A Tale of Fear, Reverse FOMO and Conquest

Be the Agitator
Why Not Reframe What Your Money is Worth?

Scared-Kitten-Fear-Reverse-FOMO-and-ConquestThis is the first post I ever wrote, about a month before I fired up DeliberateChange.ca™ last November. It’s a little shorter than my usual posts, but nonetheless has some great insight, tips and references. So read on, share, and let me know what you think in the comments!

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I called in sick today.

Some might argue it was a long-lasting hangover from our 60-person Halloween party two nights ago, but the reality is that I don’t drink much. (Besides, half of the 60 people were under the age of 10. And most people were gone by 10:30!) Perhaps I suffered a massive sugar crash? I do have the world’s largest sweet tooth and unfortunately the adulthood cavities from a decade ago to prove it. I don’t know, but my stomach sure wasn’t gonna let me proceed with a normal day, let alone get an hour and a half’s worth of exercise riding my bike to work and back*.

So what does a bored, sick Engineer do to try and be somewhat productive? Well, this one reads blogs.

I popped onto Millennial Revolution and Our Next Life and started reading through new posts like FinCon 2017 and refreshing on some of my favourites, like “don’t bank on going back to work” or “multi-phase retirement spending”. And then I started to feel even sicker.

This time it was that “oh no” feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think you’ve made a horrible mistake. I felt the dreaded FOMO from not being at FinCon to learn new stuff about SEO and network with other cool bloggers (FIRE Cracker at Millennial Revolution actually calls it “fan-girling”). I felt the fear of “are we really going to have enough cash to pull the plug at some point into semi-retirement when we really want full retirement?” But what about the kids’ ages, and that window over the next decade? Is our withdrawal plan even going to work or do we need to strategize more? Should I even be comparing myself to some of these Super Bloggers? Bah!

These thoughts quickly led to a feeling I’ve just dubbed reverse FOMO, which I will loosely define as the FOMO you get about the stuff you’ll be missing when you’re doing the stuff you originally thought you’d be FOMO’ing about. Does that even make sense? Maybe I’ll just call it lifestyle opportunity cost and move on.

But then something neat happened.

Emotional Intelligence to the Rescue

Dare I say that’s when some of my “Emotion Intelligence” training started to kick in? Not that I would rate myself at the top of the EQ scale, but at least I know where I am and where to go. I recognized what I was feeling, and decided to try to conquer the fear with education like I’ve done in the past*.

So out comes our finance spreadsheet and our predictions. Though they’re not overly conservative, they’re still conservative enough to remind me that yes, we’re going to be OK, and that our timeline will hold. I reminded myself that my wife has built many websites and knows a thing or two about SEO. And I reminded myself that I actively network and meet new, really cool people on a regular basis.

Oh yeah, and one more thing: My wife came home from her side-hustle and we enjoyed a nice lunch of fried eggs and leftover party snacks.

Life is good.

Pencil with ShadowYour Turn Now!

What are you afraid of, and how do you conquer that fear in order to move forward? How does emotional intelligence factor into your daily life?

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* Expect these to be future blog posts someday…

Be the Agitator
Why Not Reframe What Your Money is Worth?


  1. […] customer purchases and had less overstock to dump. That and I started buying less candy because I like my teeth and would prefer to keep them for a few more […]

  2. […] pretty bad (and so did he, actually, for being so direct). But I composed myself, dug deep into my emotional intelligence training, and responded. What ensued was actually a very helpful conversation between us on how to […]

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