noun. anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
“I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO”
Organization Month is in nearing an end and while that has been helpful, it has also made me blatantly aware of the fact that I am not as organized as I think. It has also made me realize that in certain ways, mental organization is more important than simply organizing one’s closet. The other day I watched a Ted Talk with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love., who received advice from a friend that radically changed her life, “start saying ‘no’ to the things you want to do or you don’t have time to do and stop trying to be everything for everyone,” or something along those lines.
Apparently, this is not a new concept and nothing new for Elizabeth Gilbert because in searching out the quote on the interwebs, I discovered that she has reiterated this statement multiple times, which then got me thinking, ‘why have I not done this sooner?‘ As ‘self-help’ as it sounds, the statement was definitely something that I needed to hear and ascribe to my personal life because I constantly live with FOMO.
In recent months, I have been asking myself why I have allowed myself to live with FOMO, and what it was going to take to step back, in order to make time for the things I actually want to do.
Are the activities in question as much fun as I make them out to be in my head?
Are the relationships beneficial for everyone involved or do they leave me feeling drained and used?
It makes me feel as if social media has turned everything into there’s always something new around the corner that is more lucrative and interesting than the thing you are doing right now. And then what happens, is the things that I actually want to do, and the people I actually want to be around, take a backburner to the excitement of everything else.
Without giving any thought I know that I feel the happiest when I am among my closest family members and friends, reading, creating something—and while I know this to be true, I also completely understand that I am not asking anyone abandon the connections that occasionally give them FOMO, just merely abandon FOMO.
FOMO is a choice, and its antidote is being present in the moment, and tuning in to what you are experiencing now, and choosing what will better your experience later. Things I want to do will often be set aside because I am motivated by fun. So if something sounds more appealing or will involve excitement in any way, more often than not, that is the option I will choose.
For productivity junkies, this situation will probably never cross their minds—but for those of us who are swayed by FOMO and instant gratification, these situations are frequent and often left unmanaged. So in an effort to try and start saying ‘no’ to things that I want to do, I have attempted to take a productivity hack from the self-help book Wonder Over Worry, by Amber Rae, and have implemented it in my bullet journal, as a list under these headers.
Things I Want
Things I Want More
So I Choose
And I Will Stop
I start by filling out the boxes, cringing the entire time, AND OH MY GOD it was the most helpful thing I have ever done. I started saying ‘no’ to FOMO, and Netflix binging, and draining people, and have focused my energy on actual priorities.
Sounds dramatic, but dammit, if it didn’t help I would definitely not be attempting to convince you to give it a try.
Next step, FFD (freedom from documentation).