Have you heard of FOMO? It sounds quite cool but it’s not cool at all when you have it. It’s the fear of missing out and it is a huge driver for burnout.
Typically it makes you feel that you absolutely need to be in every single meeting, to dance on every party, and that you cannot miss a single lesson of your Chinese course as well as of your gym class the same evening, even if you are going on a work trip the next morning, you have not packed yet, you have not eaten, you still need to call your parents and prepare the presentation for the next day.
How is that possible? It is driven by fear: the fear of disappointing others if you cancel, the fear of not being considered anymore when you don’t show up once or if you dare to say no, the feeling of emptiness when being just with yourself, the fear that at THIS party there could be the man/woman of your dreams, and so on and so on… Sounds familiar? Welcome to the club!
There is only one treatment for it: go through the fear of missing out. The only way to escape it in the long run is walking through, realizing again and again that you come out alive at the other end even when you take the risk of missing or not doing something.
And you may miss something – de facto we cannot be everywhere at the same time, and our experience would have been different if we decided to do something else with our current moment. And that is OK.
Very often I have been disappointed, having dragged myself somewhere just to find out that they would also have managed without me, or that I did not meet the significant other. Making sure I didn’t miss anything by going everywhere was the only way for me to calm down the fear of missing out. A high price to pay.
Life always looks better on the other side. Today I know that FOMO it is not killing me, even if it feels like it. But it is killing my joy, my health and my energy if I act on it.
“Freedom isn’t the ability to say yes. It is the ability to say no.”