FOMO: Fear of missing out. We’ve all experienced this phenomenon in one way or another. Maybe you didn’t want to come inside and do chores as a kid because you didn’t want to miss anything. Or maybe the travel photos on all of your friends’ social media make you feel ill because you want to be there so badly. Think back to a time that you personally have experienced this.
I believe that FOMO is somewhat like shame: FOMO can cross over into a toxic area where it is no longer healthy for us, and can even begin to harm us.
I believe the people that are most at risk of falling prey to FOMO are codependents and love addicts. We spend so much of our time dwelling on what we would like life to look like. We think about the things that we want to have but don’t in our own lives and in our relationship with others. We begin to compare ourselves to them, and that’s where the downward spiral begins.
Think back to a time where this has happened to you. Looking back, what happened to your self-esteem when you got to the point of comparing yourself to others?
Lowering our feelings of worth and self-esteem are the main reasons we cannot continue to compare ourselves to others. We are not anybody else, and by comparing ourselves, we are trying to achieve an impossible standard. As many of us are perfectionists, we cannot let this rest. We get caught up in trying to make sure we are the perfect person, or that our relationship is perfect. We struggle and continue to fail. We can only be ourselves, and nobody can ever attain perfection.
Another aspect that we need to consider when experiencing FOMO is that a lot of times, we are seeing a curated version of someone’s life, not all of it. It’s like we are seeing the trailer of their movie versus the movie itself. We forget that others are imperfect people as well, and we cannot base our life based on a snapshot of someone else’s…Chances are, their life isn’t perfect.
I would like you to come up with a few ways (1-3) that you can handle FOMO when it appears in your life. Write them down.
My tips for beating the fear of missing out:
- Delete social media that makes you feel this way often
- Set limits for yourself on whatever activity it is that makes you feel as though you’re missing out
- Think of a way to catch yourself mentally when you find yourself dwelling or comparing yourself, and be kind to yourself in the process.