Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.
August 31, 2021 · 7 min read
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear of missing out puts me back into a place where I’ve been until a few years ago. For as far as I can remember, I used to have this feeling of missing out.
Since I lived only with my mom (my parents were divorced), I didn’t have a father role model. I felt like being incomplete, that nobody is going to teach me how to fix cars, how to do basic household maintenance and so on.
I was jealous of my friends that had a good dad with whom they spent beautiful memories. I had an idea that this is the last piece of a puzzle I needed to be happy.
This fear has planted a seed of insecurity and low self-esteem throughout the years.
However, this seed has been dug out and I wish I did that much earlier. Now I feel much happier and relieved in life.
There’s absolutely no reason why fears would control your life and why you shouldn’t be happy.
Fear of missing out is a phobia associated with unfulfillment, being left alone while other people are having better life experiences. Insecurity, low self-esteem and other similar feelings are the results of this condition.
It is important to note, that worrying of missing out from time to time is perfectly fine. The problem occurs if you constantly think about it to a point where it becomes an obsession.
Fear of missing out on bigger things. This fear can range from not being invited to some sort of occasion by your friends or colleagues, knowing that your friends are having a vacation in other country while you aren’t, being not able to invest or buy a house and similar.
Fear of missing out on small things. You might be upset about such things as not being invited to a shop together with your friends, envying others of materialistic meaningless things, not being able to go out because it’s raining outside and similar.
Sometimes FOMO can result in both big and small things. You should identify which category you belong to, because it lets you to understand how significant your fear is.
The longer FOMO exists, the more negative and harmful consequences it makes. These consequences are linked to worsened relationships, in a decrease of confidence levels and overall well-being.
In other words, you start questioning yourself if “Am I good enough in this relationship?”, “Will I be invited to a party/concert/dinner/trip?”, “what if I won’t start investing in my 20s while others do?” and similar.
However, FOMO can impact you both in negative and positive ways
Do what you fear and fear disappears. - David Joseph Schwartz
If that’s a negative scenario, then you will become jealous of others, get depressed, feel anxious. You will hide in your shell with your negative thoughts which are toxic to your mind.
If that’s a positive scenario, then you will be motivated and feel like taking destiny into your own hands. You will start thinking how you can pivot this fear to your favor. Ultimately, this is what we want to achieve.
Therefore, it’s important to identify this condition as fast as possible.
This factor is by far the most common among all people. If you like to see how other people travel or what adventures they have day by day, chances are that you are suffering from this condition.
Following celebrities on social media unconsciously make you envy of their lifestyle. You would probably also would like to live just like them instead of going to work on weekdays. You’d like to experience all or majority of the things that your favorite celebrities experience.
This is the core reason of psychological problems that people experience in the 21st century: less face-to-face interaction, more messaging, mindless scrolling through news feed.
It’s remarkable that, people who have FOMO use social media at higher rates. This becomes a perpetual cycle of feeding your fear.
Let’s say you have a group of friends where you spend your evenings together from time to time. You have an absolute blast together every time you meet.
However, one day you see a photo of your friends in Facebook where they are on a hiking trip without you. You feel like a shot deer and your feelings are hurt.
Starting from that time, you are more cautious and you don’t feel very comfortable around your group of friends during those evenings where you meet each weekend. You feel like an outcast.
There can be a million reasons why they behaved like this. In such case, you should find some time to talk with them about this and find out why they’ve decided like that.
We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them. - Christian Nestell Bovee
Because if you won’t understand how they think, this fear will be daunting you for a long time.
Undoubtedly, people might have no friends and might fear of missing out on what’s having friends is like.
In more severe cases, relationships have to be ended for your own sake of well-being.
Some people can be very obsessed about getting their dream possession, which can be a car, house, clothes, jewelry, musical instruments and others.
The clothes you want may be too expensive at the moment, you see your dream house listed in the internet but you can’t afford it (and it will only increase in value over time) and this all drives you crazy that you will never be able to afford it.
The worst thing is that if people that fall into this category and don’t believe they can earn more money, they get more and more depressed.
These people have only 2 options:
The beautiful thing of technology innovation age is that there are plenty of ways to earn more money by side hustling or establishing businesses without almost any required capital.
