How to Deal With the Fear of Missing Out
FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a seemingly harmless, but rather dangerous condition.
Studies show that 50-70% of people have ever experienced this disturbing condition. The significance of foregone benefit syndrome is explained with examples:
- “I was afraid of not finding a good partner for me, but I dreamed of a relationship, so I agreed to a rash union.”
- “People hit million dollar jackpots at Hellspin. How many times should I spin to win?”
- “Peers and colleagues achieve great things, but why am I not doing so?”
- “I found a new job. I don’t really like the conditions, but I need to get somewhere.”
It’s all just lost-benefit syndrome. It makes us afraid of missing out on any interesting opportunity and settling for less, making impulsive purchases and decisions. Most of the time, though, it’s better to look around, to think about it, and something will come along that will make you happier.
The gap between who you are and who you would like to be is where FOMO originates.
How to Deal With FOMO
Focus on What You Already Have
When we focus on what we need to buy/get/learn so we don’t miss an opportunity, we overlook our accomplishments. It becomes a vicious cycle: you can spend forever thinking about how to improve your life and how to “keep up with the rest,” but then you won’t have time to praise and thank yourself for your hard work. Do it more often.
If it’s frustrating to hear about how someone you know is going on her second trip in a month or how easy it is to get ahead at work, don’t follow the news. Remember that people rarely tell the whole truth about their lives, you see just a little piece of it, which is usually wrapped in a pretty wrapper. Don’t think that you’re only missing out on opportunities when you’re working, studying and living your normal life – there may be even more exciting things waiting for you soon.
Talking to Your Child Inside Yourself
This is a well-known way to tame your thoughts when you want to try harder, work harder, and study harder, just to keep up with others or the desired image in your head. Look at a picture of yourself as a child. Would you force this child to work a full day’s work just so you wouldn’t miss out on praise from your superiors? Would you be able to say to that child, “Your friend has already started her own business, and you’re still not getting anywhere?”
Thinking Through Decisions
Do you really need to buy an item at a big discount if you already have a similar item in your closet? Are you sure you’ll turn down a prospective study just because you’re afraid of losing money or time? You have the resources to make decisions, all you have to do is use them properly.
It’s important to deal with foregone benefits syndrome: the consequences can be indecision and fear of acting on your goal. And in some cases, FOMO leads to depression, which is difficult to cure.