It may be the season to be jolly. But it is also very much the season of FOMO pangs.
“Keeping up with the Jones” has been a phrase that has been around for many years.
However, in recent years we have now gained an unprecedented access to witnessing highlights of others’ lives. I say highlights because in the majority of the cases you are being shown the edited version of a story.
The brightest moments, the most luxurious indulgences and the most “arrived” symbols of success and happiness dot the digital canvas. Two decades back, images were rarer and more difficult to share around as compared to today. And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
So being bombarded as we are with these scintillating moments and frequent news from not only our immediate circles, but from every corner of the globe and every privileged class, much confusion can be generated.
The ego tends to compare. The ego tends to compete. The ego tends to crave.
All of which makes us forget that for every positive outcome being projected, there are numerous ‘outtakes’ that one is not seeing.
That for every choice that is made, there are pros and cons.
That current life stage, circumstances and appropriateness differ for everyone.
That however smart or conscious we consider ourselves, we are continually being manipulated by the digital platforms and advertisers to seek more, spend more.
We forget that there are infinite experiences available in this world and we can never possibly have all of them in one lifetime.
We forget that by using our resources and precious, limited time in one way, we may be denying ourselves the space and energy for what we truly value or actually contributes to us in some way.
We forget that who we are is not defined by our material possessions, nor our social media accolades.
Dismissing rational thought, self awareness, and acceptance of the fact that we are all different, we get caught in the game of keeping up with our elevated perception of others. Imagining that others have found a way to magically have pleasure after pleasure, without any challenges and we are missing out on that life.
FOMO compels us to chase more, never convinced that we are enough or have enough.
FOMO is “used to describe that feeling of anxiety which many people experience when they discover that other people have had fun together, been successful at something, or done just about anything which they might have wanted to be involved in. FOMO manifests itself in various ways, from a brief pang of envy through to a real sense of self-doubt or inadequacy.”~ Macmillan Dictionary
It is utterly human to want to belong. To want to be part of a ‘happening clique’. To crave a high in a world that often seems to tether towards a dystopian end fast. We can also tell ourselves that our discontent or envy fuels our ambitions to be more, do more and have more. But in reality, if this justification is only diminishing our life experience and causing us stress, its time to pause and take stock
For FOMO affects our self esteem, makes us feel helpless, left out and sorry for our self. It skews our ideas of normal and lowers our self confidence. Anxious and relentless, we could make urgent, impulsive decisions with dramatic, long term consequences.
In short, FOMO leaves us feeling disturbed, on-edge and disgruntled.
The irony is that all this unhappiness is being caused by a desperation to feel a happiness/peak experience that we imagine another is having. (We have no way to actually know the full truth of their experience.)
The bottomline is that any fear driven choice can never be fully satisfactory.
Every temporary high is quickly followed by an equally strong low that anxiously looks for the next proof of belonging, status, excitement and happiness. For the underlying fears remain undiluted. Unattended, we can end up in an endless, often hedonistic, repetitive, eventually mind-body-energy-emotions-finances depleting loop.
Hence, a pause and asking ourselves a few questions may be worth our consideration:
- What if instead of choosing from a fear of missing out I chose from a love for my self and existence instead?
- What is FOMO making me choose that I am better off refusing?
- What if I shifted my attention from what others appear to be enjoying to what I genuinely enjoy for myself?
- What if I chose to move from a complaint of lack to an appreciation of how I am and what I already have?
- What if I were more attentive and receptive to whatever is present instead of lamenting over what I imagine I am missing out on?
- What if I moved from a lens of comparison and competition to creative self expression and self mastery instead?
- What if I expanded my awareness from the temporary, illusory and elusive and allowed the permanent, real and omnipresent to weigh in as well?
If the above inquiry appeals to you, consider using along with EFT, Now Healing or Access Consciousness as energetic clearings.
I would be happy if this post helps contribute to a soulful, sustainable joy, sense of peace and an appreciation of all that you inherently are in the coming new year. Cheers!