dusty bottles of this oil that never delivered on their promises. Maybe you took a workshop or course that talked about transformation, but eventually left you feeling let down at best and deceived at worst. You may have started meditating, gone into therapy or followed the teachings of a guru with the hope that a new you would emerge, but found that while you made some changes, at the core you were the same. It’s no wonder you have doubts and questions.
Here’s the short answer. We’ve all been swindled, bamboozled and hoodwinked—probably not out of a malicious intent by others, but out of our own ignorance and denial of what it takes for real transformation. We all want a quick fix but buying into junk fixes is like a junk food binge, empty calories that never really satisfy. That’s the bad news. The good news is that not only have we witnessed the real transformation of hundreds of individuals, but our research and hundreds of other scientific articles, books and research studies validate the concept.
Transformation comes through examining your early views on your personal power and strength. Then, like those transformational superheroes and celebrities we admire so much, we need to overcome our internal struggles—the feelings of powerlessness and work toward living a life of greater purpose and fulfillment.
If it sounds like a tall order, that’s because it is. As someone who has worked with many students and clients, I’ve witnessed incredible transformations and self-discoveries. I’ve seen people break out of their perceived limitations and self-doubt to discover unrealized strength and untapped potential.
Yet, I too, struggle with occasional self-doubt. I’ve felt embarrassment. I’ve felt shyness. I’ve held myself back.
Discovering your potential and harnessing your personal power is lifelong work. No matter how strong we become and how confident we are, we will all experience moments where we question ourselves.
This doesn’t make us weak or any less powerful, it simply makes us human.
Our childhood patterns and beliefs are what we often refer to as our “matrix.” This internal matrix creates and reinforces the way we feel about ourselves. It dictates the way we interact with others and react to situations. Our matrix is our foundation.
Rebuilding Your Foundation
As we explore our relationship with power and seek our inner strength, we may need to do some dirty work. We will need to roll up our sleeves and sort through all our early-childhood structure that creates our beliefs, our patterns and self-doubt. We need to get-to-know our matrix—how our foundation contributes to our beliefs–so we can re-matrix ourselves into the powerful beings we’re meant to become.
This lifelong process isn’t a quick fix. There will be moments where you slide right back into your old patterns. There will be times you catch yourself holding back, doubting yourself or questioning your path.
Change is possible. There is a superhero within each of us. We’re all full of limitless potential. Each of us has the same abilities as our heroes to create and live the lives we desire.
Examine your core beliefs and values. Understand not only what you believe and think about power but WHY. Ask yourself the tough questions and “go there.”
This process of transformation is one I’ve seen over and over with our graduate students. I’ve seen those working in our self-study programs, reading our books and coursework, experience huge realizations and “eureka” moments. As you walk through the process of self-examination, you’ll discover strength unrealized.
If you’re ready to become your own superhero, it’s within your grasp. Begin today!
To explore the great materials and coursework we offer, please check out our new online library! We’re excited to offer many of the excellent lessons online for self-study. If you’re seeking an in-depth experience, please join us for an upcoming weekend training. We’ll help you unlock your personal power.
Today I salute all women and the feminine values that matter more than ever in our world. One of the biggest challenges in honoring the feminine is that it sometimes speaks in a whisper, not a roar – like listening to the silence at a loud sporting event immediately after the score. As I woke up this morning and thought about all of the women everywhere who give, serve, care, share, and connect in all the ways they instinctively do that often go unnoticed or unvalued, I dedicated my day and my moments to them and to the feminine.
Below is a tribute from me to all of the women warriors in our world I so admire.
IN HONOR OF THE FEMININE…
by Dr. Judith Wright
I made my bed today in honor of the feminine – for all of the women who tend, care, and work to improve their worlds.
I did my makeup today in honor of the feminine – for all of the women who bring their beauty to the world.
I said my prayers today in honor of the feminine –for all of the women who honor and worship the Creator in all his or her faces and forms, knowing that creating life is the greatest gift.
I did my walk today in honor of the feminine–for all of the women who love and nurture Mother Earth, and to Mother Earth who nourishes us all.
I ate my breakfast today in honor of the feminine–with gratitude to those who cultivate the food and help us partake of the gifts of Mother Earth and to all of those who activate the alchemy of food through their cooking to create nourishing meals that sustain and nurture those they love.
I listened to a friend in pain today in honor of the feminine, for those who listen with an open heart and deep caring.
I felt my stress today in honor of the feminine, for all of those who care about everything, big and small, and want the best for everyone, and to do their best for everyone.
I cried today in honor of the feminine–for all those who love, care, and tend to others, whose gifts are not honored, or worse, are ridiculed, demeaned, belittled, ignored, threatened, or punished.
I wept today for all of the girls and women who do not know their special gifts or how important their gifts are, who do not know how precious they are, how powerful they are, what a gift they are.
I sobbed today for humanity in honor of the feminine, for a world that needs the gifts of all of its inhabitants to be whole, complete, healed, at peace, and to flourish, to become what humanity can become.
I wrote today to honor the feminine in all its faces and forms, because it would be easier not to. It would be easier to think it’s too small, doesn’t matter, doesn’t make a difference.
I wrote today, because the feminine is powerful beyond measure. Because our caring, concern, tending, listening, feeling, caring, connecting, holding, touching, risking, falling down, getting up, and moving forward matter in ways we may never know in our lifetimes.
I honor the feminine.