From FOMO to Fulfillment
Balancing Patience & Perseverence
By: Michell Stanley, LICSW, ACC, RYT
If it’s not obvious why finding flow is the best solution for FOMO, I am going to break it down:
The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is the anxiety-filled perception that something more exciting or interesting may currently be (or will be) happening elsewhere.
Alternatively, the flow state is that “In the Zone” sense of fluidity between your body and mind, where you are totally absorbed by and deeply focused on something, beyond the point of distraction. Time feels like it has slowed down. Your senses are heightened. You are at one with the task at hand, as action and awareness sync to create an effortless momentum.
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see how being in flow helps you to prioritize, enjoy and enhance the moment you are in presently, instead of longing to be somewhere else.
In this article I am going to share about how to harness the benefis of the flow state without feeling like you are missing out.
Un-limit Your Options
It’s impossible to make any choice without missing out from another. Accepting that you can’t do everything all at once lends to the uncertainty about the best option. The error we make when uncertain is by limiting our choices to only two polarized and unbalanced states. For example: “should I stay or should I go” doesn’t support you in figuring out what you like about both options and how to cultivate the “both, and” possibilities. So, the first step in finding flow is to recognize all the possible choices you have, and you better come up with more than two ;)
Get out of Your Comfort Zone
With FOMO we are usually pressed with two choices. One choice is usually more of the status quo or staying in your comfort zone of familiarity. The other choice involves a change or an uncomfortable risk. If you find yourself leaning towards staying in your status quo, consider just taking one small step go get out of your comfort zone without making an drastic change. The next time you are talking yourself out of making a move or change, consider the following:
- Get an outside/objective perspective on your situation
- Practice self-soothing your emotions instead of controlling the situation
- Learn a new skill or ability that supports a goal you have
- Change your daily routine in a small way (ie taking a different route to work)
- Take a cold shower or bath
Where Grit Goes Wrong
The other side of uncertainty includes the idea of moving, leaving or impulsive decision-making towards a desired change. Whether that’s a job, a move or a relationship, you “over-do-it” on the will, ambition and hustle to get towards a desired result, only to deplete yourself in the process. If you find yourself in the grips of grit try to:
- Re-evaluate your timelines, slow down & eliminate false urgency.
- Get support and collaboration from others
- Take time to sit (or meditate) with your questions and challenges to give space for solutions to spontaneously arise
Start Where You Are
The root of FOMO is a fear about a future consequence. The root of Flow is to focus on present fulfillment. So, a crucial step in getting over FOMO is to move away from wondering: “where/what else could I be”? and start asking:
- “How am I feeling/being now?
- Look at your current thoughts, feelings and needs in the present moment. Maybe the idea of going out sounds fun, but what you really right now is a nourishing meal and some rest.
Honor both Sides of Your Conflict
To make it plain: FOMO is a conflict about what you want. You think the conflict exists outside of you, but the conflict is almost always within. When you acknowledge your internal conflict, you will also be aware of the different emotions tied to each choice. Here’s some practical steps:
- Try to entertain, acknowledge and validate both sides of the conflict to find the middle path forward.
- Learning to listen and get information from your emotions rather than react to them will help you make more satisfying choices.
Invest with High Engagement & Low Attachment
Flow requires engaging in the situation that you’re in. Fully engaging means showing up with integrity in your words and behavior. Showing up fully engaged allows you to be more authentic and to get clarity about what serves you and what doesn’t in the present situation. If you don’t get everything you want all at once, that’s life. Focus on refining how you show up moving forward instead of trying to manipulate or control something to be different about the past.
The best way to find balance is through small steps. So to review what we did here:
- Start with where you are now.
- Listen to the thoughts and feelings about any present conflicts
- Use your intuition to prioritize needs
- Take a small step (mental, physical or emotional) towards getting more of what you want or need
- Engage fully with presence
- Evaluate how you can refine your path moving forward.
I would love to hear how these practices go for you . . . If you like what you got here, make sure to stay tuned in for more about the Intentional Living series that will be coming back (for the 4th year) this fall!
Please share this blog with anybody that you think would benefit and I look forward to continuing this conversation soon.
I use psychotherapy to alleviate symptoms of emotional distress (such as anxiety or depression). I use life coaching to maximize personal and professional potential towards the results you want for your future. I help my clients to gain more fulfillment by empowering them to develop intuition and insight through cultivating healthy lifestyle habits. My mission is to help people use emotional challenges as opportunities for self-growth and evolution. My holistic approach shows people how to get more Balance, Intimacy, and Trust in themselves and in their lives in order to thrive in the present and secure their legacy.