I noticed a pattern of thoughts and emotions within myself. I love the idea of sampling everything the world has to offer.
When it comes to people, places, careers, etc., I often think how nice it would be to experience many people, many different countries, and different types of work before I settle with one partner, home, or career. I even think about it with things I don’t particularly want to partake in (wine, liquor, cigars, etc.) just because I wonder how nice it would be to find something really like and can keep going back to. I also want to experience all the music, movies, TV shows, anime, and video games I can, but I wonder how much of a waste of my time it would be, especially if I ended up not liking most of it just because I’m searching for those gems. I can’t decide whether I want to learn multiple different languages or become extremely well learned in one. Both have their benefits; If I learn multiple languages, I’ll be able to communicate with more people, but it I learn one language well I can find and appreciate more rich literature and media. It’s like I want to be a connoisseur of everything when no one can try every dish the buffet of life has to offer.
I’ve identified a few beliefs that play into this desire to try everything and avoid committing to one thing. “You’re going to have to settle down eventually.” “It’s much harder to change careers when you’re older.” “Don’t get married and have kids (at least before you’ve had your fun).” “Don’t marry the first person you meet.” “You have to do a lot of digging to find those rare gems.” “The only way to find out what you like is by trying new things.”
I understand that many of these beliefs are not true, but I still find myself conflicted.
I fear wasting time when considering watching a new series or playing a new video game. I fear missing out when seeing a YouTube video in my recommended feed so I add it to my ‘watch later’ playlist. I fear committing to a monogamous relationship because I hate feeling like I missed out on someone better for me (not like I have to always be monogamous these days anyway, but it’s still a dominant cultural norm). I fear buying an apartment and getting comfortable staying in one location only to regret not traveling enough while I still had my youth. I fear starting a business because it might fail and set me back financially and take me longer to live my dreams of traveling and experiencing many things in life. I fear getting myself into any career path out of fear it will be the wrong one and it’ll be too late in my life to change careers (it’s never too late, but I also hear how hard it is).
Ironically, I ended up wasting an incredible amount of time anyway and am in even more of a rut due to this fear of missing out.
If I could have faith that the universe will always bring the perfect experiences and opportunities for me, then maybe I could live without the fear of missing out. I also know though that new desires are constantly born so how could I not pursue them?
If I could have faith that I’ll not lead myself into a dead-end by committing to something, then I’ll find fulfillment my exploring the richness of the path I’ve committed to. Yet again, I know that my desires will constantly expand and I’ll keep wondering what else is out there.
Would I take a one-way rocket to Mars given the chance? No matter if I decide to go or not go, the regret I would feel by missing out on one of the alternatives would kill me.
What have other teachers like Bashar, Abraham, Ekhart Tolle, etc., said about the fear of missing out? How can I let go of this fear of missing out?
asked 14 Feb '20, 01:26
I can understand this predicament perfectly. This may sound cliche, but my answer to this is 'presence' or 'awareness' or 'mindfulness'. I will try and explain as best I can. The fear of missing out is a constant thought or belief that you are thinking. And what are you doing? You are paying attention to it. You are paying attention to the worries of your mind, so much so, that you think that this is a part of you. It is not. As simple as it sounds, it is really very difficult to placate yourself from it because, as you say, this has become an almost consistent feeling.
Abraham would say that once you identify this feeling, you need to reach out to some other thought which gives you relief from this feeling of missing out. When doing this I think one needs to be apply logic also. What can one say to oneself in such a situation? Let's say you would like to buy an apartment. Why would this hinder you from travelling the world? So you can tell yourself, if I buy an apartment, yes I have to pay the mortgage, but I work. If I put my mind to it I could also save some money to go on a holiday. This is not impossible. After all, I believe in the law of attraction and I believe that the universe always has my back.
Eckhart would stress 'presence'. Be present with the feeling of missing out. Observe it. If you sink into it, a miracle happens. It starts dissolving. I have experienced this many times. How do you sink into it? Sink into the physical feeling that the thought of missing out creates in you when it is at its most powerful. I just want to emphasise that sometimes we think we are sinking into the feeling by thinking more about it. That's actually resisting it. You sink into the physical feeling it creates in you and feel it in your body. Another thing about presence is, in whatever you decide to do, you focus on it completely. Let's say you've decided to watch a youtube video but have this nagging feeling of wasting time. Put all your attention on the video. Let it absorb your attention. This is being present with what you are doing. This also applies to when you finish watching it. Your mind will tell you 'see what a waste of time'. But go over this statement and find the positive aspect of this, e.g. I enjoyed watching it; I relaxed; I laughed etc. Relaxing and laughing are beneficial to me and my well-being. Elan (Bashar) says 'always ask yourself "what good can I see in this?". Presence, if practised, will allow you to find joy in everything that you do. If you feel joy in everything that you do, then you will not even have the fear of missing out.
I would also add that meditation can help a lot. Not the airy-fairy nonsense that is sometimes portrayed as meditation. Simply lie down, relax and start focusing your attention on a part of your body. I like to focus on my hands. After some time you feel tingling. Simply sink into it because this exercise is quietening your mind, which is what you want. Don't expect any radical changes but if you get into the habit of quietening your mind, say for 20 minutes a day, you will start seeing that your mind chatters less about missing out on things. You start being more peaceful inside.
I hope this helps a little.
answered 17 Feb '20, 10:19
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