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The fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is the feeling of anxiety, envy, insecurity, or regret we have when other people are having positive and exciting experiences in their lives and we are not. The term may be new, but the feeling itself is not.

From many conversations with friends and family, young and old, it’s noticeable that more and more people tend to wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side. The most common FOMO topic involves: someone out there is living a better life, having a better job, making more money, driving in a fancier car, dating a better-looking person, or finding more opportunities with cryptocurrency at the top.

In some cases, it’s the anxiety in a social setting where we miss out on our best friend’s biggest party. In some cases, it’s the envy we feel towards someone who owns a bigger house with a garage full of muscle cars. In some cases, it’s the insecurity we feel when we see someone with much better qualities. In some cases, it’s the regret we feel when we made up our minds to stay in bed and still think “If only I went to the gym instead”.

In the digital age, when social media and smartphones have the potential to make us more preoccupied with others’ lives than ever before, FOMO can consume our minds and become a serious problem for some of us.

 

FOMO As My Motivation

My issue was with travel, and it went on for a whole year. Feeds on Facebook and Instagram from friend and people I don’t even know kept coming, and seeing them having a great time in Canada, Japan, or Hong Kong, made me all envious. My first reaction to their pictures was always, “I wish I could experience that.”, and that often led me to down talking myself by questioning whether I made the right choices in life. This moment of regret led me further down the spiral and slowly became a bad habit.

However, at the same time, it acted as my motivation. This fear of missing out made me feel uncomfortable enough to break the shell of my everyday life. For me, fear has always been an effective tool to get me out of my comfort zone. It’s not the easiest or the fastest way. Often, I wanted to ignore fear, but where did it get me in one year? Exactly nowhere, and that got me to miss out on even more opportunities to broaden my horizons and discover new things. The fear of missing out only leads to missing out even more.

 

“When you fear missing out, you’re missing the moment.”

 

Focus On My Objective

In this story, there are two truths we should consider: we will die and probably not when you plan to, and we are always missing out on something. Why? Life doesn’t always go your way – it isn’t running on a fixed schedule. Every second of every day, the most amazing and desirable things are happening and we’re not a part of them. So, what? Well, those thoughts don’t have to consume us. Instead, they can drive us by using our fear of missing out as motivation. As a result, we will become more productive and better at handling unexpected changes in life.

I even used fear to create a new objective, which is to travel. New opportunities soon came knocking on my door to travel to Reykjavik and San Francisco.

 

Act On Fear

What I’ve learned is that there are certain situations where we should act on fear. By focussing on the right kind of fear that pushes us to new heights and exciting places, that can help us find our life purpose, or make us realise we actually do enjoy the life we have right now. This kind of fear is good. This fear is your friend. Here are four situations when we should act on fear.

 

1. Something We Want To Do Or Want To Be A Part Of

Recognise the fear and try to understand why. It could be that we’ve been holding ourselves back. For example, if some friends go the gym in the morning and you feel like you’re missing out, ask yourself “why?”. Part of it might be wanting to share that time with your friends, or maybe you’ve been wanting to start some sort of physical activity routine and you haven’t really acknowledged it yet.

 

2. There’s an Opportunity To Learn Or Do Something New

Expanding our horizons and investing in a wide variety of life experiences are the only things we’re guaranteed to keep the rest of your life. Such experiences matter more to us than things, so invest in them. We’ve probably never regretted that cooking class or seeing an opera. At the very least, you’ll appreciate how much work goes into our prepared meals and experience a whole new type of entertainment.

 

3. It’s Beneficial For Us And The Good Outweigh The Bad

Weigh your options and consider what the overall benefit might be. Sometimes it’s good to focus on the greater good. We may not want to go to that work party, but we probably don’t want to miss out on the chance to connect with our colleagues. Who knows? we might even make a new friend, or better understand who the people we work with really are.

 

4. When It Feels Like Nothing’s Going Right In Your Life

Shake things up by meeting your friends out at that cool new bar even though you feel like staying in and watch Netflix. You shouldn’t feel pressured to always go out, but if you’re at a dead end, you’ll be surprised how much doing one little thing out of the ordinary can change your perspective. Take back control.

 

So…

Worrying too much about what other people are doing is bad and we know that. However, having no fear at all can be just as bad. Like most things, it’s about balance. If we use our feelings and fears the right way, we can make positive changes in our lives. Ask yourself the next time something comes up “Am I afraid of missing out? Or am I just missing out?”.

Millions of incredible events and experiences are taking place in the world at any given moment. It is impossible to be everywhere at once. Why would you? Rather than worrying about what you may or may not be missing out on, try making the choice that is best for you and owning that decision. Find pleasure in what you’re doing and remind yourself “why” you made the choice in the first place – embrace the joy of missing out as well.

 

  • What do you fear missing out?
  • Have you ever acted on your fears?
  • What do you think of the joy of missing out (JOMO)?

 

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

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