Are you a FOMO sufferer? (FYI: You are.)

Gray and I just got back from an amazing Washington DC and NYC adventure.  With almost 3 weeks of friends, family and a ridiculous amount of food, I can honestly say, the trip was amazing and it’s good to be home.

Now what would a good trip be without a few moments of enlightenment, I ask you?

I certainly wasn’t looking for any as I had distinctly decided to give myself a “self-discovery” reprieve.   This was going to be a 3 week enlightenment-free zone and I was stoked.  I'm all about digging deep and in doing it every day with my clients (and myself), I decided my inner enlightenment lady deserved a break.

However, we don’t always get to choose when it’s time for an enlightement lesson and so I was hit with a zinger during our first dinner in NYC.  We were sitting with our dear friends Satya and Jeffrey and chatting away after having ordered a number of dishes to share.  I was struggling to concentrate on the conversation as I was hungry and my mind kept drifting off to the short rib dish we decided on.  Before long our many dishes arrived, including the aforementioned and deeply coveted short rib.  The dish was gorgeously mideval-looking with the giant short rib covered in peppercorns and bejeweled with walnuts and olives.

Yes, that was my dish and I needed it NOW. 

Not after the grilled poussin, not after the whole branzino, NOW.  The only problem was the unknowing server placed the dish at the end of the table next to the boys. How could he have missed my "come hither with that meat", look? I couldn't have been more direct.  I began to panic. My beloved short rib was so far away and those greedy boys were going to eat it all!

I quickly spat out, “UM, can I get the short rib down here, please?  I just want to make sure I get some before you boys don’t eat it all.”  Nice Jamie.  Way to look desperate and crazy.

And then Jeffrey said it.  “Jamie, are you suffering from FOMO?”

I’ve suffered from a number of things but last I checked, FOMO was not on the list.

“I don’t think so”, I said, wondering if it was possible to see a physician in Manhattan. “What’s FOMO?”

“Fear Of Missing Out,” he smirked.  “You are worried you are going to miss out on the short rib.  It’s cool, I have FOMO all the time.  I promise you will get some short rib and also, we can always order more.”

After getting over my initial mortification at being called out, I realized that YES, I have a FOMO issue.

FOMO sufferers, UNITE!

The thing is, I would deny my FOMO affliction until the cows came home had Jeffrey not pointed it out in that very instant.  I’ve never cared about not making it to a raging party (I’d rather sleep, thank you), missing a sale or falling short of the latest trend.  And I thought that made me FOMO free.  Oh how wrong I was.

There is not a single FOMO-free person in this world:  it just affects us all differently.  You may not care about missing out on the hottest club, but missing the boat on a business opportunity keeps you up at night.  You could care less about new fashion trends, but losing out on the last bite of ice cream puts you into a tizzy.  Or maybe it simply comes down to you not knowing what you want, which freaks you out because in not knowing, you might miss out on something you think exists and haven’t yet discovered.

See what I mean?  FOMO is everywhere and whether it's overt (not wanting to miss a rockin' shindig) or covert (constant multitasking), it is something we've got to address to finally feel comfortable in our skin.  In fact it's impossible to feel at home in our bodies when we are mentally chasing and projecting into the future.

So how to we address this terrible affliction?

Here are my 4 tips to help clear the FOMO freakout

You can only be where you are at any given moment-  There is no way you can be missing out because you can’t be 2 places at once .  Taking this a step further, knowing you can't be 2 places at once promises you are exactly where you are meant to be.

What you need, you already have-  Our brains are programmed to think, “This is not enough, I’ll be happy when, I want, I need, I should....” which keeps us dissatisfied and constantly in the FOMO zone.  When you notice the "needs, shoulds, coulds, and give me mores" creeping in, remind yourself that what you need, you already have.

Live in the NOW-  Just as FOMO fuels worry, it also kills joy.  It prevents you from loving all that is around you as your attention is either in the past or future.  The quickest way to ward off the FOMO joy killer is to  fully engage in whatever is right in front of you in this exact moment.  You aren’t thinking about the restaurant you can’t get a reservation in or the business contact you worry about missing.  You are fully engaged and present with your precise situation RIGHT NOW (where you are, the only task at hand), which then immediately quiets the “I should, I need, I want” voices.

Get your AAA on-  Appreciate, Appreciate, Appreciate.  Often FOMO comes in when we aren’t appreciating all that we have and are accomplishing.  In appreciation you ground yourself in the NOW, fully engage in your current situation and any residual FOMO falls away. It's like magic!

As FOMO sufferers, the goal is not to fix yourself immediately or hold yourself to a ridiculous "enlightened" standard.  Rather, it's about catching yourself in a FOMO moment and realizing two things.  One, whatever you are thinking may not be true and two, future projections are just that...projections.  They aren't reality and suck the joy out of the current moment which you are meant to enjoy right now but are instead missing.

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Here's what I want to know in the comments below.  What causes your biggest FOMO freakout?   How has noticing your FOMO tendencies changed how you engage in your life?  What are your tips for shifting from FOMO to fully present?

Much love and as always, many thanks!

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