I've struggled with career indecision and FOMO for years, had spoken to several career advisers and no one was able to provide an answer that made sense. So I researched the issue myself and found something interesting. I am posting it here because I wish I had known about how to overcome the fear of missing out while I was studying. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy...
So, what's FOMO?
If you’ve ever been on holiday, yet wanting to keep in touch with anything going on in your busy life, you know what I am talking about.
If you need to check social networks all the time to see what your friends have been up to, you know what I am talking about.
And finally, if you couldn’t stick to a single idea/career/project/hobby to pursue, because you didn’t want to miss out on the many ‘cool’ others you hear about, then you definitely know what I am talking about. I know this very well, I've even ended up writing a book about FOMO and careers.
The bad news is that not knowing what to do in life because every idea seems appealing is a real issue (and getting stuck/frustrated with time passing by doesn’t certainly help).
The good news is that FOMO is reversible.
The ugly news is that it takes some efforts.
In a scenario where you are choosing what to do with your life, but are constantly distracted by shiny and alluring side-paths, you need first to become bulletproof to all those fake paths that the world won’t stop throwing at you whenever you are online or talk to your friends.
The first step is to fearlessly get in touch with your emotions whenever you feel FOMO beginning to grip your thoughts. If, for example, you’ve chosen singing as the passion you want to follow, but then the idea of becoming a crypto-currency expert starts popping in your mind, you should ask yourself HOW. How would you feel if you let go of becoming an expert in digital coins? Is there a strong feeling of missing out?
The second step is to go even deeper and ask yourself WHY. Why would you want to become one? Sit down for a minute and think of the forces pushing you towards it. Are you metaphorically ready to die for crypto-currencies to make it your life mission? OK, this is an extreme question, but you should push your thoughts to realize to what extent something interest you or whether it’s just a fad. If it is a fad, then you should scavenge in your head: sometimes we do things to please people around us or to appear cool in front of them. Don’t be afraid to judge yourself and to reveal those silent truths you keep inside.
The third step is to keep this questioning attitude ON at all times and make a habit of dissecting your emotions, scraping the surface and looking at what’s hiding beneath. Over time FOMO will be replaced by JOMO (joy of missing out), where distracting ideas will cross your mind and then leave you alone. Because by then you’ll know WHY you’re on your path.
As Michelangelo put it while sculpting his David “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”, once you carve out the marble of ideas in front of you, there will lie your true path.
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