A wise friend reminded me “no matter where you are, you will be missing something somewhere else”. This was my first experience of FOMO.
FOMO is “fear of missing out”. An anxiety that others may be having a pleasurable or rewarding experience that you are not a part of.
If I am here, I cannot be there. Pretty basic. But, if I am worried about missing out on what is happening somewhere else, then I am probably not enjoying where I am right now.
Here’s some tactics for getting over FOMO:
- Be clear on what you want out of life – If you know what you want your life to look like in 5 or 10 years, then it is easier to make decisions in the short term that lead you to that future. Where you are now therefore contributes to the life you want to lead and minimizes the short-term gratification of doing the “fun” things.
- Be deliberate in your choices – If you decide to take a course because it will help you advance your career, then you’ll be missing some pleasurable experiences in order to study. Remind yourself consciously that studying is contributing to the life you want to lead in the future.
- Stay off social media – Social media often emphasizes what you are missing out on. Take a hiatus from social media. Don’t compare yourself to the life that others are posting (because sometimes it’s not 100% the truth!)
- Make a choice to enjoy where you are – Often “the grass looks greener.” It’s because we think we are missing out on something better. Remember that things often aren’t as they seem somewhere else. Instead, make a choice to be happy where to are, to water the grass where you are right now, and to enjoy all there is to enjoy the life in front of you.
- Be grateful – Have gratitude for the things in your life. Take an inventory of all the gifts, blessings and people that are in your life.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself – Relax, have realistic expectations of yourself. You can’t do it all.
You can’t be in two places at the same time and sometimes you will miss out on something that’s more fun somewhere else. But in the long run, if you are deliberate about where you are going in life, then you won’t feel like you are missing out on so many other things.
FOMO is real. But you don’t have to let it ruin your life! Enjoy where you are NOW.
My life planning book, “Get Me Off the Treadmill!” transforms lives.
Photograph by Valerie MacLeod