Sweaty palms, tight throat, tense muscles, racing mind:
“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if I mess it up?”
What if they get angry, turn away, disagree with me?
“What if I don’t get the job?”
Does any of this sound familiar? Or how about when we start guessing or mind-reading:
“They didn’t text back… what did I do?”
“I didn’t get invited to the party.. I guess they don’t like me anymore.”
“No-one is talking to me. What do they think of me?”
FOMO or fear of missing out is a rattling, shaking fear that rears it’s head in many ways in response to one of the biggest fears of the ego: the fear of rejection. The biggest fear is a fear of death, but this actually is death to the ego, so it can feel just the same.
When I talk about ego, I mean the small part of ourself that was created in early life to help us stay safe, function, succeed and fit in. The ego is super-sensitive to anything that might threaten it’s safety.
We talk a lot about fear and anxiety, sometimes without really looking closely at what exactly we are afraid of.
One of the biggest fears that I see that we humans struggle with boils down to this: fear of rejection.
If this is something that strikes a chord, you need to know 2 things: You are not alone, AND, this is a natural, biological response.
Unfortunately, it has been made a whole lot worse with social media and comparison-itis. That is, comparing my real life with your best moments. My moments of stuck-in-the-mud frustration, isolation, temper-tantrums, worries, family holidays that go awry (definition: ‘out of the normal or correct position; askew’). In other words, the mess of living the full catastrophe of life.
I would like to start a trend to compete on who has the messiest, mucked-up moments on Facebook. Only, this requires a huge act of bravery called ‘vulnerability’. Yes, it’s brave, courageous and super-powerful to be vulnerable. It will overcome any fear of rejection if you practice it. Ask Brene Brown, and if you haven’t watched her Netflix talk, do it today.
A recent informal poll of a group of wonderful women I am a part of surveyed how many of them felt behind, left out, disconnected, and also felt the others were connected and bonded, revealed everyone felt the same way!
Being part of a tribe is what meant survival for our ancestors. Outcasts were left to fend for themselves and died.
How’s that for a motivation to stay connected at any cost?
Key word here is our ancestors. We are no longer in a place of scarcity and survival, but our brains cannot tell the difference. So, we need to re-train ourselves in order to live a peaceful life true to our best selves.
Notice: where does the fear of rejection raise it’s head (hint: it might be quite subconscious).
Separate the fear from what you really want to do. What feels best? What feels right? Do you really want to connect, join the group or go to the party, or is it just fear driving that bus?
You already know what you need. You already know what you want to do.
The true self knows. The small self doubts.
Try it once. Don’t participate, don’t people-please, don’t say yes when you mean no.
See if you survive.
If you are sitting on the fence about whether to join my Fear to Freedom Summer Course, just a reminder that there are 4 days left to get the bonus book ‘Mindful Breathing’. This will be a wonderful journey to practice freedom through mindfulness and I will be available to provide instruction, guidance and support along the way in our private Facebook group.
Here is the link again: I love this class and I love helping this world become free.
Lots of love,