A few years ago, when I just started my career, I often felt that I needed to keep all the balls in the air. Not only did I want to live a successful professional life but I also aimed for a fulfilling personal life. I was chasing after each opportunity to realise this. If I had one little feeling that I was missing out on chances, then I would be completely in distress. It has reached the point where I experienced a high level of FOMO (the acronym for “fear of missing out”). I felt this fear in the broadest sense of the word and it could stem from literally anywhere: missing out on a sunny day outside to shoot photos while I need to finish work at home, not being able to join a friend’s gathering or having to skip checking updates of friends on social media channels. These are all examples of situations that used to trigger the FOMO anxiety inside me. I drove myself crazy with it, while this did not change the fact that I could not and still cannot actually say “yes” to everything. Gradually, I have taught myself to overcome FOMO with these four practices.
Understand that less is more
It is really about quality not quantity. The key lies in the intensity of one single experience and how it nurtures your soul instead of the multitude of things that only slightly touches the surface of your soul. So I always try to get the most out of the thing I decided to do at a specific point of time, rather than troubling over missing out on the many things that I could be doing at the same time.
Focus on living in the present moment
I simply cannot split myself into fragments, after which each of them goes ahead with doing anything that I like to do at a specific time. Trust me, even if it was possible we do not even want that. Focusing on the present moment and being able to consciously choose what to do are the key ingredients for fulfilment and happiness. Being more mindful about the moment you are living in now, makes you feel grateful of what you already have and are doing at the present time. You are so in your element in the present moment that you simply forget about alternative things that you could be having or doing.
Put your phone away
As we are now being overloaded with everything that is thrown to us via social media, it is difficult to distinguish between what are true reflections of real life and what are not. Important to realise is that the majority of what is posted on social media channels is far from reality. Parties and events that pass by your social feeds are often made more glamourous. The lines of authenticity can get so blurred that it is hard to assess the realness of a specific situation. So I always schedule a moment of digital detox per day to get back to myself and the real world. This way, it helps me to both stop considering those things that might not even be 100% real and cease making comparisons with them. This, in turn, facilitates me to live in the here and now even more.
Realise that you are actually not missing out on anything
FOMO is a feeling that you create from within. It is not physically there, nor is it based on a fact. It is just a thought that you try to make yourself believe. Even if you were not able to go on holiday together with your friend or you could not join the engagement party of a relative, what about it? What actual consequences are there? It does not make your life less wonderful than it was before. The more I learned to trust the natural flow of things in life, the more did I believe that everything happens at its own time and pace. So our lives are without lack and are just what they should be right now. Try to focus on your own goals & interests and I promise your life keeps unfolding for the better.
Needless to say, FOMO is difficult to overcome and I am still working on keeping it under control. I hope the aforementioned tips, together with some practice, can help you in this respect as well. Do you have any tips to fight FOMO? Let us do it together. Next time I am sure we will feel more at ease when needing to skip a party.
Until next time!