How to Deal With FOMO
Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes has a few sideways thrown in too. When things go wrong or don’t go as planned, or when something happens to throw us off balance and make us doubt ourselves, it can be tough to deal with. After all, we all want things to go well and to end up as ‘winners’. But life will always throw challenges at us, including how to deal with FOMO, and we can’t control everything. Nor should we try. It’s not what happens to you but what you do with what happens to you that makes the difference.
What is FOMO?
According to Przybylski et al. (2013) on the subject, it is as follows:
...'' the unpleasant and even overwhelming sense that you're missing out - that your peers are doing, know about, or have more or something better than you''.
Sometimes it may help, but what if most of the time, it doesn't? In either case, it motivates you to keep spinning the hamster wheel in order to feel good about yourself.
Is this simply a byproduct of modern life? Is it really that significant? Or is it informing us of anything important? Is there anything we can do to stop the vicious cycle?
Well, here are two easy ways that you can help you deal with it.
1. Focus on Your Strengths
We’re a bunch of contradictions – sorry to break it to you. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad; sometimes hopeful, sometimes pessimistic; sometimes childish and sometimes mature.
We also have a whole load of strengths and weaknesses that affect what we do and how we do it, but we tend to put more focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths.
A strength is something that you do consistently well– it’s something you’re just able to do, you’re hard-wired to do it well and you get an inherent satisfaction from doing it. It could be tackling and solving complex problems, empathising with people, having a lively imagination or being able to make the perfect omelette.
Focusing on what you do well rather than what you’re not so good at makes all kinds of sense. When you look at what you’re not good at you feel bad about yourself and your ability, but when you focus on and play to your strengths you’re guaranteed to get results, and can even eliminate any negative effect your weaknesses might have.
2. Set Things Up Ahead Of Time
Sure, there will be times when you can just head into something, do brilliantly at it and get the result you were hoping for (normally if you’re playing to your strengths), but other times you might blunder forwards, wing it and not get the result you wanted.
Whatever challenges or opportunities you’re facing you’ll stand a much better chance of getting a great result if you set things up to succeed ahead of time.
So what exactly do you want to happen? What solution, outcome or result would be great? Get really clear on the outcome you want from what’s facing you and how it would feel to get the outcome you’re looking for. Then start breaking it down – what can you do to set things up so that your desired outcome happens? What needs to be put in place? What will help to make what you want to happen, happen? And to ensure the best outcome, what are you willing to do?
All of life's best experiences come at a price. They necessitate both investment and sacrifice. It's perfectly normal and good to feel hesitant to commit to them at times. That doesn't imply you're losing out on anything.
Some of these experiences are not found outside of yourself. It's something you work on from within. And the first step in that process is realizing that life isn't about getting all the credit, but rather about focusing on how we could upgrade ourselves.