What is fear of missing out? How to overcome fear of missing out? What kind of fear it is? Fear of missing out is a constant feeling that makes you feel as if you are missing out on many things. It is more inclined towards the social media hullabaloo. Giving you a sense of anxiousness, sometimes leading you to anxiety.
FOMO (Fear of missing out) could be experienced by all age groups, all genders and it has been a part of lives for ages. You know that familiar feeling of not being able to attend a party or an event and imagining how much your friends must be enjoying? Or a feeling, when you compare your lives with others and feel a lack of that something in your life?
Ok to make it easy to understand, does the thought of NOT buying that dress/jacket/shoe haunts you forever? That’s the fear of missing out for people who suffer this fear in the daily lives.
How to overcome fear of missing out?
We know what fear of missing out is, and with the advent of social media, things have gone crazy and out of hand. Being a digital content creator, I know how hard it is for people out there to not fall for this malady. The fear is such that you feel that if you are not seen, your followers/fans will forget you. Well, that might be the case with some people out there, but for individuals like us, nope. We aren’t missing out on anything.
Honestly, this fear will only make things worse for you. You will never be able to live in the MOMENT and enjoy that MOMENT. You will constantly keep on thinking about the other world you want to be a part of and in between you will be restless & consumed by your own thoughts. It’s a mad world of overwhelming choices.
We have the fear of missing out on promotions, achievements, opportunities, social media presence to soothe our self-gratification. Our sense of being. But how do we know when to stop? What will happen if you will miss out on something? That something which might/might not even happen? You fear something you know doesn’t even exist, and you are suffering out of it. It is just your mind playing with you, it is taking away the joy of being in the present moment.
The moment that could bring out the best in you, the moment that could lead to a better future, and all your fears will just vanish.
5 Ways To Overcome Fear Of Missing Out
You must have heard about “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome. It is just like that, it is what we do when we choose to see what others are doing and we are not doing. But there is nothing not happening to us, life is happening to us, 24/7. It is happening right now, then what are we missing out on? We are missing out to express gratitude for what we have, a point of reflection, and a few questions to ourselves at the right time.
Here are 5 ways you can overcome fear of missing out without being unhappy about yourselves.
1.) Ask, what are you missing?
I am an ardent Bhagwad Gita follower, not that I have read and understood all of it. But I have been able to draw some parallels from it in my life. This reminds me of an excerpt from it which says, what did you lose that you cry about? What did you bring with you, which you think you have lost? What did you produce, which you think got destroyed?
You did not bring anything – whatever you have, you received from here. Whatever you have given, you have given only here. Whatever you took, you took from God. Whatever you gave, you gave to him. You came empty-handed, you will leave empty-handed. What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday, and will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow. You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours. It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.
I know, this might sound cliche to some or over the board to many, but honestly, if you read this and consciously try to remind yourselves about the questions raised in this little paragraph, it will help you to ease. Those tensed shoulder muscles and jawline will feel lighter. Try it out.
Sadhguru answers a question from IIM Bangalore students on how to overcome fear of missing out. Do watch this.
After reading this, now if you can take a moment to pause at the very moment that makes you anxious, restless, and fearful, it will be of great help. Just pause there, close your eyes and re-run the image of your fear, what exactly causes that fear to you and you will surely have the answer for how to overcome the fear of missing out.
The answer always lies within, we just push away that inner voice to the deepest corner and trouble ourselves, are we emotional masochists? No, right? Then why do we love to stay in the pain? Pause & reflect.
If suffering is re-occurring, it means you have not understood your lesson. Suppose you see a photo on Instagram and it makes you feel sad because you instantly start comparing how miserable your life is, or how ugly you look, or how you cannot afford such a luxurious vacation, or how that person is doing amazing things and you are not.
The list could go on, but there is this one simple way of saving some sanity for you here. DECLUTTER. You choose what you need to see, not what you want to see. You need to see real life, real people, make real connections. Go for real walks, play with real people and the world will be at the same place.
How to overcome fear of missing out? The human brain can respond to one thing at a time, although we love to glorify multi-tasking, for some people, it has proven to be way more toxic. You take-up collaborations/ assignments/ work/projects and then you fail to plan, allocate, to prioritize. Question; why do you take up more than your capacity? Fear of missing out on opportunities?
But with this attitude, will you be able to do justice with the quality of work you want to deliver, will you be able to do justice to your mental health and well-being?
Now when you are done asking those questions to yourself, and if you are done decluttering and prioritizing, it’s time to minimize. It is for you to minimize the unnecessary content overload, the beauty-laden pictures, the positive side, happy families, success, achievements, reel life if all that makes you anxious, and question your self-esteem, making you feel worthless. MINIMIZE what you see.
Google algorithm works in a way, that if you see things in a similar pattern it will show recommendations of similar content, thinking that is your taste & preference. Change your patterns, minimize the digital world usage if it bothers you. Even if you are a content creator, you can use social media to your advantage by not indulging in infinite scrolling and only doing your work. There is a whole beautiful world waiting for you.
Mostly it happens that to get away from the fear individuals indulge more into social media activities and then it again forms a vicious circle, save yourself from falling into this circle. Move aside, flatten the curve and take charge of your life. Take charge of your fear of missing out. It causes a little havoc in your mind when you fall for that fear. Be grateful for what you have and what you’re capable of doing. Be mindful of your choices and stay good.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.