Certainly, if you can’t afford it, ask yourself: “well, how do I earn more money?” instead of “how do I save more money?”
This mindset might change your financial situation and push you to look for solutions.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. - Dorothy Thompson
Certainly, there are people who face health problems and cannot do certain activities.
Some people might be physically disabled, unable to hear or see certain colors and may face other health problems. That’s really demotivating and why fear of missing out occurs is completely understandable.
Nevertheless, there are other activities where these people can utilize themselves and feel life satisfaction. There are plenty of options to choose from.
Don’t copy anyone because everyone is already taken. You don’t have to follow someone’s footsteps.
Don’t fall into a trap that other people do more interesting things than can do. You can have fun without money, friends, Internet or anything else.
You are yourself not for some kind of reason. It’s because you have to find your own path of living.
Do the things you are passionate about. Do the things that are needed to be done in order to achieve whatever you’d like to.
As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it. - Chanakya
Spending time alone could go a very long way because of self-learning. Don’t just mindlessly spend time by yourself. Try to explore new things that you like and that excite you.
Fear is something that doesn’t exist yet. It’s a false self-protection mechanism that doesn’t let us enjoy our life to the fullest.
Having time with yourself could be very fun and exciting. Don’t be afraid to explore and experience new opportunities in life.
You must take care of yourself. One of the things that you should rather fear is not taking care of your well-being and body.
Go and have a SPA day. Get a massage that you deserve. Have a long warm shower, bath or jacuzzi. Write a journal and pour your emotions and feelings.
Fears are nothing more than a state of mind. - Napoleon Hill
You have to unwind yourself and understand that everything starts from your mindset. If you have an abundance mindset, nobody will stop you from enjoying your life. Not even some kind of fear.
Social media is amazing when used properly. You can catch up on news or have a small talk with friends or family.
However, whenever you start mindlessly scrolling, you get stuck in a cycle that is hard to get out of.
Social media can make you envious of others’ lifestyles, their luxury, life experiences, etc. When you see how much you can experience, you become fearful of not experiencing the same.
Set limits how much you can spend time on social media. For example, set a maximum limit of 15 minutes per day. To ease this situation, you can download an app which limits the time spent on certain website or any other app.
In that way, you won’t get stuck in a loop which never ends.
If you get nagged by someone that you don’t travel enough or that you should experience some things asap, let them know that this should stop right now.
You can politely say: “Hey, thanks for letting me know but I’ve been informed about (insert problem) enough. You don’t have to remind me anymore.”
If the same problem occurs, just don’t speak to these people. End the relationship.
There could be a variety of other problems occurring in relationships and how they make you feel this fear, but the key is to stand up for yourself. Don’t let anyone push you or make you anxious for missing something out.
“Fight fire with fire”.
If the fear of missing out is obsessing you too much, then you should figure out how to achieve your goal and not miss out on something due of fear.
If your financial situation doesn’t let you to travel, then find a better paid job. Work two jobs. Have a side hustle.
If you are not invited to meetings by your friends or colleagues, figure out why, ask them. Improve yourself, but don’t become desperate. Sometimes, regardless of how much you try, people will still reject you.
The fearful unbelief is unbelief in yourself. - Thomas Carlyle
Sometimes people have strict beliefs on some people and to change these opinions is very hard. If it doesn’t work out – let it go. World doesn’t end there and you will always find better opportunities if you try hard enough.
Set strict rules on how much is healthy to be fearful of missing out.
Sometimes this fear can be a great stimulus to achieve great things and to improve yourself. If you notice that you are crossing this border, then set strict boundaries.
You have to realize, that fear in general is a bad emotion. It only hurts you and provokes more negative feelings along it.
You will have to put your willpower right here and cope with your fears. Don’t let those fears override your well-being.
In many ways fear of missing out is harmful to you. Don’t become a victim of this feeling and fight with it.
You have to figure out the roots where this fear is coming from. Once you’ve identified the root problem, set a clear strategy on how to cope it. Since there could be many different situations why the fear occurs, there could be numerous of solutions to it also.
Always use a sense of logic when setting up a plan. Whatever your fear is, don’t give up.
You shouldn’t have place for fears in your heart. Your heart is meant to hold happiness and joy.