FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is the subconscious phenomenon that you’ve made a poor decision and the result is that you’re missing out on a potentially life changing social event. Of course, chances are it won’t be life changing at all, but your mind tells you otherwise as it tricks you into thinking a great discovery will be unveiled or an announcement will be made.
Does this sound familiar?
- Do you say yes to every invite?
- Do you burn the candle at both ends in the hope you won’t miss any crucial events?
- Do you feel left out if you’re not invited to a social or professional event?
- Do you find yourself constantly checking social media so you know what’s going on with your friends, family and colleagues?
The Fear Of Missing Out is a very on trend, very current, widespread ideology and a lot more popular than people realise, so much so, the word was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013. It happens in both professional and personal capacities and can affect anyone regardless of age, nationality or wealth. Its popularity has increased exponentially over recent years, largely due to the immensely rapid speed in which our existence lives in the digital world of social media.
Social media often paints a very glorified picture of one’s existence. We all know this, yet why do we find ourselves comparing our successes with those of our online ‘friends’? Continual so called ‘real-life’ enjoyment is splashed across Facebook as ‘Go Live’ and ‘Story’ functions allow you to share live updates that are worthy of jealousy. Social media has so much involvement with FOMO in fact, that the Oxford Dictionary definition of it is; “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts on social media.”
And this constant checking is really rather addictive, with some studies stating that teenagers that experience FOMO are much more likely to check their social notifications while driving than 10 years ago.
Worryingly, when you’re caught up in the FOMO cycle, you’re channeling all of your attentions and emotions on a fake life. The life we see through rose-tinted glasses as friends and peers share their happiness and success in a virtual world of positivity, obviously not posting how they’re severely overdrawn, suffering an illness or having devastating relationship and career troubles.
STOP just STOP!
Focus on what is real and what you can influence and your inner happiness. Sounds easier than it is? Maybe. But the results are so worth it. In endlessly scrolling Facebook, you’re actually looking outwards for your gratification and joy when in fact, you should be looking a lot closer to home. FOMO actually originates from unhappiness and once you’ve started that cycle, it’s really hard to snap out of it. Look closer to home, what have YOU achieved that you’re proud of? What events did YOU attend that you’ll remember forever? Look through your own camera roll and you’ll find a plethora of pictures whereby you took 10 to get that perfect 1. That in a nutshell is all anyone ever does on social media.
In order to move forwards you must accept that you physically, mentally and financially can’t do it all. It’s unlikely the posted Keeping Up with the Kardashians style lifestyle is NOT a reality. Lets face it – I love a Kardashian episode as much as the next girl, but the difference is I recognise that they have just spent 3 hours (at least) in hair and make-up, the cars and houses may be leased and the TV production company are probably paying for the Lear Jet – and finally the drama IS NOT REAL!!! Now there is no doubt in my mind that the mom Kris is a killer business woman, but lets just remember HOW Kim first found her initial fame!!
So let’s recognise that no one can “keep up with….” That’s just a fact. You will therefore miss out on things, whether you like it or not and that is just normal and more importantly its ok.
So next time you’re endlessly scrolling through Facebook and see some of your business colleagues and friends having what looks like the time of their lives, and business success you are still dreaming of then remember, i) they may be funding this enjoyment on a credit card; ii) they may be suffering from exhaustion from saying ‘yes’ to so many events; iii) they may be longing for a quiet night in, with a glass of wine, snuggled in their PJs and a boxset; or iv) they worked their socks off and they are enjoying the dream life. But listen its not about them, its about YOU. So instead of fuelling the FOMO get to work on your business goals and dreams and then switch off and put your feet up, relax and be grateful for what you have around you.
Biggest tip that I’d love for you to takeaway – please don’t let the fear of what you are not doing, negatively impact the ability to deliver or the quality of what you are doing.
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To your success!