I'm on a seemingly never-ending quest to get to know, better understand, and improve myself, and to that end, I've put myself through a variety of programs, read books on a range of subjects, and taken a motley of classes. One thing keeps coming up, no matter how disparate the experience or the pursuit: I have to be willing to be unpopular to create the life I want to live.
I had a hard time identifying how strongly the fear of missing out (FOMO) tied me to certain habits and situations. For me, FOMO is a powerful motivator. It encourages me to say yes to social invitations, even though I'd most often rather stay at home with my family and read books. It says, "why not?" when I'm offered food that I know doesn't nourish and work for my body. It traps me into playing small and familiar, when I'd just gotten together the courage to try a new way. I'm convinced I'll miss out on something *big and important* if I'm not there, don't try the dessert, or decide to light my own trail.
FOMO has another fancy little trick for me, too: not only am I sure that I'm missing out, I'm induced into thinking that what I'm choosing instead isn't as good as the alternate. So my mind can go a little batty with scenarios of not only missing the dinner out with friends, but also becoming utterly lame because I'm truly enjoying the couch + pjs + reading time. That I'm not only missing out on a decadent chocolate cake, but that it's not ultimately valuable to my physical body to skip the treat. That by leaving the safe and familiar, I'm actually giving up all of the security that I had and forging that new path is completely insane.
Crazy stories on top of crazy stories.
Instead of unpiling these stories every time, the thought, "I am willing to be unpopular" has become a sort of mantra for me. It's a touchstone that helps vanquish the naysaying stories that sneak in. Because I've sorted all of this out in calmer moments, a sincere willingness to be unpopular has become a balm to anticipated FOMO and all of its trickiness.
I'm not in it to be understood and adored by the masses...or even my family and friends. I'm not hanging my hat on whether everyone gets it and likes it or not. It's not that I don't seek out the advice of those around me; I listen to their thoughts and opinions with great care and interest. And I realize that what I'm hearing *may* be what's popular (aka safe, easy, the usual). And then I remind myself: I'm willing to be unpopular to go where I want to go.
p.s. This is as good a time as any to invite you to join me in the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Challenge. It starts February 4th and will be a great opportunity to practice on your willingness to be unpopular. :) Click below to get started!
p.p.s. Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for Sarah Wilson's 8-Week Program and I Quit Sugar. I only advocate for people and products that I am enormously impressed by. Sarah Wilson and team is one of those things.