How FOMO can f**k up with your brain

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I have FOMO. I asked confused: What is FOMO?

Fear of missing out, she told me. I had a good laugh thinking that she invented that word.

A few days ago, I notice myself getting triggered. I see yet another event taking place which some colleagues are attending, another course, another lesson. And I cannot join. And I start to panic. What if I miss something? What if not attending that workshop, nor reading that book, will interfere with my development? What if other people will find out things I don’t know about?

Even though I observe myself falling into this audiotape my mind is playing, I cannot stop. At least, not immediately. I hit the google search button, check the enrolment dates for that course and ask myself: Why do I want it? This is when my mind stops. Is this FOMO? Oh, yeah. And this is not the first time we meet.

I then inquire even more. When I started having this FOMO? I remember always chasing certifications, always wanting to attend events, even though not all were useful, nor did I resonated with all of them. I then remember that nothing made me more proud than collecting diplomas even since I was at school. And the next question was: What do these diplomas gave me? Well, confidence. I felt that I am worth it. I felt that I deserve. I felt proud. And so, this subject shows up again.

Even though we work on ourselves, thinking that we handled or healed certain aspects, that doesn’t mean that we will never again be triggered. Oh, no. Working on ourselves makes us respond differently. Makes us more conscious. If I hadn’t previously worked this subject out, I might have joined that class even though it was bad timing. But still, I was triggered.

Let’s go back to FOMO. I make a research on Google and found an interesting article on this topic:

„The fear of missing out refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem. It is often exacerbated by social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

FOMO is not just the sense that there might be better things that you could be doing at this moment, but it is the feeling that you are missing out on something fundamentally important that others are experiencing right now.”

And so I realize how widespread is this fear and I even start to notice it more to the people I interact with.

In my case, FOMO had to do with comparing myself with others at school (and not because I chose to do that). It then continued during my adulthood by comparing myself with other people’s bodies, job, life journey and so on. This gave me nothing more than envy, and the feeling that it is never going to be enough, no matter how many workshops I will attend nor how many books I will read.

And I remember that no one had my experiences. My journey is unique.

We all want to belong. But belonging means belonging to ourselves first. Fitting in is what separated us from our essence, from our true self.

Sharing my thoughts and struggles on this with a friend, she told me that I was having a beautiful combination of tools which I can use and adapt for my clients which she finds amazing. So sharing this to her made her surprised. And then I realize even more how our perceptions are messing up with us: we might think that the person in front of us has it all figured out, but actually we don’t know that person’s struggles, nor fears.

I remember seeing a message once: „Relax, nobody knows what they are doing.”

I thank myself for being more aware and for getting more in touch with my struggles and fears. And I relax. I might not have it all figured out, but I don’t intend to.

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