FOMO. We all feel it from time to time. For me, it crops up almost as soon as I open up Instagram and start scrolling mindlessly.
I see wonderful people advertising brilliant and intriguing things, like money mindset courses, soul-aligned marketing programmes, sales techniques that will bring in £10k a month, networking meet ups, website optimisation strategies, yoga retreats and hypnotherapy to calm the business brain.
All of it cracking stuff. All of it designed to hook me in and make me feel like I need it. That I'm somehow not doing enough if I don't sign on.
And then there's the life FOMO; friends going out for meals, booking glamping, planning parties and generally getting back into the swing of a less restricted life. I want to do all of those things! I feel sad if I miss out or if I decide not to go.
So what exactly is the meaning of FOMO? It stands for fear of missing out and it is a cultural phenomenon largely exacerbated by social media. We see so much more of everything these days that it can feel utterly overwhelming.
And how does this fit in with wanting to make a big decision? Well, it can make choosing the right thing that will best support and nurture you trickier. It can lead to over-thinking, worrying you'll go down the wrong avenue, procrastination and frustration.
It can mean spending money on things you think you need but really don't, then feeling guilty or resentful that you've invested in something that's not that great. Which then puts you back on the starting line and at square one.
So, how do you ditch the FOMO and make clear-headed, confident decisions that are right for you?
If you've been following me for a while you might have heard me talk about ikigai. It's a tool I use in coaching to help you figure out what matters most to you, so you can take those next steps; maybe start your own blog, move to the countryside, ask for flexible working or ditch the 9-5 completely, more easily.
Ikigai comes from the Japanese for 'the meaning of life'. Profound hey? It is said that once you have found your ikigai, your life is complete. I believe however, that there is no final destination when it comes to our purpose; it is more that knowing what matters most to you helps in times of crisis, confusion or indecision.
For me it's more about re-connecting with the things that mean most to you. It's a way to find that motivation to actually 'do the thing' rather than just talk about it endlessly. It helps put an end to the FOMO because you are more certain in your decisions. There's no wobbling, worrying about what others will think, or whether this is the right time.
You just know.
Ikigai looks at understanding your passions, strengths, worth and values. The end result? Clarity and confidence. Like Beyoncé at her most fierce.
My own ikigai story has shaped the coach, business woman, parent and employee that I am today. And I say employee, because recently I've made my own big decision to return to part-time employment.
So here's how that happened and how ikigai helped me when I felt ay my least Beyoncé-like moments!
I took redundancy in June 2020 and launched straight into my own business. I knew jack-shit about running a business, but I learn fast and I had some redundancy money to help. FOMO was an issue and I felt swamped by the choices I needed to make, or felt I needed to make.
So; I had some coaching and we worked on my ikigai. That process helped me to understand who I wanted to work with (brilliant women like you, on the verge of something momentous and wonderful). It identified that I was really good at coaching, that I could be paid to do it and that helping women in particular was connected to my values of courage, action, compassion and joy. Also, it allowed me to really step into my feminism, activism and community contribution as a part of my business model.
But... COVID persisted, as did home renovations, home-schooling and a less than stable situation for my husband's job in the travel industry.
I simply wasn't able to earn enough (yet) to support the (nice, middle-class, privileged) lifestyle we were used to.
Now, there's a whole other blog to be written here on money mindset, manifestation, trusting the universe and believing in your worth. I worked on all those things. I could do more. I know that 'the money is coming' and that things will fall into place.
But reality... money was getting scarcer and we needed some more.
And then, a funny thing happened. I looked at my ikigai again. I re-evaluated what brought me joy and my strengths and what I could be paid to do and what the world needed from me.
I had a lightening bulb moment of my own.
It doesn't have to be one thing. I didn't have to be just self-employed. I actually rather liked being employed and the stability and security that it brings.
And then? HELLO BARBARA the old inner critic... I felt ashamed about that! Like I was somehow letting down my entrepreneurial friends and fellow business owners. That I'd failed to be a good enough 'boss mum'. What kind of a 'mumprenuer' was I, if I was secretly craving a team, accountability and a regular salary?
But I moved through that through further coaching. Coaching's ace, have I mentioned that?
And the next step was to put myself out there. You might have seen this post on Instagram....
I went for a job that I thought would be the perfect tie-in to my coaching business. And I didn't get it.
Rejection hurts. BIG-TIME.
However, I am big believer in the universe doing its thing. A former boss of mine saw that post and got in touch to ask if I was looking for a job, because she had a vacancy where she now worked. The boss in question is one of the most brilliant, supportive and inspirational women I know, so to be working with her again would be a huge ikigai tick.
Long story short, I applied, interviewed, negotiated part-time hours and got the post. It's a role I was doing previously, with a higher salary, more responsibility and the chance to learn about a new industry. It'll be challenging, a change for my family and a period of adjustment as I work out how to do two things.... with some strong boundaries in place to ensure I don't burnout.
But I now realise that this was the missing piece of the puzzle.
Like the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons....
So what does this mean for That Balanced Life Coaching? I'm hoping not too much from the outside! I'll be quieter on social media during the first half of the week and offer more concentrated coaching hours for you to book on a 1:1 basis. There's a group programme launching in November that I'd LOVE for you to be a part of and a possible Balanced Life membership in the pipeline. I'll be collaborating more and with a more diverse range of wise and wonderful women. Hey, I might even start a podcast one day!
My FOMO is quieter too now. I'm clear on my goals, my ambition and my purpose. I feel grounded and confident that I'm doing what works for me and my family.
I'd love to help you work through this big decision of yours in the same way I did. It is nothing short of brilliant when you can look at your life and think YES. This. This is what I'm meant to be doing.
Book in a chat if you want to know how to ditch your FOMO and live with purpose and passion.