Why Is Fear of Missing a Good Thing?
Fear of Missing Out (or FOMO) is the feeling of jealousy and insecurity you get when other people have positive, exciting experiences in their lives and you don’t. It can make you feel overwhelmed, cost you money and be stressful, but it can also be an incredible motivational tool. This is why having FOMO is good.
Maybe you have friends traveling the world, acquaintances who are attending evening classes to advance their careers, or Facebook friends talking about concerts they’ve been to. Meanwhile, you’re alone at work or at home, staring at your phone, wishing you could be a part of it all, instead of stuck on Netflix for the fourth night in a row . FOMO sucks when it starts to affect your life like that. However, it can also get you off the couch, inspire you to achieve your goals, or make you want to be one of those people who post their highlights to Facebook.
Use your FOMO as a motivation tool
However, before you get rid of FOMO completely, consider that fear is a powerful tool. I think you should be afraid to miss something. Enough to make you feel uncomfortable and upset the complacency of everyday life, but not enough to drown in envy. People do incredible things, improve themselves, gain new experiences, and show as much appreciation as possible for their one and only life. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Maybe you are afraid that you are missing something because you are .
If you ignore this fear, you will feel better, but you will also miss the opportunity to broaden your horizons and discover new things. The fear of missing out is your way out of your comfort zone. As you step out of your comfort zone , you will become more productive, less complacent, better handle unexpected changes, and learn to expand your own boundaries and limitations when it really matters.
I’m not suggesting you swap your SCR with YOLO , per se, but there are two truths you should always consider: you will die (and probably not when you plan) and you always have enough for things. Every second of every day amazing things happen and you are not part of them. But these thoughts should not cripple you – they can guide you. Use your fear of missing out as motivation. To do this, you will need to know when you should and should not be afraid to miss the chance.
When to fear overlooked (and act accordingly)
You must focus on the right fear. The kind of fear that pushes you to exciting new places. The kind of fear that can help you find a purpose in your life or make you realize that you are truly enjoying the work you are doing right now . This fear is good. This fear is your friend. So when should you be afraid to miss the chance?
- When you see people doing something, you want to do or want to be a part of it. If you are afraid of missing something, be aware of it and try to understand why. Maybe you were holding yourself back. If some friends go to yoga classes in the morning and you feel like you are missing them, ask yourself why? In part, it may be a desire to share this time with friends, but perhaps you also wanted to establish some kind of physical activity, but did not yet realize it. Let fear motivate you to do the same or find out where they started.
- When you have the opportunity to learn or do something that you have never done before. Expand your horizons and invest in a variety of life events. This is the only thing that you are guaranteed to keep for the rest of your life. The vast majority of research shows that experiences are more important to us than things . Invest in them. You will probably never regret this cooking lesson to go out with your friends when they go horseback riding or watching the opera. At the very least, you will appreciate how much work goes into cooking, see how fun galloping like in the movies can be, and experience a whole new kind of entertainment. In fact, I’m taking fencing lessons right now because my roommate was taking them, and I’m fucking enjoying it.
- When the experience can be generally beneficial to you, and the good outweighs the bad. Weigh your options and consider what the overall benefit might be. Sometimes it’s good to focus on the greater good. You might not want to go to this work party, but you probably don’t want to pass up the chance to get close (or chat) with your coworkers and boss. Who knows? You may even make a new friend or get a better understanding of who the people you work with really are.
- When you are bored, you feel complacent, stagnant, or feel that your life everything goes wrong, as it should. Follow that fear and shake things up. Meet friends at this cool new bar, even if you feel like staying at home and streaming Bob’s Burgers. You don’t have to feel pressured to always go outside, but if you get caught up in a rut, you’ll be surprised how much one unusual little thing can change your point of view. Take back control.
We know it’s too much to worry about what other people are doing. However, having no fear at all can be just as bad. As with most things, balance is important here. If you use these feelings and fears correctly, you can change your life for the better. The next time something happens, ask yourself, “ Am I afraid of missing something? Or am I really missing something ? “
When you really shouldn’t be afraid to miss
However, there are many times when you must not let fear affect you. You should not judge what you are missing solely by what you see, for example, on social media. That’s all you can eat “look what I did!” buffet, buffet. Facebook and Twitter have become not only places to brag but also places to communicate, but what you see is only part of the big picture.
Your buddy Steve may look like he’s living a dream – going to concerts, traveling the world, attending Krav Maga lessons – but that’s because you see a video of some of his highlights. Steve’s life isn’t always great. It is important to maintain the right mindset as you scroll through your news feed or Twitter feed. And it doesn’t hurt to make your social media feeds less FOMO-provoking. If you are tired of Steve’s “adventures”, give up his posts. However, if you have a friend who is doing something you’ve always wanted to do, leave him in your timeline for motivation. Every time you log in, it will feel like something is poking and nudging you to finally make a move.
You should also avoid the fear of missing out on information such as news and gossip. Being aware of current events is inherently good, but one can easily go too far, and the obsession with “what’s happening right now” instead of doing something about it is of no benefit to anyone. You don’t need to know that Sally is going to the gym. You never have to test your knowledge of who meets whom in Hollywood. You won’t feel safer if you focus on the recent tragedy . Not knowing everything does not make you ignorant, so there is no reason to be afraid that you are not in the know.
Finally, you should never be afraid to miss out on what you already know you don’t like . Identify what you really enjoy missing out on. For example, I played Super Smash Brothers with friends solely out of my own fear of missing out. I knew I wasn’t very good at it, and deep down I knew that I don’t really enjoy playing it. But I’m a competitive person and I wanted to spend time with my friends, so I couldn’t help but try hard when they wanted to play. I even bought my own copy to practice. I didn’t do it out of joy, but because I didn’t want to miss the “fun times” my friends were having. In the end, I came to terms with the truth: I didn’t like Smash, even if it meant spending a little more time with friends. Once I realized this, fear turned into joy. I’ll find other ways to spend time with them, and I loved the fact that I don’t torture myself just to be a part of something. To turn your fear into motivation, do the same. Find out what your Smash is and free yourself from it.