Are you afraid of choosing the wrong path in life?
Scared that a single wrong step could ruin everything?
When you’re afraid of missing out, you end up paralyzed.
You try to figure everything out, but you can’t, so you end up stuck in a land of anguish.
The good news is that you don’t have to figure anything out.
There’s only one thing you have to do: Follow what feels alive to you.
The Truth About Missing Out
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”
― Joseph Campbell
There is no one single path that leads to happiness and fulfillment.
There are many paths, which is why one single decision doesn’t matter as much as your overall trajectory.
If you keep following your heart, and following what feels alive to you, you’re already on the right track.
You can make mistakes here and there, but if you keep coming back to what resonates, you can’t miss out on life.
You only miss out on life if you deny the nudges of your heart, your inner GPS.
When something feels magnetic to you, that’s a sign that it’s right for you.
So you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to do the best you can over the long term.
Before you read the rest of this article, watch the short video below. It complements the article perfectly and will help you better understand this.
And if you want more videos from me, subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
How to Dance with the Fear of Missing Out
“What matters most is how quickly we follow what the Soul directs.”
As with any fear, the goal isn’t to get rid of it, but to realize that you don’t have to take it so seriously.
People often misinterpret me when I say the above. I’m not talking about changing your thoughts, but about realizing that you are not your thoughts.
You don’t have to do anything about them.
When I become afraid of missing out, I ask myself: Am I following my excitement? Am I doing the best I can with what I have?
If the answer is yes to both those questions, I keep going.
You see, fears come and go. They are thoughts that dance through my mind. Some days are easier, some days are harder.
Any single fear doesn’t hold power over me, nor does it hold power over you.
So when I notice the fear of missing out, I observe it. I notice my reaction. And sometimes I simply re-focus on what I’m doing.
I stay focused on the next tiny step I can take, and I do my best.
Writing about this is challenging, because I don’t have a step-by-step process. I know how I work, and I know the ways in which I scare myself.
I simply take myself, and my thoughts, with a grain of salt.
Here’s an Example
Imagine you’re in a new city, looking for something.
You’ve got the coordinates set in your car’s GPS. You’re driving along when suddenly all these fears begin popping up:
- Will I make it in time?
- What if I hit someone with my car?
- What if my car breaks down?
- What if they hate me?
Writing it out like this makes it look ridiculous, doesn’t it?
In the above scenario, you’d probably keep driving. You’d keep following the GPS, and you’d do your best. If you got lost, you’d call someone, or ask for directions.
Yet somehow in life we don’t do this. We may know what we find interesting, but we start second-guessing ourselves. We’re afraid of missing out, so we do nothing, and we miss out on everything.
Avoid This Simple Mistake
Avoid the mistake of believing that life needs to be a certain way, because it will only make you miserable.
It’s easy to think that if you were smarter, or if you’d just made better decisions, that you’d be more successful, or closer to your dreams.
But you’re doing what you can with what you have. The rest is suffering through mental acrobatics.
Your life is what it is. If you compare it to an image in your head of how it should be, you will always lose.
In the end, the only way you can miss out in life is if you don’t follow what feels alive to you.
Your life, and your path, will never look like someone else’s, which means it may never be 100% clear.
Joseph Campbell knew what he was talking about when he said:
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
So notice the fears you have dancing in your head, and let them be. Shift your focus from your head to your heart.
Then ask yourself: What feels most alive to me right now?
And: What tiny next step am I able to take in this direction?
You don’t have to be fearless. You don’t have to be special. You just have to be willing to take that next step.
Experiment. Play with this. And relax.
Your Scandinavian Friend,
P.S. If you have trouble following your heart, or don’t know where to start, you may want to check out my book on the topic.