Trust me: FOMO is real.
When I first arrived in Germany as an international student, I got so strung out by this mentality that, at the time, I didn’t take seriously. Amidst the meetings, events, new experiences, conferences, travel opportunities, launches, sports… it soon became so overwhelming. It affected me more than I could believe – to the point where I HAD to learn how to overcome FOMO!
Let’s face it though: it’s not only students that experience this. Most of us have experienced it at least once in our lives. From travelers to women in business to moms and anyone who has ever scrolled through their Instagram feed, FOMO can be an all too familiar experience!
But, with a little dose of work, patience, mindfulness and handy tricks, I can proudly say that I finally understood how to be in the moment and not let my mind trick me into believing being somewhere else, doing something else, would be better!
What is FOMO?
FOMO was adopted in 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary as:
“Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.’’
But personally, I would add that it is the constant impression that wherever you are, whatever you do, you might be missing something else out there that’s better.
It’s that uncomfortable feeling that you didn’t pick the right choice. You would inevitably be having more fun elsewhere, FOMO tells you.
It’s the thought that you’re not worth enough because you weren’t doing the better, cooler thing or choosing the better, cooler option.
It’s that tendency to ask people about the event you missed, hear how fun it was and then torture yourself with existential questions like ‘why didn’t I go?’ or ‘how could I miss that.’ Or maybe you even try to justify your choice because maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t as fun as it looked. Of course, sometimes they tell you…it was. Ugh. And you missed it!
And it gets worse when it settles in.
Let this FOMO catch hold of your thoughts and it begins to settle you into an indecisive state where you become obsessed with making the best choice. And this is an exhausting decision-making process that starts to take over even the smallest decisions in your day. It’s just an ice cream flavor after all! Just pick one!
When FOMO takes over, something amazing becomes a anxiety cycle because your mind is so busy wondering about what could’ve been. It becomes a lifestyle (an exhausting one) that takes you very far out of the present. You’re always unconsciously trying to control the outcome and learn about what you missed, all to the torment of yourself.
There’s so much we can say about FOMO because it’s something that affects your tiny decisions, as well as your most life-changing ones.
The worst comes when you’re exhausted by overextending your mind and you begin to overbook yourself.
Someone suffering from FOMO can start to do irrational things, such as double-booking in an effort to try to fit way too many things into the same day as possible to be sure nothing is missed!
FOMO makes the intrusive thoughts about all the fun you might be missing and allows it to overtake your mind. It can raise anxiety to a point where any moment becomes less exciting because it’s focused on what might be more exciting. Your memory of an event becomes less and less clear, clouded by the amount of time you spent caught up in your head instead.
If your own time spent experiencing FOMO has you up at night, it doesn’t have to be like this. This is an invitation to take space and listen to my 30 minute podcast about FOMO. In LIVE MINDFULLY, I give you clear guidance and steps to understanding FOMO, find mindful strategies to raise your awareness and become more comfortable with making decisions and enjoying the life you’re living.
It is a process that needs your devotion but there is nothing more rewarding than being fully immersed in your present moment. See, it’s not about the choice you make but about learning to listen to yourself and take actions to always follow your bliss. That’s always the right choice for you!