Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is Fear of Missing Out Driving You?

I was just checking my smart phone again and found three new emails with ideas that could streamline my productivity.  I need to try them. I recently got a new computer and the directions tell me about twenty new little shortcuts and timesavers that came with this new electronic beauty.  I need to memorize them.

I saw an ad for several new television programs that look really interesting and would probably expand my knowledge about people, life and the world around me. I should watch them.

I have a stack of good books waiting to be read or finished (I read thirty a year or more as is) and I have an exercise workout, Russian lessons and distant family also inviting me to give them my time.  I need to figure out how to add these back into my life.

Can you relate?  Do you, like me, hate to say "no" to any of these options because, "I don't want to miss out on something great."  Or "I want my kids to have the best so we'll do it all no matter what it takes."  Or, "That's a good thing, an important thing, I must figure out how to do that too!"

I've got news for you . . . and me.  We'll never do it all. Or as one wise pastor said, "We'll never accomplish all of our potential."  Don't even try.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the plate of options for learning, productivity, entertainment, knowledge, growth and experience continues to increase geometrically every day.  We can't have or know it all.  But we are tempted to try, aren't we?  We feel guilty when we hit delete or throw a book away or erase a program from our television list.

We fear that our child will miss out on something vital for life if they don't take that class, play that semester or sports or get that lesson.

So what are we to do?

First, accept the fact that you can't do it all.  Period. Live with that truth.  It's OK.  Our worth is not based on how productive we are or how much we know.

Second, start conscientiously saying "no."  Don't order that new book, keep your kids out of a sport, turn the television off, skip that latest article you saw on Facebook. Be a chooser, not a responder. Learn to do only the best things or the most important things or the things that will add to your feeling alive or doing something God has called you to do.

Third, learn to rest or fast. Take a total break for a while from some of those things that have the greatest seductive pull on you. Get off of the internet or Facebook, don't watch television for a week or take a major break from some activity or even ministry for a season. Quit your hobby for a while. Remind yourself that you can live without some things and not die or shrivel up.

Fourth, embrace slowing down and resting. It's good for the body, soul and spirit.

You may miss out on some activities that could have enriched you but you will more likely not miss out on the ones that make you truly feel alive.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.


  1. Thanks Gary. Early this morning I was pondering similar thoughts as I was feeling overwhelmed with all the "stuff" that demands my attention. Wisdom tells me I can not do it all but I was still wrestling with thoughts to get to a place of peace in this. I was lead to read Romans 12: 1&2 from The Message which reads: "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him". I love how God speaks to us through his word and brings peace to a situation.

    So together with the encouragement from the scriptures your words of wisdom in points 2, 3 and 4 above give me practical steps to put being a chooser and not a responder into action . Thank you! God bless you.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts and comments, Wendy. I pray that you will follow through. You will be different as a result and it will be worth it.

  3. Good post - as a sufferer of chronic fatigue/burn-out, I identify with this.