FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) can leave you in debt and with financial regret. We are living in an age where we can follow the lives of friends and strangers on social media.
We face a constant barrage of photos of fancy brunches, concerts, luxurious vacations, over the top weddings, new cars, #OOTD (outfit of the day), and more, and the pressure to keep up is higher than ever. However, the reality of social media is that it only shows one side of people’s lives. People rarely show the mundane things in their lives or the tough stuff, creating an illusion of constant glitz and glamor. Unfortunately, this illusion creates a tremendous amount of pressure to “keep up”, which often involves a lot of spending on eating out, fancy cocktails, vacations, the latest technology, and new outfits – all things that come at a great expense and can hinder you from achieving important financial goals like saving for retirement, being able to purchase a house, or building an emergency fund.
So, how do you keep up without going into debt for the sake of some great Instagram shots?
Factor Fun Into Your Budget
Look, no one’s saying you can’t have a little fun and treat yourself once in a while! But the key is finding a balance between having fun while still putting money towards savings and paying down debt, not accumulating more. Take time to review your current budget (or create one if you haven’t already). Look at your recent spending habits, whether you’re meeting important financial obligations such as paying money towards outstanding debts, and how you can make adjustments. It is important to leave some room in your budget for things like entertainment and dining out, but by setting a reasonable spending limit for these things, you can avoid getting carried away in the moment.
If you have your eyes on a bigger expense such as a vacation, be sure to plan ahead. Estimate what expenses will be involved and make a plan to put money away each month to work towards this goal. A well thought-out budget makes it possible to find a balance so you can pay off debt and still have a social life.
Pay Cash, Not Credit
It can be tempting to give into indulgences like a last-minute vacation with a simple swipe of your credit card, but this is a quick road towards unmanageable debt. Even charging smaller indulgences like dinners out with friends can quickly add up faster than you think and leave you with a credit card statement at the end of the month that you can’t afford to pay off. Instead, pay cash for these types of purchases, and if an outing is involved (such as a concert or sports game), bring a predetermined amount of spending money with you and spend that and only that. By paying cash and not credit, you’ll become more aware of your spending habits and learn where you can cut back; perhaps you’ll decide it’s not worth ordering dessert or that extra glass of wine every time you go out for dinner. You’ll also avoid racking up high credit card bills (and their high interest rates). If you properly factor these expenses into your budget, you should have enough money to always pay cash rather than credit and enjoy these expenditures guilt-free!
Learn to Just Say “No”
The problem with social media is it makes everyone’s lives look like a constant barrage of fun – but what you don’t see is the times people decide to stay in and cook at home or the concert they had to miss out on. What you also don’t see is the price people are paying for their extravagant lifestyles – anyone can “afford” nice vacations and dinners if they have enough credit cards, but those expenses will come back to haunt them. Once we come to the realization that social media paints an overly perfect picture of peoples’ lives, we’ll feel less pressure to say “yes” to everything.
While it may feel unfair to not be doing all the same things your friends are doing, you’ll soon come to find that the cost of missing out will more than be made up for in the fact that you won’t be racking up out of control credit card debt. Instead, you’ll be building up savings so that things like a house, a nice collection of wine, a new car, or a retirement full of travel and adventures are all well within reach for your future self. A little bit of restraint now will allow you to indulge in a more fulfilling and meaningful way later.
We are living in a time when women are rising to new heights which means they are regularly being confronted with the fear of being "too much". For women in business this is pervasive and costly.
A few ways women can be perceived as "too much" are:
Speaking up about their successes and achievements.
Sharing one too many photos of their cute kids.
Telling one too many people about that date night.
Looking a little too good in that swimsuit.
These can lead to being publicly attacked on social media or privately slandered which in turn leads to women dimming their light and walking on egg shells in hopes of avoiding conflict and judgement.
The minute a woman feels it's unsafe to shine she will begin to overthink, worry, and fear how she shows up in the world.
Forgetting to announce the book is done and the interview is live.
Choosing to focus on what's still on the to-do list rather than what's been checked off.
Many female entrepreneurs are subconsciously altering their behavior in an attempt to not attract too much attention to themselves, rather than focusing on allowing authenticity and magnetism to attract their ideal clients and community.
Women are afraid of being criticized, ostracized, and abandoned by other women for simply being who they are. This leads to quite the quantum when being who you are is simplest way to accelerate the growth of your business.
New research shows men are far more comfortable with self promotion than women are. Researchers found that men rate their own performance 33 percent higher than equally performing women. What we know is that self promotion pays off and this is where women are missing the boat.
The world needs more women to step into leadership roles and no longer be intimidated about creating six and seven figure careers.
Here are five ways to release the fear of being "too much":
1. Approve of yourself.
While it feels good to receive outside validation it will never be enough if you don't first appreciate yourself. The key to having a healthy support system is to make sure you are part of it. Being your biggest critic is what your mother's generation did. It's now time to be your biggest cheerleader. Becoming aware of self talk will reveal what belief is ready to be re-wired. Create a simply mantra that affirms how incredible capable you are.
2. Connect deeply to those you serve.
One powerful way to shift out of people pleasing behavior is to get clear on who actually matters to the wellbeing and success of your life and business. Leadership is not about being the most popular, instead it's a decision to be brave for those who can't be. Take a few minutes each day to visualize and meditate on those your business serves and supports. See your future clients moving toward you every time you choose to stand in your power and use your authentic voice.
3. Remember the legacy you wish to leave.
Having your life purpose and legacy in writing is one of the most transformational exercises you can do. Reading this often will keep you focused on what matters. Knowing what you wish to leave in the hearts of those you love most is incredibly grounding. You didn't come here to keep your mouth shut, dilute your truth, or dim your light-you came here to make a difference.
4. Forgive those who have been unsupportive in the past.
The past has a way of informing the future in a negative way when there is unresolved pain. Take a few minutes to get quiet and ask yourself who you have unforgiveness towards or maybe their name came to mind as you read this article. Listening to a forgiveness meditation or writing a letter to the person you are ready to forgive are both simple and effective ways to process and heal.
5. Be part a community of bright, successful women.
Meaningful relationships with others who have similar aspirations is what will keep you out of isolation and playing small. These connections can happen in a networking group, online community or a local Meetup. Thriving in every area of life is depend on you knowing where you belong and being celebrated there. Don't wait to be invited, go actively seek out people and places that support your dreams and desires.
6. Accept you can have it all.
Women have been fed a lie for generations that says, you can have love or money. Decide you can have it all and allow it to flow to you. You can have a successful career and an amazing mother. You can balance motherhood and loving marriage. Don't let anyone write the rules for you. This is the time to create the life you desire on your terms.
7. Celebrate everything!
The fastest way to leave the haters in the dust is to celebrate everything! At the end of each day lay in bed and recall the best moments. At the end of each week, publicly acknowledge and celebrate what's good in your life. Once a month, have a celebration dinner and share it with those who have helped you in the journey. If there's something good happening, talk about it with everyone who will listen!
May you be a woman who chooses to shine so that others may be reminded of all they can be and do.