Am I Missing Out?
FoMO, short for the Fear of Missing Out, is the feeling that everybody out there is benefiting from the best experiences this world can give, and you are just not part it. You lost the lottery of opportunities so you might just suck it up and be grateful for the little that you have. WRONG.
I think everybody at some point in their lives has experienced this kind of phobia, either be it as a small episode – where you didn’t decide to go at a particular party/meeting/event, which turned out to be really successful after all – or prolonged states of frustration – where you tried your best to please everybody by being everywhere whenever needed, indifferent of your own schedule and needs.
This phenomenon is more likely to appear when you move to a different place, begin or change the university, get to enter a new group, and the list goes on and on; with extroverts being more exposed than introverts to this kind of social “malady”, unfortunately. Basically, a change in your normal environment is enough to spark the FoMO monster ..unless.. Unless you have attained a level of self-mastery where you remain true to yourself and your mission in life, no matter what.
I myself have fallen for this trap when I moved to Berlin, Germany, 3 weeks ago. The city is quite underground but sexy and has a lot of opportunities to offer. There’s a big abundance of all kind of events, from really cool DJ parties and running marathons to open-air concerts and entrepreneurship fairs – to name a few – and I didn’t know how to split my time properly in order to get the maximum out of each of those experiences. I wanted to attend all of them, no doubt. I was satisfied for the beginning, got to see some extraordinary places and made some nice memories on top of that; but I soon got really tired of behaving like a tourist. Something wasn’t ticking well. I was deviating from my true purpose.
So how do you cure yourself from FoMO? Luckily I was reading at that time “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle, which served as a well-needed “back to reality” shock. Or better put, a true spiritual enlightenment, as the sub-title indicates.
The author advocates for the awakening of the ordinary man to its own true potential. He argues that the main root of misfortune and evil is actually our own mind, which tends to overthink things and bring the worst case scenarios out of every situation possible. Quite true if you think about it. And FoMO is no exception. But why would the mind do this? Isn’t it supposed to help me along my life journey? This is just the defense mechanism that our neanderthal brains still operate with. As a matter of fact, it is the ego’s last defense line that prevents its own extinction. Because without ego, the mind would lose its own identity, the so called “pain-body”, and would not have control over you anymore. It would remain just a cunning tool, which is in fact its primary role in each and everybody’s existance.
The antidote to FoMO and ego in general is consciousness. By being present in the moment, one silences his own mind and becomes master again over its servant (the mind), bringing his own light (spirit) into realization. This implies that you accept the present situation exactly as it is,”going with the flow’ as one might say, then do whatever it is in your power to:
- Get out of the situation; or
- Change the situation; or
- Improve the situation for the better.
The decision belongs to you. Of course, this practice of self fulfillment might not look so simple as I portrayed it and would imply other strategies too, but I have summarized the most important and approachable one for you (for a better understanding of this transformation I urge you to read the book).
So what if there’s a cool event where everybody you know is going? What are you going to actually miss on? Constantly showing up everywhere is not going to get you far in life anyway. “Rather work on yourself. Personal development.” as Jim Rohn’s would say. Don’t chase people and small pleasures. Instead attract people by who you are, your qualities, skills and set of strengths, and through your own actions. They should speak louder than words. In fact, it is quite fascinating how everything – the exterior – solves by itself when you take care of yourself – the interior. At this latter enlightened level opportunities seek you, people want to be around you and everything seems to be going around the clock in every aspect of your life, just like in a miracle. But it’s not. It is your consciousness and hard work that brought the true self to the surface.
The practice of self-consciousness is quite hard in the beginning, but worth it. Practice it whenever you feel that the FoMO bug bit you or your ego kicks in, and you will soon see how everything in your life falls into its own place.
“The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle