Updated: Jun 16
What follows is reflection on my experience bringing on JOMO. I wrote it for a BARE coaching client and thought, why not share it with you too!
BRING ON THE JOMO
With so many opportunities and choices of things to do and people to see, it can feel tempting to do them all. Combine this temptation with the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) and it can lead us (me!) into exhaustion from NoMO (‘not missing out’). Worse yet, a FOMO can fuel a downward spiral of self-criticism to I’m NoGEn (‘I’m not good enough’!)
To me, this FOMO is an insidious plague of modern times. I’ve learned the best protection against it is with a JOMO. Turns out, the more JOMO I build in my life, the more rich experiences and relationships I have AND less FOMO or NoMO I feel.
Here’s how I understand FOMO and JOMO.
FOMO is kind of a contemporary version of the "grass is always greener" cliché that has been around for ages. FOMO stems from a vibe of anxiety or apprehension around:
1. the idea that others might be experiencing something that we're not
2. fear that our experiences aren't good enough when compared to those of others.
Social media is credited as creator of FOMO – with non-stop feed of news, documented moments and event notifications pinging into all waking moments a screen is nearby!
However, it seems to me, for me, the makings of FOMO existed long before social media.
The wide world web, 24-hour television, smartphones and the like planted its seeds. Plant those seeds in a base of: my difficulty with ‘me, myself and I’, becoming used to immediate gratification, hype of multi-tasking (which is a myth!) and a history of toxic inner thoughts made for the perfect environment to grow my FOMO.
For me, FOMO was driven by: feelings of low self-worth, a habit of people pleasing, relapses of comparison-itis, resistance to being present-focused, fears around scarcity and/or misconceptions about love-ability.
Ultimately, FOMO became exhausting and overwhelming … aside from impossible to sustain. I’ve since found a report with findings supporting FOMO's existence and impact from the Australia Psychological Society. Worse yet, a study by an American researcher linked within here explains how FOMO can start in teens, which I think is NO different from how it happens for some adults.
Thankfully, I heard about the idea and practice of JOMO last year (now 4 years ago)
JOMO (joy of missing out) is the antidote to FOMO
I first heard about JOMO here from Aussie, Melissa Ambrosini talking on American, Jonathan Fields’ The Good Life Project (a fav podcast).
JOMO allows me to embrace the pleasure and power of choosing what I want to do (or not do), in a way that engages and fulfills me. JOMO is choosing to live in a way that energizes, nourishes and/or RESTORES me not depletes, drains or diminishes me.
For me, JOMO is built upon having an understanding of what makes me tick, authentically, not just in order to be ‘liked’, fit in, belong or avoid disappointing others.
Practicing JOMO required me to get to know and EMBRACE myself, all of my selves, even that Inner Critic or Inner Mean Gal. Making peace with those Inners, thanking them for their service, sending them on a holiday (as permanently as possible) or just telling them to chill the f*ck out and trust that ‘I’ve got this’ – all allowed for my JOMO to GROW.
So BRING ON THE JOMO!
Here are 8 ways (8 = favorite number) I increase my JOMO and decrease my FOMO:
Practicing meditation or mindfulness. Getting comfy with stillness and being curious versus critical of my monkey-mind helps me tune in, say no, do less.
Taking myself out for coffee, i.e., silencing phone or leaving at bottom of a bag. Savouring sips. Creating mini ways to be ok flying solo was essential.
Disconnecting from social media either by choice or some ‘hack’ like deleting an app every night at 9pm and not reinstalling until 7pm next day on weekdays. I haven’t EXACTLY tried this one; however will now that I thought of it writing this! *update, in 2020 I use iphone settings to block access at times.
Build in alternatives to social media so I know less about what I might miss – take a drumming class, get a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle or learn to knit are options! In my case, my commitment to finally writing up eating disorder recovery-related research and things like this blog are totally nourishing my JOMO! I’ve also learned to listen to my body more – rest is often best. And, in true ‘true confessions’ fashion, I’ve also loved just watching reality TV.
Learning to say no. Using: ‘thanks for the invite. I can’t make it this time’.
Reveling in my solitude, silence and single-focused activity – e.g., reading a books in silence in my Lily Pad has been a delicious return to simplicity.
Document life the old-fashioned way – call/meet a friend and TELL THEM about my day or let’s bring back “the Pen Pal” – write and MAIL a letter!
Ask myself, ‘What feels like love?’ or ‘What would love do now?’ if my soul’s answer is ‘love feels like sitting this one out’ then I listen to it. JOMO > FOMO.
Embracing my JOMO has made all the times I do join in, attend and say yes all more special, nourishing and healthier mentally and physically.
Let me know how you cultivate your JOMO or how it goes if you try any of these ideas!
note: these blog posts were originally posted between 2018 - 2020 on a different website of mine.