Since it is a person’s fear of missing out which is causing their stress, we need to look at what they are scared of missing out on. We need to look at what people really require for personal development to take place. Is it actually possible to miss out on your requirements for development?
Well, your answer to that question will depend on what you are measuring your personal development by. What are you gauging the success of your life by? In society, you will find two different models for measuring personal development. Meaning there are two different opinions on what is required to further someone’s progress in life, and to make their life a success. The first model is called the “Achievement Model” for gauging personal development. In this model, it is claimed you must “measure yourself by your achievements”. It is claimed every time you achieve something, every time you get life to do what you want it to do, you have just undergone personal development. In this model, people believe they MUST control life and bring about a certain state of affairs before they can say their life is going well. They believe they must get life to conform to their desires or their life will not grow. It becomes all about “me, me, me, I must get what I want, and only those particular events that are helping me to get that can be of any value to me”. Every other event is labelled as an “obstacle” and viewed as a challenge that must be overcome.
People trying to live by the achievement model also incorrectly have their self esteem attached to the achievement of their goals, and so whenever it looks like events are going to interfere with how they wanted life to be, their self esteem starts to drop. They have their self worth completely tied up in their ability to control the activities and events associated with their life. The combination of believing there are threats to both personal development and value is what really gives a person pain when things aren’t unfolding the way they desire.
It might sound like I am trying to say that people should stop trying to control life so much. Well that’s not at all what I’m saying. Having goals and being ambitious about achieving them is not the problem. Everyone is going about trying to do everything they possibly can to accomplish their goals and make life conform to their desires. With every action performed, people are trying to control life, and this is wonderful. There is not one minute of your life that you won’t be trying to control life – even the simple acts of going to bed, or opening your eyes, are examples of your efforts to bring about that which you believe is required to take place. The problem is not any effort to try and make life conform to your preferences, but rather that in the “achievement model” people believe it is correct to measure themselves by whether or not they got it to go the way they it wanted to. The believe the whole purpose of goals is try achieve them and hence prove their worthiness to continue to grow and survive. They are not yet aware of the true role goals play in life.