Don’t worry; the ‘F’ words I will be talking about today are family friendly and sparkling clean. They can, however, be a catalyst for huge change.
As a digestive expert and nutrition consultant I deal a lot with women in their 40’s around the world. I hear these themes mentioned time and time again. I would be willing to guess that you too have felt challenged by some of these ‘4-letter conditions’ as well. Let’s begin to explore these F-words and replace them with more vital and more confident wellness attitudes!
1. FOGO (Fear of Getting Old)
This one most certainly has a familiar ring, doesn’t it? If you dread the aging process, you are in good company. Wrinkles, career changes, health issues, and memory lapses are just the tip of the aging-apprehension iceberg.
As understandable as that is, perhaps you can find other ways to approach maturity rather than just through the lens of ‘impending doom.’ Look at the positives that accompany every added year: new experiences, new people, and most of all, the wisdom and greater understanding that weave into the rich tapestry of your life. Age does not need to always be accompanied by infirmity and gloom. Acquire now some tools for aging healthfully in the years ahead, taking your motivation and vitality with you. After all, while aging is inevitable, suffering is only optional.
2. FOMO (Fear of Moving On)
It is by far the easier path when you choose to remain in your comfort zone. As soon as you start to feel on edge when faced with a new situation, running back to what is considered familiar and seeking protection from the unknown can be tempting. However, true growth often comes from breaking free from those worn-out habits that no longer serve you. Stretching to meet the demands of a new challenge can open your mind and expand our horizons—at every age. The next time something feels new, remember: Retreat and reversal do not have to be your automatic response!
3. FOTO (Fear of Trusting Oneself)
After confronting the fear of moving on and taking that leap forward anyway, women not uncommonly may feel threatened. Second-guessing the decision to be bolder often follows that first giant step. As you forge ahead through uncharted territory, you may often feel skeptical, question your decisions (‘what was I thinking?’), and lose confidence in your ability to make different, empowering, updated choices for yourself.
Avoid getting caught in that trap. Instead, accept and even embrace the new route you have so carefully picked out for yourself. Tapping into your own intuition can be a very rewarding process!
4. FONE (Fear of Not Enough)
I often like to relay the story of a client who came to see me feeling tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. She confessed that she often woke at all hours of the night and early morning with a heart pounding fear of not having enough money. This disrupted her sleep regularly. Her feeling of lack extended past just money, too, until she truly came to believe she would never have enough of anything—money, love, weight loss, validation, clothes…
As we age, many of us worry that we will slowly or suddenly run out of resources. This particular client and I discussed this issue in depth, and she realized that she, indeed, had enough right now, though she did need to plan and save for the future. For many of us, the truth is that we do have everything we need to be happy, grateful, and satisfied. The key to quieting those fears of not enough: Confront them head-on. Know your numbers so you can have realistic expectations—and make solid, wise course corrections now if necessary. Practice gratitude and count your blessings daily.
5. FOMO part 2(Fear of Missing Out)
The insecurity that many of you may feel when reading glowing reports from friends, strangers and others, especially on social media, has extended into various areas in your life too. Watching others enjoy and excel can lead to unfair comparison and negative self-judgment, which in turns spurs anxiety about our own performance.
When I came to realize I was becoming discouraged reading about others’ adventures and exploits on Facebook, I chose to cut down on my social media use. Instead, I opted to experience offline activities to engage firsthand in meaningful pursuits with real friends, face to face. Are you feeling left out and over-comparing yourself to others? Start by setting yourself some boundaries and become your own smart, positive example!
I am sure that everyone experiences these common uncertainties from time to time. Know that the path through life may not be a smooth, even straight line—but staying as balanced and stress-free as possible is an important goal while forging our way through. If you make the conscious choice to face those fears that pose as speed bumps along the way, the result is your continued ability to build and foster resiliency and strength and become better for the struggle. What a worthwhile journey! F-words be gone – navigate them with a positive, forward thinking outlook and watch yourself grow!