It is fair to say that FOMO – ‘the fear of missing out’ – has flourished in the rise of social media and popular culture in all its guises. And it’s a phenomena that can create angst, fear and insecurity via a vicariously placed attention of – and an investment into – other people’s lives. Even when, interestingly enough, there’s little to no real interest in wanting the very same experiences. And yet the various emotional states formed can quickly become potent and addictive simply via a passive observation without a reality qualifying filter.
It is human nature to be aspirational in regards to the quality of our lives. To want the best. To achieve as much as we can. To live life on our terms. And yet otherwise rational and authentic people can feel a real sense of missing out when they view and perceive others as more successful/luckier/more lauded than themselves – however peripheral the observation. And too often based only on glossy posts to social media.
So what can we do to do to quell a feeling of lack or incompleteness? How can we actively ensure and healthfully entrench a sense of well-being when we’re regularly bombarded with celebrity ‘culture’ and highly stylised product placements and advertising that often promote an aura of exclusivity rather than inclusivity?
One of the most meaningful things you can do is a reassessment of your own personal values. These are the emotional states you most dominately desire. Ask yourself – what are they? How are they ‘showing up’ in your life? Are you upholding the standards and virtues you set for yourself? Do you actively do what makes you happy and brings you joy? What is exquisitely unique about you?
By shoring up our self-esteem, any form of negativity has a radically less affect on our day-to-day life. Living life consciously and fully offers scant opportunity for unserving behaviours. And esteem builds courage.
As much as we can’t compare ‘apples to oranges’, neither should we compare ourselves to others. Yet that’s not to say that the modelling of traits of those we admire isn’t useful – as it often is. Especially if it provides a proven success or growth pathway.
At worst, FOMO can initiate a sense of real loss – of regard, respect, attention or abundance. So too, a simple ‘gratitude analysis’ can bring what you already have and own into a useful perspective. Do you have real quality time to spend with family and friends? Have you skills and attributes that you’re proud of? Are you actively living a life on your own terms that you respect and which deeply fulfills you?
There are two dominant fears in life (on an emotional scale) – not being loved, and not being enough. By focusing on living consciously and in a state of being alive to life – irrational fears are greatly diminished. The quickest way to shift back into a state of abundance at any moment is to consciously recognise and appreciate what you already have – right now. And in knowing that there is always more than enough for everybody.
A sense of lightness and joy, and ease and calm replaces fear by certainty that we’re not missing out on what’s most important to us. It’s literally a matter of choice what you believe – so upscale your beliefs, thoughts and expectations!
And too, remember this – needs serve and wants are discretionary. So focus on needs. By actively disengaging from what others are doing and focusing on our truest values – regardless of any external ‘noise’ – we are well placed to live an authentic life.
FOMO only thrives on comparison without discretion – so don’t feed the fears! Live YOUR life!