Today I wanted to talk about a feeling that I have a lot of problems with, and I know a lot of others do too. This is called FOMO, or the fear of missing out. I get this a lot, for all sorts of different situations. Maybe I will see pictures of a party I wasn’t at, or a friend will quit school to go on a trip, or a guy I turned down starts dating someone else, and I feel like I’m missing out on something important. The thing is, this feeling is almost always false, because I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed that party, I like being in school right now, and if I turn down a guy I usually have a good reason. So why is this feeling such a huge problem?
Getting this feeling after the fact isn’t usually my worst problem, as I can usually logically talk myself out of my initial reaction and realize that I made the right choice for me. The problem is when I let this fear dictate the decisions I make in the first place. So I will say yes to going to a party I don’t want to go to, just because I feel that I might be missing out on critical experiences with friends if I choose to have a night in instead. Now a party isn’t really a big deal, but when I look back at the choices I made through my life, I realize a lot of them were due to this FOMO. I should have taken a year after high school to think about what I wanted, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to miss out on what my friends were all going to go through in their first year of university. I have many other examples just like this – from decisions I made in high school, to courses I took, to the men I’ve dated…a lot of these decisions have come from the fear of missing out on important experiences.
Now, this isn’t to say you should only ever do what you feel like doing. Sometimes it’s good to test your limits…sometimes you will even gain life experiences through doing this. However, the basis of any decision should never be a point of fear. If fear dictates any decision, you will almost always make the wrong one. Decisions that test your limits or bring you out of your comfort zone should be made out of excitement and desire to do so, not fear that you are doing the wrong thing if you don’t. FOMO also almost always corresponds to the decisions that most people are making – it is natural to feel that if we are walking a different path than most people, we are doing the wrong thing. However, marching to the beat of your own drum rarely leads you down the wrong path, just a different one. FOMO only makes you live a life that is not your own…and who wants to spend their life being someone else?
If you have any thoughts on this subject or advice, please feel free to leave a comment. If you enjoyed this post, give it a like and subscribe! Then go ahead to my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for more of me:) xoxo