Let's Talk FOBO, Second-Guessing and other Useless Mental Habits ~
For the uninformed, FOBO is the Fear of Better Options, most often experienced as the inability to make a decision or commitment based on the fear that something better might come along. And you’d be stuck with something not optimal. The truth? Something better is always going to come along… at exactly the right moment when you’ll be ready for it. And, at that time, you are free to choose again. The more interesting questions is, from where will you choose?
“But what if I’m not free?” What do you mean? You are always free. to. choose. again. Every moment. Here is an example: Once upon a time I accepted a contract with a staggeringly horrible commute, bad hours, and low rates. I had been between contracts for a month and was afraid another one would not come along. It did, of course, three weeks later… an offer from Apple., to work in their database group. Heaven! Why, oh why, could I not have waited?
Like any good consultant, I buttoned up my three piece suit and drove from the south end of the San Francisco peninsula, into the city to Apple’s tech offices for this particular group. The traffic was at its worst, so I allowed two and a half hours to drive 40 miles. I barely made it on time. As I spoke with the hiring manager it became clear that this would be a dream job. My area of expertise, great hours, a reasonable commute by rail that would save a fortune in fuel and parking. It was a Thursday evening. The manager wanted me to start on Monday.
When I explained that I was just ending another gig, lying splendidly because it had actually just begun, he hesitated a little. “Is there something wrong with the offer?” he asked, passing me the already-prepared paperwork. Swallowing hard, I insisted there was not and signed.
Tomorrow was Friday and I had to be at the new gig Monday morning… no time to work out a decent notice or to do things in any kind of integrity. What to do? I thanked my lucky stars that I always built a “terminate at will” clause into my contracts, allowing me, or the hiring company, to terminate at will if either party was unsatisfied. So, there would be no legal ramifications…
I asked to see the hiring manager at my not-so-great job, first thing. For her, that meant 11:00 AM. I had already cleaned up after myself, finished as many tasks as possible, delegated where I could do, and generally set things to rights. “I need you to run a demo of the new features next Friday morning, for the Board,” she began, as she walked into my office. Groan.
“Might we speak privately?” I began. “Let’s go out for lunch,” she agreed. As the clock ticked away any semblance of decency, I pondered what to do. Something better had come along, and I hadn’t waited for it. I had the signed contract. There was no way I could work both jobs, as spread out as they were geographically and with the hours demanded. I’d never left a company in the lurch before. It did not feel good.
“I have another job, Kate,” I began, feeling that I had to head off any other discussion and put it out there.
“So, I’ve invested a month in training you in what we want, for nothing,” she answered. Okay. This one knows how to play. “This is a job I’ve wanted for a long time and it just became available. The contract is already signed,.” I didn’t mention it had been signed the night before.
“So I have no choice?” Kate wasn’t pleased. “I want to do the right thing here, but I committed to this other assignment.”
“You committed to me, too, and I would appreciate it if you would do this demonstration for me next Friday!” Kate is not technical, so had no idea that meant at least two other days in the office to work with the developers to prepare what I knew was not yet ready.
Suffice it to say, I worked odd hours at the new gig where possible, to finish up with the old one, letting the managers know I was trying to do my best for them both. Both companies sacked me. “No integrity” was cited, when that was what I was most reputed for. It hurt. That the demo went off without a hitch and the developers credited me for that, went completely unnoticed. It got me pondering.
I heard myself thinking…”It’s like that time at University when I was mildly interested in these two blokes in the architecture department at the Poly. One asked me out and I hesitated because I wasn’t sure what the other would do if he saw I was spending time with the first. It wasn’t like there was a queue at my door or anything. It was only me, wondering. So I dissembled a bit, and that was that for the both of them. Neither one came calling. It came down to indecision, really. Not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, or at least not the wrong person’s feelings… whomever that might have been.
I said neither yes nor no to the two companies, and the same to the two men. That did not stretch the time in the crossroads so that something better could drive by. It created a dead end. Each.Time.
Ever felt that way? Fear of a better option and second-guessing our intuition are dead-end roads. Nothing like a lovely, shallow cul-de-sac, where one can see where to turn around and course-correct. No. Second-guessing the intuition stops us in our tracks and eliminates other possible trajectories.
Oprah is quoted as saying “Doubt means don’t.” I tend to agree. The thing that goes unsaid is, “And then move on!” Make a decision and support it with your self-esteem and your whole heart. Yeah, that sounds sappy perhaps. It isn’t. This has been a long learning for me, an empath, 90% angelic being, one who really and truly detests confrontations…and has had to learn that assertiveness, decisiveness, and confrontation are not the same energies atall, atall.
If you have choices, the best road is to listen to your intuition. Listen to the real deal, not the little voices in the head that make you doubt yourself or your abilities. And choose! At any given moment there are infinite choices. There are infinite decisions that will create timelines, tracks, and trajectories that are also transitory. They will change. And, yes, something different will inevitably come along…but there is a trick to this. Will it truly be better? How does one stack those odds?
When we make the choices that support what we truly are, we invite in higher vibrating energies. Our vibrations rise and the frequencies and realities available become more exciting as well. There will, indeed, be better choices, because we have changed playing fields and better choices have become available… but only if we choose from where we choose to be.
If something feels like the “lesser of two weevils,” look again. There is always another option. Feel into it. Use the intuitive form of decision-making… and don’t look back. Once you shift tracks, the old ones dissolve away. Let them!
Or there is always camping out at the train crossing. They’ll teach you how to move the barrier-thingie up and down so you don’t hurt yourself, or anyone else… maybe. It’s a job, right?
Living by fear means you are not living from love. Check your choices. Love and fear cannot exist in the same vibrational reality. Remember love first, and the rest may just take care of itself.
Love to you,