Despite our best efforts, many still suffer from FOMO. We try to ignore it. We try to mitigate it. We try to not live vicariously through others. But this fear of missing out is all around us, lurking for a moment to strike.
What can one do to minimize fear of missing out in your life?
Commit to experiences over things or products. Happiness researchers repeatedly state spending money on experiences rather than things consistently provides happiness boosts, even after the experiences are over. Have you had FOMO over a product lately?
Gather friends and push off on an adventure trip. This doesn’t have to be a crazy weekend of partying and drinking in Des Moines. It can be a simple road trip to go and see a concert. The only regrets about going to concerts or rock shows are the ones you don’t attend.
When you go on a trip, take less stuff. Remember that you need far less than you think. It isn’t about your stuff. In fact, nobody is really all that concerned about your stuff. Especially the poor porter carrying your stuff. For more on this, read Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. Rolf figured out the experiences vs. things debate long ago. Coming to the realization that you can get by on less is a liberating experience. You’re onto something if you can fit all you need for a two or three day trip into one single backpack.
Attend as many parties and in-person social events as you can. Try hitting annual trade shows or your industry’s big events. When we’re around others, our peers, these offer the best circumstances for serendipity. You never know who will be there for sure. It is exciting and it is good for you to be around these people. It makes you happier and more content. Others’ presence and energy tunes our presence and our energy. We cannot get this presence and energy digitally. We can only get it from being live, in-person, and sharing with others.
Volunteer your time. When we’re giving of our time and talent, there is no room for anxiety over FOMO. You’re setting the example. You’re gifting one of the most precious resources any one of us has limited amounts of. Plus, similar to the aforementioned attending parties and social events suggestion, you never know who you’ll meet there. Find a cause you believe in and get after it.
Plan for fun, outdoor trips on the weekends and long weekends. We’re indoors far too much. Researchers cite that we spend as much as 70% of our waking hours indoors. It is no wonder so many of us are Vitamin D deficient. When it is crummy outside, we fantasize about it being beautiful and going outside. When it is beautiful outside, we stay in and binge watch Netflix. Go outside. Start with something as small as daily walks outdoors. As wildly mundane as this sounds, few people spend any time walking at all. Barely even on treadmills. Weirdly, walking has become a new discipline, something you have to schedule to remember to do it. If that’s what it takes, you should do it. Walking provides the break from it all that few of us seem willing to grant ourselves. Rediscover the simple pleasures of a walk outside.
Dedicate to being the best at what you do for a living. Dedicating yourself to being the best in your career or field of choice focuses your actions and behaviors. This engages expertise gathering and the teaching mindset. Your desire to get good spills over into your desire to create, to contribute and to share what you know. A dedication to being the best is a dedication to intrinsic rewards, immaterial ideals we seek for ourselves and for others closest to us. This ignites performance necessity, asking, Who needs my ‘A’ game today? Ironically, you’ll do far more for others’ needs than you will for your own, and you’ll feel better about it, too.
Live a life so excellent, so compelling, so exceptional that your example showcases what’s possible. No to brag. To lead by example. Nothing will cure or work to minimize FOMO than to live an exceptional life so fulfilling that what others are doing right now doesn’t even enter the back of your mind.