Yes, you CAN overcome FOMO.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) was around long before its catchy acronym caught on. With the advent of social media, things have only gotten worse. People spend hours scrolling through feeds and witnessing others’ seemingly perfect lives play out in real-time. With this kind of stimuli at our fingertips, it’s hard not to fear missing out — but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it.
Here are some top tips for dealing with FOMO…
1. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Turn your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. Look around you and think about what you can be grateful for. Think about the people in your life that support you. Count all of your blessings, big and small.
If you find it a challenge to come up with things you’re grateful for, just look around yourself. For example, I’m grateful for my dishwasher. I’m grateful for air conditioning, I’m grateful for my grandson who thinks I’m pretty awesome. (I think he’s pretty awesome, too.)
2. Take a Social Media Fast
There is a clear correlation between FOMO and time spent on social media. If scrolling through your feeds leaves you feeling down, it may be time for a fast. Try avoiding social media for 48 hours, a week, or even a month to see if you don’t find life more fulfilling.
3. Embrace JOMO — the “Joy of Missing Out”
Anil Dash coined this term to describe the joy of doing things on your own terms. His example was discovering the simple joy of staying home to spend time with his newborn son.
You can also jump into the joy of running your own business. When you’re happy and engaged and enjoy coming in to your office each day, it leaves little room to worry about what you might be missing out on.
4. Seek Out Real Life Connections
Overcome loneliness by seeking out others. Sometimes, you need face-to-face time with real human beings. These times can be with family and friends or through other interactions like those you get on Zoom. Who knows what new adventures will come your way through reconnecting with real people?
5. What Is Really Important?
Take some time to think about what’s really important to you. Which events and activities are really worth missing? Remember, more isn’t necessarily better. You don’t need to worry about missing every single social engagement.
- Ask yourself, “In ten years will I remember this?” or “In five years will this actually matter?”
6. Discern Your FOMO Triggers
Figure out your FOMO triggers, and learn to limit your exposure to them. For example, some people are triggered by scrolling social media, and others by watching, say, travel/food shows or home improvement shows.
7. Accept That You Can’t Do It All
You likely won’t be able to reach every party, destination, or social event you’d like to — and that’s fine! We all need to stop worrying about the times we miss out on and focus on things we can actually control. Miss a party? Oh well, there will always be another one.
8. Is Your FOMO Self-Inflicted?
Could you be the cause of your FOMO? Do you always turn down invites from your friends and loved ones? Do you refuse to be spontaneous? If so, that is where your feelings of FOMO may come from. Try saying yes to more invitations, and you will be too busy experiencing life to miss out on anything.
9. You Might Not Be Missing Out…
As hard as this is to think of at the moment, you might not be missing out on anything at all. Many of the events you see in your social feeds are being shared in their best light. Remember, the lives you see online might not really exist.
1. Spend a couple of days away from social media. If you can’t give it up completely, at least avoid the most triggering platforms.
2. Think about the “Joy of Missing Out.” What do you gain from missing out on certain social situations? Maybe you get more me time? Do you save money? Can you spend more time with loved ones?
3. Be the change you want to see. Stop glamorizing every social event you attend on social media. Be more authentic — share the bad with the good.