I ran across this article on Facebook this morning, and found it insightful and reassuring - perhaps especially pertinent for those of us with a touch of e7.
From The Art of Manliness' Brett & Kate McKay, "Fighting FOMO: 4 Questions That Will Crush the Fear of Missing Out". I've taken a few excerpts from each bulletin point, but the whole article is really worth reading for specific examples, and the bonus question at the end.
Fighting FOMO: 4 Questions That Will Crush the Fear of Missing Out | The Art of Manliness
[image from Huffpost]
To set the stage, FOMO often starts when we hop on social media and see our peers' updates about the fantastic travels they're on, vacations they're taking, challenges they're conquering, and life milestones they're celebrating. At first you're interested and engaged by the bright and colorful pictures. Then you feel the nagging, quiet feeling of emptiness creeping in... and the little timer running out... why aren't you travelling like this? Why aren't you on vacation right now? Why haven't you reached the summit of K2, helped build hospitals in the Caribbean, or seen the Northern Lights? Why aren't you working on your dissertation, sending Save-The-Dates, or breaking ground on your first house...?
That sinking, belittling feeling can cast a shadow over your day - but it's not always particularly rational. To help turn FOMO from a gloomy little cloud into a useful tool, the article offers the four following directive questions to ask oneself:
1. Is this something I really wished I was doing?
The funny thing about FOMO is that it doesn't always arise from seeing someone do something that you wish you were doing yourself [...] It's important to realize that FOMO is often spawned not from your desire to have made another person's specific choice, but simply from the reminder that other people have made different choices from your own. Such a reminder not only creates an awareness of this one alternative choice, but in fact brings to your mind the entire plane of seemingly infinite choices before you. To see that another person is somewhere else on the map is to remember that choosing one path means missing another, and this triggers the essence of FOMO: insecurity in our own choices [...] we are frequently beset with one nagging worry: Have I made the right decisions?2. Is this feeling telling me something that I need to change?
While FOMO may sometimes be caused by the field of life choices suddenly flashing into your consciousness, sometimes it does point to something deeper: that you aren't happy with your current life and there is something out there you wish you were doing instead. Therefore, you should examine the source of your FOMO before dismissing it; there may be a good reason you feel insecure about your decisions.3. Is this something that is viable for me right now?
Sometimes the source of our FOMO is indeed something we wish we were doing, but, it's not the right time or the best time for us to be doing that thing.
Something that we've mentioned before on the site, and that I think is incredibly important, is embracing the idea of different seasons in your life [...] Even if you love skiing, there's no sense in pining for it in the middle of July, and you're better off concentrating on what you can only do during the season you're currently in (swimming! wake boarding!)One last excerpt:Is this an accurate representation of reality?
[...] Everyone's online personas are carefully curated representations of how they want others to see them and how they wish to see themselves. [...] it's not just the negative stuff that gets edited out - all the neutral, mundane tasks of life don't make the cut either. [...] Steven Furtick said it best: "Never compare your behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
Do you guys deal with FOMO? I definitely do from time to time, especially when I see people I look up to going through major life events. Sometimes, too, it's fun to get lost in someone else's "dream world" without the details of reality setting in. I try to use it as an opportunity to envision and refine my own plans, though sometimes I just have to close that browser window and jump back into the nitty-gritty of my life.Even if you aren't feeling FOMO, be aware of what you're posting, and that it may contribute to other people's FOMO. Are you trying to build yourself up in the eyes of "friends"? Or are you legitimately trying to share life's moments with those you care about?