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The Fear of Missing out Has Been Around Forever Even Without Social Media

The Fear of Missing out Has Been Around Forever Even Without Social Media

FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. It has been a popular concept for the last decade or so—largely because of the corresponding rise of social media.

Many people are now linking FOMO and social media but FOMO isn’t a new concept. It’s been around since almost the dawn of time.

Before social media, you were afraid of missing out. The insecurity of being left out was strong when a friend didn’t invite you to a party, when you didn’t understand an inside joke of others, or when someone knew something you had never heard of.

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Humans Are Designed to Fear Missing Out

Consistent inclusion makes people feel safe. Humans were designed to live together in communities.

Imagine you are on a scout team. The scout team goes into a jungle, but leaves you behind. As they build a camp together, you’re left alone. How do you feel?

Probably lonely. You feel as if you’re not needed and easy to forget about. You have no value. Because you’re alone with the elements, you understand there’s a degree of danger to the situation. It’s scary.

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Sticking together is safe. Being left out is insecure. This perception is reinforced when people have got in touch with the social media. Social media has made this worse but it didn’t create it. Now people have a desire to not get left out both digitally and in the real world, that’s how the problem has compounded.

Chasing for Inclusion Intensifies the Fear

FOMO creates an overwhelming situation socially. If you seek to never be left out, you will always pursue friends’ gatherings, every single piece of information, all the inside jokes, etc. It becomes too much. Your energy drains, and you lose time and effort towards other projects, relationships, and work. The only thing you get from chasing an end to FOMO is a sense of instant gratification for being “in the know” or “never left out.” That chase, however, has no end in sight. It’s exhausting.

It also creates a context where your self-esteem can become based on the approval of others, which is dangerous. Most people don’t have the attention to pay to the entire social sphere, online or in-person, so you’ll always be left out of events or info here and there because it would be impossible to always be included. But if your self-esteem is tied up in others’ approval, those moments when you are left out will hurt even more. You can begin to question your basic value.

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The Joy of Missing Out

Think on life like this: how worthy you are depends on two things. (1) is what you do and (2) how you contribute. Your self-worth cannot be tied to missing out on the events of others. Think about what you want for yourself, not what others want for themselves.

When you’re clear about what you want, the things you miss out on tend to be less important. What you have missed out will no longer hold on to you.

To experience the joy of missing out, you need to realize that your own worth comes from within. You are the only person you can control. Approve yourself and make the security come from within. The fear of missing out will no longer haunt you when you feel safe with what you have within.

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One of the first rules of building self-esteem is to focus on improving yourself but never expect perfection. You need to start weaning yourself off your bad habits and onto new ones. View life through a prism of “progress not perfection.” Perfection is unattainable for almost all of us. But progress at the aspects of life you care about—relationships, health, your profession, financial literacy, etc.—is possible. Try to track where you are week-to-week and month-to-month. As you see progress, you will begin to feel better about yourself. Try saving $10 one week, then $15 the next week, then $20. In a year, you’ll be trying to save $500+ per week. Progress.

As you build self-esteem through these methods and take care of you, the need for FOMO will slip away.

Read more about how to boost your self-esteem: We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 9, 2019

7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

Changing your life can be both scary and exciting, but more than anything it’s necessary to grow. Most people come to a point one day where they have to make a change in their life to either grow personally or professionally, but it’s hard to figure out when you’re ready to make that change.

So how do you know when it’s time that you’re ready to change your life?

The truth is there is at least one sign in front of you that you have been ignoring or not even noticing. This article will take you through 7 signs that shows you that you’re ready to take that next step.

1. Your Motivation Is Gone

Humans all have something that makes them tick. A goal that makes them wake up at 5am even though they would love to sleep in late. A drive that makes them decline social events, because their jobs need them to stay all night, or maybe it’s the opposite and you attend social events to please the ones close to you.

It comes from your motivation to succeed either professionally or personally, but once the drive is missing, then you can’t keep going and you will lose your motivation.

If you suddenly can’t find that drive inside you once had, then it can be a sign. It can be your needs or wants that have changed. The important thing is that if you don’t feel the same motivation any longer, then it’s time to do something about it.

We’ve been taught to keep going even when it gets tough, but it’s okay to change and redefine yourself. It’s not about giving up. It’s about stopping up and revaluate whether you still want the same things in life.

Sometimes you may find out you still want the same time, but the way you’re going about it isn’t working for you.

Chris Sacca, an American venture investor, and entrepreneur, bought a cabin in Tahoe’s less-expensive neighbour and moved to the prime skiing and hiking country when he felt his motivation sliding away. He still had the same goals, but described a need for a change in his life to get back the right mind-set:[1]

”I wanted to have the time to focus, to learn the things I wanted to learn, to build what I wanted to build, and to really invest in relationships that I wanted to grow, rather than just doing a day of coffee after coffee after coffee.”

If you still want the same things, then do what Chris Sacca did and change your daily routine. If you want new things, then maybe it’s time to quit your job, or make a change in your personal life.

