FOMO - Fear of missing out.
It's been described as the plight of our age, and could be a key factor as to why so many of us are suffering from anxiety these days.
Personally, I find it occurs when there's:
- Too many options
- Too much information
- Too much noise
By saying 'yes' to one thing, we're essentially saying 'no' to everything else.
Jason Silva calls this 'bandwidth anxiety' - There's literally too much information to download.
FOMO can stop you dead in your tracks, and it's almost impossible to rebuild the momentum.
I found it easier to cope once I acknowledged that this is a normal thing that we all feel.
There's actually a serenity that comes once you do this... Maybe it's the application of Buddhist principles, maybe I overthink things, but when you begin to let go it's actually quite empowering.
When I feel this anxiety, I go back to an idea from The One Thing by Gary Keller.
'What's the one thing I can do (RIGHT NOW), such that by doing it, will make everything else easier or unnecessary'.
Keller calls this the focussing question. And I think that focussing is the key to getting around the plight of FOMO.
Ultimately, we have to make decisions.
Time is constantly moving forwards; that's the only thing in life we can be truly certain of. So unless we want to stay still or stagnate, we must make constant adjustments.
We need to be mindful. Cut out distractions and truly be present in any task or situation we find ourselves in.
Put the phone down, don't check Facebook... Give yourself a task to complete, then do it.
There's never been more things to watch, places to go or people to meet... Time is our rarest commodity, but we continue to kill it.
Pick something, anything, then give it your entire focus and attention.
Then pick something else and repeat.
I've found this helps.