FOMO CAN BE GOOD
Do you struggle with FOMO? FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
Do you see others doing or having things you wish you could do or have for yourself? I do… sometimes. We often hear how debilitating this can be if it starts to control your life and affects the way you live. As a result, there has been a negative association with having FOMO but I do not agree it has to be this way.
I think FOMO can be a tool that when used appropriately can make the difference between holding back and moving forward.
Over the years I have found having FOMO in certain situations has been my motivator to keep going, to push through, to challenge myself and not be told I can’t do something - ultimately to live a life less broken than if FOMO wasn’t present.
When the Spinal Specialist told me I would never walk again, it started a cycle of FOMO that related to all the things I would miss because of my injury. The fear of not being able to have a fulfilling life as I would have, had I been walking. It also started a cycle of proving that there were still so many things I could still do, albeit sometimes done differently now. I had to prove it to myself they could still be done.
FOMO has been my fuel on many days to go after what others (and myself) have said or assumed I cannot have or do. Things like getting a university education, I took 5 years to complete a 3-year degree as per the norm, but it was completed. Getting a job and working like everyone else, it has often had to be on a part-time basis but it has been consistent none the less.
I have often taken on the challenge of completing adrenalin activities such as parasailing, sit-skiing, tandem skydiving, jet boat riding etc. Feeding an inner yearning to show the world (and again especially myself) that these extreme activities are not over for me. There is always an element of fighting my own fears and doubts in every situation. Each activity is an opportunity to grow emotionally.
FOMO has also meant that I fit more into my days. I don’t want to miss out on catching up with people and experiencing new things. These days I am very conscious of how precious life is and how quickly it could all be over. So yes, the ironing or house cleaning gets pushed to the side for later; on many occasions, it is not my top priority.
My struggle to say ‘no’ to people has also contributed to my FOMO. It is something that needs balancing but when utilised in a healthy way, saying ‘yes’ also packs more things in my day and my life. My goal in life is to look back and have no regrets that I could have done more. I know I cannot do everything all of the time, however, knowing I have attempted as much as I can will ensure my life is fulfilling and as good as it could have been, if not better, than if I had been walking.
Embrace your FOMO, acknowledge it, own it, use it and keep it balanced. Ensure the fear of missing out you have is to do with your path, your life journey, your experiences and not that of other people’s. Make it work for you to fill your life with all the goodness that you want your mind to look back on when we get to the other end of life’s journey.