Someone told me early last week that he had ‘F.O.M.O’ – a ‘fear of missing out’.
After I had gotten passed the inital shock of such a horrible acronym being used in general conversation, I started to ponder this fear..
I guess the best (or easiest) example of this is with view to relationships and not wanting to let go of the single life, where, arguably, you’re free to go wherever you fancy and generally ‘do what you want’.
But why is it that people only have ‘fear of missing out’ on the things they already have when faced with the possibility of letting them go? Why isn’t there fear of missing out on the things you’re not grabbing with both hands? The nature of decision making, and of life, means that there’s always something that you won’t be able to do; I can’t have my cake if I want to eat it, no matter how much I wish I could have both!
Is it, perhaps, that the alternative (ie. the entering into a relationship, and ‘settling down’ in the case of my previous example) is seemingly always going to be there? It’s a future that you can afford not to go after and grab now because you’ll catch it again later, but the present is fleeting?
I can’t believe that.. Surely nothing can be so certain that one can afford to be complacent and ‘put it off for later’ – particularly when external factors, and people, are involved. I also don’t believe that there are many (if any) decisions that lead you to a path you cannot return from if you decide differently later down the line and wish to go a different way. (In the words of Kylie ‘It’s never too late to change your mind’!)
Perhaps then, F.O.M.O (to remind you once again of that horrid acronym) should instead stand for ‘Fear of Moving On’, since missing out is an inevitability, and even if you stop still, and put off making an apparently big decision because you’re not quite sure what you might want now, or you’re second-guessing what the future You might want, you’re still missing masses of opportunities, just somehow without that same fear.
I am very lucky to not suffer from this fear of progress, or at least not so much that it cripples me. (Perhaps a little fear is good to bring on the adrenaline needed to take action.)
I know what I want, and am able to make tough choices and initiate change, even if I’d rather have a little more time without having to do so.
After all, the way to conquor a fear is to confront it.. Your choices now will not bind you forever if you decide to change paths, and who knows, you may enjoy it!