WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is all over the place those days. Whether you’re talking about social media, marketing or personal development I’m sure you’ve already heard the word.
Basically, FOMO is the anxiety created by the impression that you might be missing something highly interesting/exiting. Picture yourself on a lazy Friday night, scrolling through Instagram after cancelling the party you were supposed to go to. Between the images of food and cute illustrations you suddenly find yourself watching a series of stories showcasing your friends apparently living their best lives without you. You might feel a bit frustrated, anxious to discover what a great night they spent partying and there you go, this is FOMO.
Using our fear of FOMO is one of the marketer’s best levers so that you consume in order to not miss thisoffer or this eventetc. But what if FOMO could also be applied to orientation?
TAKING THE HIGHWAY IN FEAR OF LOSING OURSELVES
We all know this person who seems to do it all in his/her life without you knowing how you can possibly find enough hours to both rest and live such a fast life. This is also (to me), a form of FOMO. Not choosing in fear of something great happening while you’re away. Well, when I talk to young graduates about their professional paths, they all tend to say the same thing: “I didn’t want to specialise right away, what if I was missing something?“
Focusing on the importance of making choices is crucial for us not to burn out. But ranking the different paths you could take makes it harder for one to really let passion/interest weight in the final decision.
In France we learn from an early stage that the scientific curriculum lets you “do everything you want afterwards“, whereas the literary one tends to close more doors than it opens. No wonder the majority of straight A students will go for the first and denigrate the latter. Even if they don’t have the need for such a diploma (and/or don’t know what they could do with it).
When I assisted to the Paris Podcast Festival last week end, I was inspired by the sentence a speaker said on the topic:
“We learn at school that we should be ashamed to work some jobs like pastry cooking, masonry or carpenting. We are encouraged to pursue studies in hope of having other occupations. But years later, we realise some people chose to change paths to work those jobs. Just because they took time to sit down and ask themselves the question “What do I really want to do with my life?” (Marie Bongars creator of the Podcast “Une sacrée paire d’ovaires”)
SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
The answer might be as simple as this: taking time for ourselves and reflect on what we want to do, not what we are pushed to. A friend of mine always refers to her “inner voice” which led her to resign and launch her business (after talking about it for years). Maybe it’s time we focus more on our own voice & shut down the sirens of “success”. In the end, we’re not our job.