My manager/friend/soul confidante sent me a blog post this morning by the talented Leo Babuta entitled “The 39th Lesson”. In his post he talks about FOMO, the fear of missing out. It’s a great read and something I think many of us can resonate with especially with the rise of social media in our lives, where keeping up with the Jones’ has moved from the white picket fence to the number of friends, likes, comments, followers, etc.
I thought about the concept of FOMO all morning and today at lunch I realized that although I do suffer from FOMO, I also suffer from FOLD. Fear-Of-Letting-Down.
I have no idea if this term exists but it truly represents how I feel when I realize I have signed up for too much, need a break, am too sick to make it somewhere, or am running late. If I know that things in life are getting a bit too frantic and hectic for me, rather than thoughtfully pulling one piece out of the puzzle I begin to fret about how my change in plans will affect others, as in- how am I letting them down?
This happened to me this morning. I woke up realizing that going to Vancouver this coming weekend for a full two-day 10 hour/day conference was just not going to happen. I could go, but then I know I would be completely exhausted (mentally and physically), and when next Monday rolled around I might be fired due to my inability to keep snappy comments to myself… or perhaps because someone caught me face down, asleep on my keyboard. So, I knew this morning I needed to sell my conference pass, not a big deal. I can easily sell the pass.
What was a huge deal to me, was having to tell two of my very best friends in the world that I wasn’t going to be able to visit them this weekend. I wouldn’t be able to make it out for dinner, to hear how their worlds were going, giggle about their latest trip, or just hang with them on off-conference hours. Before I had even emailed them I had a story in my head. They were going to be disappointed. (BTW, for a great article on making up stories in your head, check out this post… brilliant).
I was pretty certain that when my friends received my email their response would be “Oh geeze, we always go to Victoria to see her”, “What?! she is bailing on us cause she is tired…”.
Thankfully, within one minute of sending the email I received these notes:
So yah, that story that was in my head… it was really all just a story. And what I realized today is that sometimes I do need to listen to myself and acknowledge that even if I hate doing it, I need to learn “when to fold em’”. As the great Kenny Rogers would say.
(Thanks Rhi and Farley for being such fabulous supporters in my life)