Do you ever feel like, if you take a break from something or do things differently from others, you’ll fall behind, whilst everyone else keeps marching along towards their Success?
I can think of many past examples where I’ve had this fear of missing out. I had felt that if I didn’t work late like everyone else, I’d be thought of as ‘less dedicated’, and be less likely to get a promotion. That if I didn’t start saving, I wouldn’t be able to afford a house deposit. That if I didn’t go to Friday night drinks, I wouldn’t have bonding time with my colleagues.
The biggest one for me was that I thought that if I took a year-long break from work, I’d essentially be ‘going backwards’, both financially and career-wise. Everyone else would be earning ‘proper money’ to finance their mortgages, settling down, starting families.. whilst here I am, still trying to figure out what I want to do in life.
To most of the people around me, they see me doing some sort of random venture that isn’t really going anywhere. And at this stage, they’re probably right. I’m not going to pretend that I’m an overnight success because I’m not. But what they don’t see is that this venture is facilitating a journey of self-development that I needed to embark on. Since 2015, I’d started to become slowly disillusioned by society’s blueprint for life. I didn’t want to be chained to my desk, using ‘I need to pay my mortgage’ as an excuse for staying in one career, telling myself that ‘a job is just a job’. I was convinced that there had to be more to life than just the daily, weekly, yearly grind.
Today, I realise that dropping out of the rat race is just that. You drop out of the hamster wheel and you have time to reconnect with yourself. You start to rediscover the things you always knew you loved. Instead of chasing monetary wealth, you start chasing spiritual wealth. You feed your soul by doing the things that make you feel alive, and you follow it because you know that the path it’s leading you down is something you have to surrender to. As to the question of ‘oh but how would you pay your bills’, I believe that if you’d somehow find a way to make things work. If it’s a question of survival, your instincts are stronger than you know. The hardest part is allowing yourself to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
And as for the fear of missing out? Yes you will probably miss out on some things, but you’ll start realising that the things you’re gaining on your new journey far outweigh the things that you’ll miss out on in your old life. Trust me, you won’t feel like you’re really missing out on that much.