I have a confession, I get this really bad sometimes. I live on what seems like the worlds busiest and and most trendy street in London (those that know Hackney well will know which one I mean) and I’m very often found writing at my desk that overlooks the street.
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my work, but on a sunny day when everyone (it seems!) is outside drinking cold beers, laughing and joking, I can’t help but feel that twinge of ‘am I missing out?’
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, seems to have been written about quite a lot lately. A big driver of FOMO seems to be Facebook, since everyone is posting about all the exciting and interesting things they have been up to. Meanwhile those of us looking at Facebook might be looking at it to get some sweet relief after a 3 hour meeting, or a hectic day of work, before getting an early night.
Now, as much as Facebook can be an amazing way to connect with people, learn cool stuff and let’s face it, give ourselves a little brain holiday in a day full of work, it can also make us feel inadequate and give us this sense that somehow we’re missing out on the fullness of life.
However, sometimes a little fear of missing out can be a good thing. I love spending time with people, but as a bit of an introvert, I find that too much time meeting new people can wear me out pretty fast. I can all too easily think that I prefer to stay in and write or just hang out with close friends, but when I see what other people are up to, I get a little ‘fear of missing out’, I spurs me into action and gets me out there and into the world.
Of course if it’s causing you worry or anxiety it’s not a good things, so here are a few points to help you to make the best of any ‘fear of missing out’;
- Remember that Facebook shows us the high light reel of everyones lives; all the best bits. Don’t compare an average day of yours to someone else’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Your holiday time will come!
- Value your own path and try not to compare yourself to other people. Your life is very likely full of valuable and interesting things and experiences too, but we have a tendency not to appreciate the things we have. Instead we believe that what other people are doing is of a higher value. So remember the fun things you have done in your life, the achievements, the adventures and the good things that you have coming.
- Maybe it’s a message that something does need to change in your life – are you really not doing enough fun things? Are you working too hard? Do you make enough time for you? If not, schedule things in. Take a look at your diary for the next month and research and make some fun plans. Schedule in that exercise class or workshop, make plans to see friends, try something new. Check out sites like ‘Time Out’, ‘Meet up’, or ‘Alternatives’ for ideas.
- Are you able to actually enjoy each moment when you are doing something fun? Working on being more mindful and present will help you to get the most out of the experiences that you do have, so that you feel more satisfied and fulfilled.
- Consider cutting down on social media if it really pushes your buttons. You will survive without Facebook for a few days!
I’d love to hear in the comments whether you ever have a ‘fear of missing out’ and if so, what is one thing you could do to tackle it?