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Joy: What It Is, And Isn't

01.21.22 06:49 PM By Allison Moore

Less FOMO, More JOMO!

The references are all around us - “Spark joy”, “Joy to the World” and one that helped me reclaim my professional self - thank you Lucinda! -simply “Joy!”. Sometimes joy is confused with happiness. It goes unrecognized as the opposite of fear. And it is gratitude’s uplifting partner. 


In Dr. Brené Brown’s most recent book Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, she differentiates joy and happiness. “Joy is sudden, unexpected, short-lasting, and high-intensity. It’s characterized by a connection with others, or with God, nature, or the universe. Joy expands our thinking and attention, and it fills us with a sense of freedom and abandon.”   


Who doesn’t want more of that? 


FOMO: The Comparison and Judgment Trap


But, FOMO is ubiquitous. With all of the “noise” in our day-to-day lives, it can be nearly impossible to recognize joy. Is your to-do list a mile long? And your default response to anyone asking about how you are is “BUSY!” Maybe you are filling your living space with material items in an effort to create joy through coziness. Or, you seek out the latest-greatest-hottest gadget, handbag, fitness equipment, or app to thrill and delight your senses. Ask yourself if those things you buy are connecting you with fellow humans, or is it a way to compare and judge yourself and others? 


How might consumerism be interfering with your joy? The comparison game keeps you striving to be noticed while still “fitting in.” Over the long-haul, this zaps mental and physical energy, numbs one from deeper feelings, and turns relationships into brittle, delicate objects that may break in the face of truth/hardship. Clicking the “Buy Now” button is easy while you stuff down and compartmentalize your fears. A false sense of satisfaction is delivered in the statement, “Yay! Your shipment is on its way!”


Seeking acceptance through the purchase of things becomes a salve for one's negative self-perception. The Minimalists addressed shopping addiction in Episode 306 of their podcast and how this behavior is pleasurable in the moment and is misconceived as producing joy. Other important relationship themes are highlighted  in their recent book Love People Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works, and the most vital relationship is the one you have with yourself.


JOMO: Take the Purposeful Path


Coaches hold the belief that individuals are creative, resourceful, and emotionally whole. Unfortunately, many people struggle with the concept that they are enough; always feeling inadequate or less than. Admitting and doing something about your fears is more challenging than browsing and buying on Amazon, but the feel-good sensation lasts a lifetime when you align your values and actions. Allowing for self-acceptance and practicing self-compassion is at the core to making this type of lifestyle shift. Seeking support to make the lifestyle changes you desire demonstrates a strength of bravery - exactly what is needed to take action against fear. 


Let’s embrace JOMO and find meaningful ways to engage with friends, family and loved-ones to create that sense of purpose and contentment within our life. @box52coaching

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