It doesn’t mean that you have failed. It simply means you are ready to focus on what matters: You.

Find your passion and motivation back to live a better life with these tips:

Want to Know What Truly Motivates You, and How to Always Stay Motivated?

2. You’re Unhappy at Least Once a Day Every Day

We tend to ignore unhappiness because it’s normal to get upset or feel a bit down. It’s true. It is normal, but if you feel unhappy every day and usually without even knowing exactly why – it’s a sign.

A task, a job or a relationship can be both giving and draining — most often both. While we have to accept a certain struggle, we don’t have to accept being unhappy.

Here’s a little test you can do easily:

Take a look at what you do every day, and take a look at the things you have assigned yourself. How many of these things do you do for yourself? And how many do you do to please someone else?

Once and a while, we need to take a step back and look at our to-do list. Are you dealing with a to-do list of others, or your own to-do list? There is a difference.

This can easily be misunderstood, but you need to remember it’s not about being selfish or lazy. If you’re unhappy on a daily basis, then you can’t make other people happy in the long run either.

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If you’re unhappy every day, then it’s time to recognize it as a sign that you’re doing something wrong in your life when it comes to your own happiness. It might have seemed right before, but it’s clearly not doing you any good anymore. You’re ready for a change.

You can learn how to be happy again from this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

3. The People Around You Are Changing

The grass is far from always greener on the other side of the street (at least most of the time), and while we shouldn’t compare ourselves to the people around us on a daily basis, it’s okay to take a look once a while.

The people you surround yourself with often reflect back on yourself. If you’re going through a phase where most of your friends have been going out all the time, and then they suddenly start to focus on work and family, it might be a sign.

This by no means imply you should change your life if you’re still feeling fulfilled and good about it. But if you turn your head and start noticing a change around you and it makes you rethink things, it’s probably a sign of you being ready to change as well.

4. You’re Bored

A healthy life shouldn’t be all fun and games, but if you’re starting to feel bored on a daily basis, then it could be a sign. There’s a difference between waking up on a Sunday and not knowing what to do, and waking up every day and feel bored.

Maybe you don’t feel challenged in your job any longer, or your normal idea of fun is no longer giving you the enjoyment it once did before.

Take the time to check with yourself. Are you just bored? Or do you need something more in your life?

Humans are run by habits and routines, which makes it tough to change them. It also makes us stay in bad situations much longer than needed.

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It’s always hard in the beginning but you can do it! Take a leap of faith and change your life.

5. You’re Stressed

Stress is probably one of the most common signs that you’re in need of a change, but it can also be one of the signs that can be the hardest to react upon. Because when you’re stressed, you automatically feel anxious about making a change.

It can be hard to deal with stress, but luckily there are many different types of solutions to deal with it. It often comes down to trying different ways and figuring out what works for you.

Tim Ferriss notices that:[2]

“More than 80% of the world-class performers I’ve interviewed have some form of daily mediation or mindfulness practice.”

Take a look at this to find what’s best for you to relieve stress:

The Healthy and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress

But sometimes all you need to do is to figure out what is stressing you out and whether it’s worth it. If the stress comes down to being a sign, then you need to accept it and create a change in your life, because you’re clearly ready.

6. You’re Scared

Everybody lives with fears. They’re afraid of losing someone. They’re afraid of losing their job. They’re afraid of making the wrong decisions. They’re afraid of a lot of things because life is pretty scary.

The trick is to recognize whether the fear drives you or brings you down. It’s okay to be scared, but it’s not okay to live in constant fear.

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If you’re scared about a specific thing or just feel anxious on a daily basis, it’s time to get a better understanding of where it comes from and also see it as a sign.

When you’re already scared, it can be tough to consider making a change in your life, but look past the fear and know that you can choose to stay in this state of mind or work through it.

Try to visualize a future where the fear is no longer present and use it as a tool to make the hard decision now and change your life for the better.

This guide written by the author of Fight the Fear – How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life will help you conquer your fears:

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

7. There’s No Stimulation in Your Life

Humans need stimulation in their daily lives because we will feel scared, stressed and unhappy at times. If you can tell that you no longer have that stimulation in your life, then it’s a sign that you’re ready for a change.

What drove you in the past or got your heart pounding faster once might not do the same for you anymore. Before you get to the previous mentioned state of minds, you can get ahead of things and recognize this lack of stimulation as soon as possible as a sign.

The Bottom Line

All changes are hard and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but we need to start seeing change as a positive rather than (as we often do at first) a negative. Changing your life can be tough, but it’s worth it.

Once you decided to change your life it won’t be easy in the beginning. Try to use a phrase Chris Sacca used when he was going through the same:[3]

”I had a phrase I kept repeating in my head over and over again, which was, ‘Tonight, I will be in by bed…”

This will help you remember whatever you’re feeling right now is temporary. But if you don’t find the courage to make a change, then the negative feelings and emotions you’re dealing with won’t be.

Featured photo credit: Joshua Ness via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, page 165
[2]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, page 149
[3]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, Page 167

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