Imagine this. One fine morning, you wake up and realize, “Oh my god, I’m doing the same thing over and over every day!” So you end up doing every conceivable thing you haven’t tried in a matter of days or weeks. You try to tick out this super long bucket list before this internally-set deadline comes to pass.
At the end of the day, you feel extremely exhausted and, um… not quite as accomplished as you thought you would be..?
There was an exact same episode in Modern Family about this. This kid Manny realized that he’s missing out on things that boys his age often do. And so, before his thirteenth birthday came to an end, he set out to do several of them like phone pranks and lying on a colorful float in the middle of the pool.
Let’s all be honest here: we’ve had our Manny moment.
We’ve all had an episode or two of FOMO, or fear of missing out, especially in this age of social media and being constantly connected to the entire world. Add to that, this growing pandemic of comparisonitis, some of us practically experience FOMO, like, twice a week tops. (Or is that just me? Hmm.)
But every once in a while, there’s that day. When your mind decides to jump deep, deep down into this FOMO rabbit hole and you then go into an existential crisis. You question the meaning of your life. You wonder if you’ve done stuff people your age “often do”. You think, Am I missing out on the most important things???
Life is a roller coaster ride of changeable wants.
One minute, you want to have a stable routine. The next minute you want to change it up a bit. It’s all fun and exciting until you reach either edge of the spectrum – too attached to a routine to make room for changes, or frantically doing new things by the minute. And we often suffer the latter. (Case in point: the Manny moment.)
The good news is: we can find a balance. We can deal with this fear of missing out in a healthy, do-no-harm way. Here’s what you can do when FOMO is at its peak level.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I did not drop that c-bomb above for show, you know.
If not treated early, comparisonitis could be a deadly disease that could severely affect your life. I should know. I have comparisonitis as much as an active child has snot and bruised knees. Which is, like, nearly every day. And fear of missing out? That’s an effect of comparing yourself to others. You take a look at other people’s lives and you take a look at yours. And (because we’re often too hard on ourselves) you come up with the conclusion that you’ve done less than anybody else. Cue FOMO.
Friend, stop it. Comparisonitis never gave us any real benefit. So you can definitely cut that out of your system and out of your life.
Related: How to Turn The Comparison Game Around and Actually Help You
Look Into Your Inner World
Know what you want in your life. A lot of us are so hung up on wanting to experience #AllTheThings that our external world can offer us, we forget to take notice of the incredible world right under our nose… or, you know, inside our skull.
Getting to know yourself is intimate and it is extremely important in order to not let FOMO reach its peak. If you want to learn how to find yourself but don’t know where to start, I HIGHLY encourage you to read Syaza’s amazing post about how to find yourself when you’re feeling lost. It’s like meditation on paper… or mobile screen, whatever. It’s amazing and may enlighten you with some awesome ideas!
Remember that We All Run on Different Paths in Different Paces
Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And you have to remember that there’s no one participating in your own marathon but yourself. Sure, it may look like you and some other people are running in the same direction. But sooner or later, your paths will diverge. They’d go the other way, and you’d continue on yours. You’ll have a few stops somewhere in the middle, and new people will pass you by. And you’ll also pass by some. But these people? They’re not “ahead” of you. In the one-man marathon you’re in, no one ever is or ever will be.
Let Go of the Limiting Beliefs
My sweet, sweet potato, limiting beliefs are comparisonitis’s nasty cousins. They are good at nothing but, well… limit you. Let them go. You do not need them. You are better off without them.
Side note: I do understand that letting limiting beliefs go is easier said than done, so I’ve listed 5 common limiting beliefs you may have and how to vanquish them like a bogart. *whips out wand*
Take Inventory of What You Have Right Now
I like to think that we all have a box we carry with us all the time. And the more we grow, and the more we experience life, we pick up stuff that we put inside our box. Do an audit of what’s inside your box. And while you’re at it, don’t look at other people’s boxes! Just focus on your own box. Look at all the things that you’ve picked up over time. What’s in it? How do these things impact your life? What good did they bring you?
Folks, this is gratitude. Or… you know, how I practice gratitude in my life. By looking at my box. By being extremely grateful of what I’ve brought along and carried with me in this journey called life. And then, and only then, can I trudge forward, to try new things and meet new people and live my life to the fullest.
Have you ever experienced boss-level FOMO? How did you deal with it? Share your stories and insights below, we’d love to hear (or read) them! <3
Photos from Ivory Mix