Do you have FoMO or Popcorn Brain?

I’ve had a serious dose of FoMO (Fear of Missing Out). I’m constantly struggling to balance my multiple passions with my FoMO. Throw in a chronic dose of busyness that runs rampant through our work and personal lives and of course right now, there’s Christmas – it’s no wonder I’m exhausted!

FoMO, got to keep it all up in the air

Juggling my popcorn brain and FoMO

Now FoMO is defined as ‘a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent’, aided and abetted by our addiction to social media. But my particular FoMO is more a compulsive concern that I might miss an opportunity to create something. I love creating things: ideas, words, workshops, strategies, plans, events, programs, money, dinner with friends, and not forgetting meals, cakes and other sweet things (and creating the mess in the kitchen in the process).

What sits under the FoMO is the fear of having made the wrong decision on how to spend time as ‘you can imagine how things could be different.’ I realised that this was at the core of why I didn’t always get all my stuff done. I am incredibly creative, productive and efficient. But sometimes I get overwhelmed with choice. I have what Angela Raspass calls popcorn brain’. All day, and sometimes all night, my brain is popping off ideas all over the place. My list of ‘to dos’ gets ridiculous. I carry around notebooks to scribble everything down but I’ve been known to use whatever is handy, a napkin, brochure or receipt dug out from the bottom of my bag.

My popcorn brain is not just for me. I’m happy to pass you a bucket as well. As a coach the hardest thing for me to do is not fill my client’s heads with my ideas, but to let them explore and discover their own. I have FoMO for them. But we will get so much more involved in something we’ve created than in something we’re told we need to do, no matter how appropriate or kind the advice is.

So what’s the cure for FoMOand popcorn brain? Here’s some of the things that work for me.

  1. Fight FoMO with FOMO. Rather than letting my new sense of fear be what I focus on, I’m taking Martha Beck’s advice and changing it to FEEL OK MORE OFTEN by practicing gratitude and living consciously and mindfully.
  2. Learn to recognise when the fear shows up, feel it and then stop, seriously just stop. Take a breath, get grounded, meditate, have a cuppa, smile at your children or co-workers or the cat lying in the sunshine. FoMO is self-generated and we can end it ourselves with a thought or action.
  3. This one is really useful for popcorn brain. Rethink how you respond to success. Michele Woodward suggests that we find time to be proud of our accomplishment and spend a moment feeling grateful for the ability to accomplish it and honored by the people that helped us on our way rather than feeling the profound sense of loss because our pursuit of the goal is over. I so love that. I do have a tendency to go immediately to the NEXT BIG THING. My gratitude journal and my family and friends are a great help here.
  4. And journal, and journal, and journal which is part of my solution for pretty much anything. The more aware you are of what your thoughts and feelings and beliefs and behaviours are, the more you’ll be able to consciously change your life, who you’re being and what you’re doing. Your life belongs to you after all.

If you’d like me to help you tame your popcorn brain or FoMO you can give yourself a Christmas Coaching Gift and book a 30 minute coaching session with me HERE.

Thanks for reading


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