FOMO, fear of missing out, is actually an ancient idea, brought more to the forefront by social media. Now, we have access to a bajillion ideas, thoughts, events…and (insert suspenseful music here)… the perfection of other people’s lives. And it’s made our FOMO even worse.
But let’s take it a step further: what about when FOMO interferes with your vision and goals? You know I’m a fan of the plan! I have lots of them. There are multiple tracks running parallel in my head! I have a business plan, a sales plan, a retirement plan, a relationship plan, etc. And they all converge at one central station at some point. But! If I am not careful, my FOMO can derail my best-laid plans.
Every day is a negotiation. Sticking with the train theme, each day there are a million FOMO moments where I have to decide: Do I want to stop at this station for a bit, which may delay my arrival at the end station? Choices! Everything is a choice!
And yes, sometimes I do stop temporarily to do something I didn’t anticipate in my grand plan. There’s nothing wrong with that – as long as I know where I’m headed in the long run.
See, the thing is, life happens – outside of our plans. Having a plan isn’t all about sacrifice. It’s about guidance. A plan is a guide to get you to your goal.
Don’t think of your plan as an either/or thing! A plan is not a regimented outline without spontaneity or deviation or fun. My plan is to take more vacations this year – now THAT’S fun!
But, there are lots of things distracting us from our end goal. Social media provides an immediate and constant distraction from our OWN lives and can divert our attention from where it should be. And let’s not even start on all the invites for fun things to do!
. . And that is totally fine if it aligns with your plan. The issue is that most people are not clear on their plan in the first place, so when FOMO creeps in, it wins. Every time.
One of the best tools for fighting FOMO is to firmly grasp the idea of “need” versus “want,” necessity vs. fun. These are two very different ideas! Remember how we talked about choices? It’s time to make some!
First, make a list… distinguish what is truly important and necessary from what is merely desirable and trendy.
Second, let some things go. There’s no end to what we desire, but our needs are really very few. Prioritize your wants.
Finally, enjoy the ride! Grab on to rails, be grateful for the journey and make a choice to be choosey about your experiences! You’ll realize that FOMO still shows up (pretty often), but you can decide whether you go down that track with them, or stay the course!