Can I admit something? I am one of the original participants of FoMo, and I have come to see and understand how it has impacted the hell out of me over the years. And as cute the name might be, I have always felt like I might be missing out on something. It could be the party that somebody in my sixth grade class was having, or a family function I found out about the day of, in reality it could be any thing and I would feel like I was missing out on something. Now these are only examples of low stake situations, so just think of the intense feelings I get when there is an opportunity (that I think) is at stake.
Back in 2017, at six months pregnant I had a opportunity that was a higher stakes situation that I interviewed for, to represent my former employer at a yearly conference in Washington D.C. Prior to being told my name was in the running, I had no idea what this event was even about. And within the week and a half I was fully invested, I did my interview and waited for the big reveal. I am sure you know what happened next. I didn't get that opportunity, and I was livid. I felt like I didn’t get it because I was pregnant, I thought that there were office politics afoot (omg afoot I told y’all I’m really impacted), now I’m not sure why I wasn’t chosen in the end, what I can tell you is that all I could think about is what I was not gonna be able to do, the all expenses paid trip to Washington DC for the week, a chance to meet up with my BFF who lived in the DMV ( I know that was not apart of the duties but it was something I had planned on doing) all of this was something I was not gonna get to experience, this was the thought that played in my head.
I didn’t go, I didn’t get to meet all of these other people who were representing their employers, I didn’t get to do any of it. It consumed me, now over time the feeling subsided, but in that moment like so many others I was caught up in not only the fear of missing out but the mindset loop that kept a past reality at the forefront of my mind. See like I said the name is cute and the reality of it, eh not so much. Time passed and I was still a little butt hurt about what I felt was me being passed up for the spot, and just like that I was up for that same opportunity again. My anxiety was through the roof, and I was prepared this time to not get it. And when I say not get it I mean, not being tied to the out come. Now even though as I mentioned I was butt hurt, I still allowed my self to process what had happened. I talked it out with my support system, my Mom and Sister, and therapist (Shout out Amari Simms). So this time around as much as I didn't want to have FoMo I wanted to allow my self to put myself out there again and see what would happen. Ok did you guess?? I was picked as the representative that year and I went out there and made my mark. In addition, I was able to see my BFF, and do all the things I thought had passed me up.
My mindset the second time around was not focused on what I was going to miss out on, because I had already missed it. This time I knew what I missed and I wasn't focused on it. I was focused on allowing myself to be in the present. Taking in each moment the further I got into the experience. Now yes your like well Sheena if I got it the second time around I would be in the moment too. And on the surface yes you think that you would, and in reality the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. So even though I got to move forward with this opportunity I still had the potential for FoMo as I had to leave my 11 month old home with my partner. See, (like my Daddy would say) the thing about it is, there is always something that you will miss out on, and when I dwell what I'm missing out on is not the opportunity but the present. I am missing the now when I am focused on what I'm not able to do or where I didn't go. That is why my mindset shift of being in the moment allowed me to be there in that moment and see the previous moment as that a moment where something passed me, and then came back around.