Your cousin shared pictures from the awesome party she went to last weekend.
Your club buddies posted another episode of the travel log from their trek through that exotic country you can’t even remember the name of.
And one of your schoolmates just became the SEO of his very own business empire.
Everyone, yes, EVERYONE—with the exception of you, of course—is living it up and enjoying a totally amazing life!
Do you really believe that?
Or could it be that a modern day plague—FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out—has you in its relentless grip?
FOMO – A Modern Day Epidemic
FOMO has been officially defined as “the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.”
While anybody can be affected by FOMO, studies have shown that it is specifically prevalent in teenagers. That’s usually so because feeling ignored impacts a teen’s brain more than that of an adult. Though, peer acceptance plays a role in the decision making of all humans—no matter what age.
With the rise of modern technology, FOMO has become somewhat of an epidemic. Why?
Just consider the matter of social media. With one glance at your phone, tablet, or computer, you can see all the awesome things others are doing every day. The fact that you’re not as smart, as creative, as funny, as innovative, and as motivated as all these people seems to smack you right in the face. How could you ignore that?
Granted, the fear of not being as awesome as others are may get you moving, but is that truly motivation? And will it make you happy? Will it improve your life?
Instead of feeling as great as these people seem to appear, all you probably feel is tense, anxious, and haunted by their supposed achievements.
So, what can you do to nip FOMO in the bud?
6 Straightforward Ways to Eliminate FOMO
1. Understand that FOMO is based on lies – You’re not missing out!
The first thing you need to realize is that that amazing life you think you’re missing out on doesn’t exist. Yes, it’s a total hoax! Social media focuses on an assortment of momentary highs of people’s lives as if they were everyday occurrences. Evaluating someone else’s life only by looking at their greatest moments and then comparing yourself with that distorted image is futile. You have to refuse to measure up to that fiction.
2. Accept that you have limits – You can’t do it all!
Understand that you have decisions to make, each and every day. You can’t be in two places at the same time. Either you’ll get to enjoy a fun day at the amusement park with your family or cookout with friends. You have limits. You’re only one human being. So, figure out what’s important to you and prioritize.
3. Focus on the present – You must be where your feet are!
When you’re at a great gathering with friends, but you’re completely hooked to your phone, what good does it do you? Yes, you’re keeping up with what’s going on in the cyber world, but what about the present? Is your mind truly where your feet are? Are you really getting enjoyment from the gathering? Trying to do too much can cause you to do little of anything.
4. Choose experiences not bragging rights – You need to do what matters to you!
Of course, there are tons of things that you could do that would garner you the attention, admiration, and envy of others. But are those the things you really enjoy? Do they matter to you? Or are they just things that supply you with bragging rights? Instead of just doing the stuff that you can write about online, why not do the things that you love to do? The things that you can do offline, without taking pictures with the aim to post them instantly. But rather those things that leave you feeling happy, accomplished, and proud—minus the bragging.
5. Resist multitasking – You do better doing one thing at a time!
Time seems to be the possession we have the least of. That’s why we end up trying to cram as much as possible into a day, a vacation, or a project. What you have to realize is that your mind can’t truly multitask, it just keeps switching between one task and another. And all that does it take up energy and, yes you guessed it, your time. While focusing on one thing at a time is often crucial for work, it also applies to many other activities.
6. Embrace the process – You should enjoy the journey!
There are people that travel to other countries and see 10 cities in 10 days. While they may have seen a lot of things, have they truly enjoyed the journey? It’s the same with everyday activities. Enjoying the process is often more important than the outcome. And not every journey ends amazingly. So, focusing only on the end result—the one you’d like to put on social media—and missing out on the whole process of getting there leaves you little opportunity to learn on the way.
If you let FOMO rule your life, what you’re really missing out on are the simple joys and adventures. On the other hand, if you put forth efforts to rid yourself of FOMO, you’ll only miss out on the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion nonstop thrill seeking brings. So, honestly, you’re not missing out on anything important!