How To Overcome Your FOMO Or Fear Of Missing Out
Do you have a tendency to think that the grass is greener on the other side?
Do you worry that you're always missing out on things? (Otherwise known as FOMO, fear of missing out.)
Do you spend your time scrolling on Instagram admiring everyone else's life and wishing your life was more like theirs?
We always think that the grass is greener on the other side, but once we actually start seeing how others live, we realize it's not all that green on the inside. Well, not as much as we had thought anyway.
It's like having a nice house, but the inside looks somewhat like a hot mess. Not that much different from our own hot mess.
How to overcome your fear of missing out, so you can start living your own life:
1. Identify your fears.
What are you afraid of? What are your triggers?
Do you start to doubt yourself and your own life when you see other people partying? Going on vacation? Traveling around the world? Having a nice Instagram feed with lots of followers?
How would you feel if you had what they had? And have you asked yourself why can't you have what they have?
Sometimes, there's an opportunity cost involved, so it's important to know exactly what it is you want and what's important to you. We make room in our lives for the things that are important to us.
For example, having a successful, sustainable blog and being able to make money from it while traveling the world is important to me so I spend a lot of time writing. Instead of eating out and buying things I don't necessarily need, I try to make all my purchases related to my education and personal growth.
I'm not afraid of missing out as often anymore (because let's be honest - I still struggle with it from time to time), because I know what I want and that it will come.
2. When have you dealt with FOMO in the past?
What did those experiences teach you?
When I was in community college, I felt like a complete failure. And I had a horrible case of fear of missing out. I felt like I was missing out on the college parties, the late nights, the college dorm room bonding experience, etc.
How did I deal with it? Not so well, so maybe that wasn't the best example...
Last year in 2017 during my first year of entrepreneurship, I was struggling with fear of missing out. It felt like everyone else was moving along, and I was just ... it just felt like things were not working out for me. Like I couldn't figure it out.
And then I realized ... that comparing yourself just makes you feel worse. So I stopped.
I trusted that I wasn't really missing out on anything and there was nothing to be afraid of. That I made up the fear myself and I was feeding it to myself, and I needed to stop.
Here's the truth: You need to stop enabling yourself to feed the fear, because it's not healthy for you. Your mind, soul, or body.
3. Identify what's important to you.
Because we can't do everything at once.
Or be everywhere at once.
So be honest with yourself. What is important to you? What do you want?
Not what everyone else wants or thinks is important, but what you want.
Some people like taking luxurious vacations and spending $400/night on hotel rooms and that's what important to them. And that's okay. It's great for them.
Some people want to travel the world someday so they're passing on the clubs and happy hours to save up and that's what's important to them. And that's okay, too!
It's all about what you want and prioritizing that into your life, and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.
We would all be a lot happier if we focused our energy on what we wanted, instead of the things we think other people want to see us doing.
4. Be in the present moment.
Don't dwell on the past.
Or go chasing overnight success thinking it's going to happen tomorrow.
Remember to be in the present moment, and celebrate each day with gratitude.
When I was younger, I was constantly living in the past and future, but completely missing out on the present. As a result, life was passing me by and it was like a breeding ground for me to compare myself to others.
"Look at their lives."
"It must come so easily for them."
"What am I doing wrong?"
Why do we spend so much of our time and energy wishing we had someone else's life when ours is perfectly fine? Live your own life, because it's pretty awesome.
5. Don't give yourself the opportunity to compare.
Stop aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, checking Snapchat, and opening up Facebook. (I see you. I do it, too.)
It's not good for you, and you know it's not good for you.
It's easy to think that someone else has it all, but keep in mind that we see only the things other people want us to see and believe. Even with our friends and family, they don't always show or tell us everything.
You don't know if someone spent 30 minutes trying to take "the perfect photo".
You don't know if that couple secretly spends 90% of their time fighting.
You just don't know.
People show you the highlight reels of their life. So when you're comparing yourself to others, you're comparing everything in your life to their best moments. It's all about perspective.
Trust me, your life is not worse than theirs.
We all have the opportunity to make our own life good.
6. How you live your life is up to you. Embrace it.
It's not for anyone to judge or look down upon anyone else.
If other people don't like it, so what? They're free to live their own life the way they want, and you're free to live your own the way you want. Life isn't a competition to see who has it the best, unless you're treating it that way.
Like I said earlier, everyone wants something different. We all have different priorities, and that's okay.
So if you decided to live your life a certain way, embrace it.
Trust yourself and the lifestyle you're living, because it's what you want and it makes you happy.
Pick the essentials and get rid of the rest. Otherwise, it's like having a closet room full of clothes but only ever using 2% of it. You have 98% that's just taking up space.
It's like that old saying... If everyone else jumps off a cliff, are you going to too?
Just because "everyone else" is doing something doesn't mean you have to too.
And most of the time, it's not "everyone else". It's just the people you see on social media and those you know in your personal life.
If you take yourself out of your typical environment, you'll realize that there's more than one way to live life. It's a matter of deciding what lifestyle works best for you and going with it.
Trust me, there are a lot of people in this world doing a lot of different things.
As long as you're living life how you want, you're not missing out on anything.
So you can say goodbye to your fear of missing out and hello to living life on your own terms.
I'd love to hear you.
How do you overcome your fear of missing out?
Molly Ho is a branding and graphic designer for photographers and creative entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help you create a brand that will give your dream clients the confidence and clarity they need to hire you.
She believes in being (and becoming) the kind of person you want to see more of in the world, because change starts with you. And you have the power and capacity to become the person you want to be.
On the blog, she talks about topics including branding, marketing, social media, body image, and personal development.
Here's where else you can find her on the Internet: