We’ve talked about FOMO here before. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m one of those people who tend to measure the worth of what they’re doing based on what their friends/family/people on social media are doing.
Decisions tend to be tortuous for me because I’m always wondering what other people have decided so that I can make up my mind. Even simple things, like deciding how to spend a weeknight, can turn into a mental back-and-forth of what my friends/acquaintances are doing and how what I’m doing measures up. For example, if I choose to take a long walk in the evening, I might wonder if I should be taking a kickboxing class, going out for drinks, working on my business, joining a club sports team, going on a date, or putting in extra time at work instead. I tend to assume that everyone else’s choices are better than mine.
I often find myself thinking: Why is it so easy for my friends to just be cool with and focused on what they’re doing, and I’m always wondering whether I’m keeping up, fitting in, and not getting left behind? Why can’t I just do my own thing and be cool with that?
Sometimes I wonder if I’m living for my friends/family/social media acquaintances…or me.
Can you relate to this? Do you constantly question your choices, or make choices based on what other people are doing? It’s exhausting! And I’ve discovered that making decisions based on other people leads to the following things:
- Living in the past (harboring resentment, keeping old, uncomfortable situations alive when they should’ve been dead years ago) while everyone else is moving forward, accomplishing goals, having new experiences
- Disconnecting from your true self, desires, and beliefs, leading to confusion and doubt about what goals you should really focus on
- Feeling disappointed when your friends seemingly forget about you to live their own lives. (they haven’t forgotten about you–they just don’t factor you in to the significant degree that you factor them in…because they’re doing what they want!)
- Constant worry and anxiety, no lasting peace and ease.
Whew, that’s a pretty tiring way to live. And the hard truth is…in our quest to keep up, live the best life ever, and make decisions based on what our friends are doing, we actually end up living a rather empty, boring life that keeps us small. We don’t take risks or go for our dreams because we’re too busy worrying about other people’s goals and dreams, and making sure that we’re not getting left behind.
What’s the answer to living a full, exciting life that’s true to ourselves?
You must reconnect to you.
I’m still working on this, but expect more tips on how to stop worrying about what other people are doing, and start focusing on you.