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Escaping The Fomo Epidemic

The Illusion Of Missing Out

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By Kinjal Basnet | 25th June, 2023

Discover why following society's age-based expectations can lead to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and how to break free from it. Learn how to redefine success, find fulfillment in the present, and create your own path to a meaningful life. Say goodbye to comparing yourself to others and start living on your own terms.

It seems like there is a guidebook on what you should be doing when you’re a certain age. You shall graduate high school by 17, attend a university by 18, explore your career options in your 20s, settle down, and start a family in your 30s and the list continues. Therefore, whenever you are a little off track from this list it is normal to feel missed out. You were supposed to be doing what everyone says you should be doing and if you’re not you’re missing out. But what if we take a step back and question the traditional guideline? Why?

What would possibly go wrong if you attended the university at 19 and graduated a year later than your friends? What opportunities would you miss out on if you were a year older? One possible issue could be you would have to watch your friends live the “best life” without you and you will have to deal with the FOMO.

According to a study,“ Today, more than ever, people are exposed to a lot of details about what others are doing; and people are faced with the continued uncertainty about whether they are doing enough or if they are where they should be in terms of their life.”
This is the major cause behind the FOMO epidemic.

As you mindlessly scroll through the curated lives of others on social media, a sense of panic starts to set in. You see people at music festivals and exotic destinations living their best life, while you're stuck in the same old routine. That influencer who seems to have it all together is the same age as you, yet you feel worlds behind in life. A voice in your head starts whispering: You should be doing more. You should be further along. Look at all the life experiences you're missing out on. There's a whole world out there, but you're trapped in this mundane existence and there's nothing you can do about it.

This right here is what FOMO feels like but the worst part is this is just what it feels like when it begins to appear. The severe condition can lead you to other negative experiences which include: lack of sleep, anxiety, emotional tension, and can even affect physical well-being.

Do you really want to not miss out so badly? Well, I’ve got some bad news and good news.

The bad news is no matter how rich, how successful, how young or even old you are you can’t experience it all. No matter what social media suggests, you simply can't be "everywhere, everything, all at once". There always will be something you’ll be missing out on.

The good news is You’re not missing out. You’re not. Life happens wherever you choose to go. Your life is happening right here, right now. You can’t miss out on wherever you’re not present. Your worth isn't defined by how much you can cram into life but by who you become along the way. This is your story, so escape the sinkhole of self-doubt and start living it. The present moment is all you need to be fulfilled.

While it may sound good while it’s written it can be extremely difficult to follow. But that’s where the fun part is. When you disclaim all the rules you have been taught that you must follow and question their authenticity and relevance, that is when you own yourself. The journey of self-discovery doesn’t exactly have a destination and you’re always open to new findings so there are some things that you can do to not feel FOMO.

  • Dump your social media: "You don't necessarily need to deactivate or delete your social media accounts if you don't want to. However, it's important to be mindful about who you choose to follow. Avoid following people who promote an unrealistic or idealized image of what a "normal" life should look like. Don't become too invested in comparing your life to the curated feeds of others, because they only exist because you give them your attention. Remember that the perfect life doesn't actually exist. If you find that spending just 15 minutes on Instagram leaves you feeling more miserable and experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out), it's time to re-evaluate your following list and filter out those who aren't bringing positivity to your experience.”
  • Dump your idea of an ideal life: There are no guidelines for an ideal life. Your age, your success, and your wealth will always be relative to others. The superlatives like “ best “ are only for grammar books and there will always be comparative forms. Therefore, get out of that comparative vision and simply live in the positive form. It’s good and not better or even close to the best. You’re happy and you shouldn’t care about if there are happier things or happiest moments. There is no other road than that you’re at the moment.
  • Work on yourself: Work on yourself. Rather than obsessing over the idea of what you’re missing out on, create a version of yourself that wouldn’t worry about such matters. You have nothing to prove and no one to keep up with except yourself. Stay focused on your own passions and values, and keep learning and becoming who you want to be. Make the most of the journey rather than worrying so much about the destination.

There are no other stories to be a part of than your own story. This is your story and it doesn’t continue without you. The present is all we are guaranteed, so make the most of it. Do not let another day pass you by while you are imprisoned by what could have been or what may come to be. Those are illusions, phantoms that vanish into the night. You cannot miss out on life, you can only miss out on living.
Do not waste another second worrying about what you may be missing out on. The only thing worth missing is the opportunity to live fully, imperfectly, and unapologetically now. This is your moment, your life, your story. Now is the time to turn the page on self-doubt and start writing it. The rest of the world will be right where you left them, but you will have traveled into the depths of your soul.

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