Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 13, 2019

What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It)

What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It)

Are you unable to say “no” to a party invitation even if you have some work to do? Do you feel like an outsider if you don’t see the hottest Hollywood movie everyone is talking about? Do you feel that you have to buy the latest and hottest “making money online” information product because everyone else is doing so?

If you have been in these or similar situations before, you have just experienced FOMO.

In this article, we’ll look into what FOMO is and how to get over it.

What is FOMO?

I learned about FOMO by reading a book Find Your Focus Zone by Lucy Jo Palladino. In that book, she described the FOMO with an everyday example: Have you ever felt that you had to pick up the cell phone right away when it rings?

The longer the phone rings, the more and more you experience the fear of missing out (FOMO). You feel that there is something important you are about to miss if you don’t pick up the phone at instant.

The most important element in FOMO is the word “fear”. It makes us to do things even when we necessarily don’t want to. It’s like logic versus emotion: When a compelling option is presented to us, we feel like an outsider if we say “no” to that. We may even fear that we miss an opportunity of a lifetime if we say “no”.

Advertising

At the same time, we know that we probably shouldn’t say “yes”, because we may be spreading ourselves too thin. Also, there are going to be plenty of other opportunities out there, so missing this one wont probably make a difference after all.

Symptoms of FOMO

When you are a “victim” of fear of missing out, you are going to experience at least one of the following:

Procrastinating — Being Unfocused and Stressed

It is obvious, that when the temptation to say “yes” to a request is too big, you accept yet another task or project to your task list.

In practice, you are spreading yourself too thin. Not only are you stressed out by too many activities in your life, it increases the likelihood for procrastination. This is because you cannot keep up with your schedule and you start finding excuses for not doing something you promised.

Losing Money

Sometimes you don’t want to feel like being an outsider in a group by making different decisions than the rest of the people.

For example, I have been in internet marketing circles for a couple of years and every time there is a big product launch coming, there is a lot a of buzz around it.

Advertising

Since this “next shiny object” is probably going to make you rich and famous overnight, you don’t want to miss out. If you do, others are going to be rich and famous, not you.

Unfortunately, in many situations like these, nothing groundbreaking is going to happen after all (no fame, no money, just hard work). It is yet another product launch, which is going to waste your money, if the fear (FOMO) is getting the hold of you.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is one of the symptoms of fear of missing out. When you are unable to say “no”, feeling overwhelmed is destined to happen at some point.

There is just too much going on at the same time and you are unable to focus on anything properly.

How to Get Over the Fear of Missing Out

There are certain things you can do when you experience the FOMO:

1. Be Aware of It

First thing is to be aware of the feeling. Stop for a moment and acknowledge when you are having a feeling of FOMO.

Advertising

Understand that this is a natural (although undesirable) way of reacting in a certain situation (in other words, when you feel that you are missing out something important and you feel you have to say “yes”).

2. Be Honest to Yourself and Others

Honesty is one of the best ways to deal with the situation.

First, you have to be honest to yourself: If you say “yes”, you have to understand that you may be spreading yourself too thin.

Second, it is also important to be honest to others too. They have to be aware that you may not be 100% committed to their requests, if you have plenty of action going on at the same time.

3. Make a Quick Decision Regarding the Situation

This is one of the worst things to do to be on the fence on a decision. As long as something is left undecided, it is using your brain capacity for nothing.

That’s why it is imperative to say “no” to an opportunity as quickly as possible, if you feel you are unable to commit to it 100%.

Advertising

When you say “no”, you may even your decision at first. On the other hand, if you are meant to experience the opportunity at all, it will come available to you at some point later.

4. Change the Perspective

Lastly, one step in defeating the FOMO is to see if a situation or event supports your goals.

For example, I used to buy lots of internet marketing training programs in the past. However, once I started to see things from my goals perspective (what I wanted to achieve and if the program supported that goal), I was able to eliminate distraction and fears of missing out on something seemingly important.

Conclusion

Fear of missing out can make you do things – sometimes even something that you don’t want to do. However, there is a way to overcome the fear. Once you learn to handle it, you will feel better and happier than before.

More About Fear of Missing Out

Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

More by this author

Timo Kiander

Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It) Do You Do This Common Mistake When You Start Working on Your Tasks? 9 Valuable Lessons Learned After Writing My First Book How to Create a To-Do List that Makes You Smile Agreeing on Deadlines With Yourself Just Doesn’t Work: Here’s What Does

Trending in Lifestyle

1 10 Comics About Periods That Only Women Would Understand 2 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 3 How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart 4 How to Enjoy Life In a Way Most People Don’t 5 How to Conquer Your Fear of Change and Transform Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

Advertising

2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

Advertising

To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

Advertising

So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

Advertising

Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

Read Next