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FOMO versus COWO

We already know FOMO stands for the Fear of Missing Out. COWO is the antidote to comparing ourselves to others and it stands for, Compete Only With Ourselves. (I made it up, and it works for me... which is the gist of this post.) I've always taken this approach but I still (like most people) find myself drifting back to feeling like I should make more money, have more speaking engagemnts, sell more books, and be in better shape, Then I saw a reel that reminded me how only trying to better ourselves is the key to happiness and success. In the reel, a track coach tells the story of a young runner who was competing in the 100 meter dash and finished last. She was distraught until he told her, "You came in at 18 seconds. This was the best performance of your life, your own personal world record." The track coach goes on to say, "For her next race she now thinks winning is beating 18 seconds, even if her time is only 17.9. If she achieves that, she'll feel like a champion. Winning is being better than you were yesterday."

This is an important lesson that we all need to be reminded of. Social media makes it hard to not look at other people's posts and assessing how we stack up. If we can simply be happy for others, but run our own race and only worry about bettering ourselves, there's a lot less pressure and a lot more reasons to celebrate.

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