I recently met this trend in the mental wellness corner of the interwebs called JOMO. JOMO is the antidote to the oddly relatable and somewhat shameful Fear Of Missing Out, better known as FOMO. By switching F to J, and using cognitive retraining, one can deal with their fear of missing by reimagining it as the Joy Of Missing Out, JOMO.
I find this tip to be super helpful because I have certainly experienced FOMO and JOMO without knowing they were feelings with a name of their own. Keep in mind that because we socialize both in the real and virtual world, this idea of missing out can apply to online social networking just as it does to physical socializing.
Understanding the Fear of Missing Out
First, we have the fundamental problem of fear… As we know from God’s Word, there is a solution to fear and it is love.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.1 JOHN 4:18
If fear has to do with punishment, we must consider what feels brutal about “missing out.” Consider why FOMO causes you to invite yourself, overstay a welcome, accept extremely difficult plans or even just wander around in search for a place to be.
Why are we spurred to be places and engage people for the sake of not missing out?
- Missed opportunity for love, success, life (failed desire)
- Being excluded from social circles (abandonment)
- Falling out of the loop (lack of knowledge)
- Losing status (being forgotten)
- Disappointing the inviter (people pleasing)
We all like to think that we hold a place in the niche-worlds of our peers/interests so being absent from an event may inspire feelings of dread, even when it is circumstantially impossible to partake.
Many of us experience FOMO. I, myself, feared a social media break assuming that I’d be forgotten and lose opportunities to grow as a blogger. A woman I know spent a large amount of money and EFFORT to be on vacation with friends AND attend the wedding of another friend in a different state during the same weekend. She was afraid to miss out on the travels and afraid to miss out on the wedding.
Transforming Fear into Joy
You may have noticed that the motivation behind fear is always negative. Don’t be quick to criticize, we all deal with emotional fears. Fear-based decisions cause us to act with intention to avoid an undesired situation. For example, we avoid displeasing people, losing status, missing opportunity. On the flip side, joy-based decisions cause us to act with intention to engage a desired situation. For example, we pursue having fun, learning, making connections.
To switch fear to joy, it must first receive love. You come to terms by letting go of the anxiety about unguaranteed outcomes and grasping onto the wonder available to you.
The more wonder you find in your life, the more established your confidence becomes and the less you will feel like you need that potential success over yonder. Truthfully, missing out can produce loads of benefits.
- Contentment in the current situation (joy)
- Time to figure out priorities, maybe you don’t want to be somewhere else after all (reflection)
- Rest and relaxation
- Presence with your closest loved ones
- Freedom to not perform
Maybe some followers forget my blog, but I spend more time nurturing my relationships, engaging with my day-to-day life and preparing my future content.
Enjoying the time away from social settings starts with embracing a meaningful reason to not partake. Or rather, finding the courage to stay engaged with your world of secured opportunity over being apart of the crowd of potential. Of course, you will have to step out some days but what about remembering to cultivate the literal and figurative place you already exist?
There is value where you are.
Be where your feet are.BOB GOFF
Embracing the Joy of Missing Out
Now, you have thought about what your afraid to miss out on and have decided some opportunities are okay to skip. You have courage to be out of the loop, in your own world. Making this courage consistent will produce confidence in what you already have been given by the Lord.
Instead of preoccupying yourself with the potentials of the outside world, you embrace the reality right in front of you. You choose over and over to re-prioritize. This is not to train yourself to never enjoy being out (or being online). This is to form a “joyful space in your mind” where there’s no room for fearing the loss of what-ifs. This is to honor the life you have been given more than the life you might be able to reach. This is to find magic in the mundane, the magical aspects of life you’ve been ignoring.
Eventually, the space will be so decorated with joyful remembrance that missing out won’t even feel like missing out.
It will feel like you are just living.
Right here. Right now. Right with what you’ve got.