FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out – affects all of us from time to time. It happens to people who have too many plans and can’t decide which ones to go with, and it happens to people who have no plans and feel like everyone else is out having fun.
But no matter who you are, FOMO is a burden that will ruin all your chances of having a good time, no matter what you’re doing. If you spend all your time wishing you were somewhere else, or with someone else, you’ll never be able to appreciate the good things you have going for you.
We can only be one place at a time, and it’s incredibly important to be all there if you’re going to enjoy yourself and make good memories. Letting go of FOMO takes practice, but once you have the hang of it you’ll find that you can be happy anywhere, doing anything. Not only will that make life more fun, but you’ll be more fun to be around!
Narrow down your choices
Author Barry Schwartz published a book in 2004 called The Paradox of Choice, and it’s all about how having too many choices can cause people to shut down, and get no enjoyment out of the choices they do make. Whether it’s cereal, clothing or evening plans, having too many options is usually overwhelming.
According to Schwartz there are two kinds of people: Maximizers and Satisficers. Maximizers aren’t satisfied until they’ve researched every possible option, and Satisficers look through a few until they find something they like, and then go with it. His conclusion finds that Satisficers experience less FOMO, because they don’t obsess over their options, they just go with what they know they like and leave it at that.
The grass is always greener
Whatever choice we make, there’s always a chance a different choice might have been more fun. Especially if things go wrong. But remember, there’s just as much chance that the other choice might have been equally disappointing or worse!
Don’t imagine that every other option would have worked out better. No one can change the past, so what good will it do you to obsess over how things might have been? Better to take a lesson from your experiences and try to get a funny story out of it. Hence the saying “we’re going to laugh about this someday.”
Less FOMO, more presence
We’ve talked a lot in our blogs about the importance of “being present.” This requires much more than just showing up! With FOMO your mind drifts to all the other things you could possibly be doing and you miss out on the experience of what you’re actually doing.
Whenever you catch yourself drifting, bring yourself back. Focus on what’s happening all around you. Give yourself a break, too. There’s no need to get upset if you keep drifting off. Like I said, all of this takes practice, and over time you’ll get better at it and experience FOMO less and less.
One of our previous blogs, The Importance of Living with Gratitude, explains a bunch of ways to appreciate your experiences more every day. Gratitude and presence are your best weapons against FOMO, so learn them and use them as often as you can.
And if you need more information or help making these ideas into long-lasting, life-improving good habits, call or email us to talk to someone from our amazing, compassionate staff.