FOMO: Paralyzed About Making a Perfect Choice

“Maybe happiness is this: not feeling that you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.” Eric Weiner

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.  You feel paralyzed; there is so much going on, and you don’t want to miss on anything.  You feel stuck:  you want to make a 100% perfect choice, so you either try to fit everything in – or else you can’t decide what to do and feel paralyzed about missing out on something.  It makes you feel like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.  It makes you feel like whatever you do, you’re missing out on something that could have been potentially better.  Crazy.  So how can you learn to make choosing easier and not feel the pull of FOMO?

There are no 100% perfect choices in real life.  That’s what makes choosing so difficult: every single adult choice has pros and cons, with most in the 60-40 range – not 100% to zero.  So if you worry and obsess about how imperfect your 60-40 choice is, you’ll miss enjoying your 60% choice, with 100% enjoyment value.

You can’t do it all. You can try, but you’ll end up exhausted, frustrated and still unsatisfied that you missed the best parts. Trying to hit all three parties tonight?  You’ll feel left out – arriving late, missing the best parts and leaving early.  You’re not getting 100% times three; you’re getting at best 33% times three.

Inertia: unsure and undecided. You’re letting things fall as they may and letting life decide for you; you are giving up your power to decide, but you live the consequences. Paralysis plus disappointment. You’re getting 0%.

Solution? Own your choices fully and consciously.  Just make sure that the consequences of your choices are the ones you want to live with.  If you decide to go to a party because you feel bad about letting your friends down, or not to go because you need an evening off, own your decision – and enjoy the results.  No guilt allowed.  It won’t be 100% perfect, but you can bet it will a pretty nice 60%.

5 steps to let go of FOMO… and live your choices without regret

  1. Avoid indecision – it leads to inertia and powerlessness. Like crossing a street with your eyes closed and hoping for the best.  Bad idea.  Open your eyes and make a real decision.
  2. Avoid guilt – and feeling inadequate. Whether you choose A, B or C, own it.  Live up your choice.  You can never do it all, or be all to everyone.  You’re human, not a superpower.
  3. Be aware that no decision is 100% perfect. However imperfect your choice, you’ll be fine with a 60% decision, which is always better than trying to do it all (you end up at best with 50-50, not 100-100), or not deciding at all (you end up with 0%).
  4. Make decisions easier. You don’t hold all the pieces in your hands.  What do you really need?  What feels right?  What’s best for you?  Make a pretty good choice, based on what fits you and what fits now.  And forget the rest.
  5. Retrain yourself and learn to make imperfect conscious choices.  Write down what decision you need to make.  Make two columns: pros and cons.  Write down main pros and cons.  Circle the really important consequences.  Make an imperfect but conscious 60-40 decision. Enjoy it.  Let go of the rest.



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