Four years ago, I used to have this problem. An issue that kind of stopped me from living life the way I should and forced me to compete with the world. At first, I thought that it’s just me living life to the fullest, but after a certain time, I realized I was addicted to a very toxic pattern.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t consuming anything illegal. Hell no. I was hooked on getting the most out of life. Now, while it sounds nice when you put it like this, the reality of it was quite different. I was a FOMO sufferer. To any of you who have no idea what that means, FOMO is “the fear of missing out in life”.
Yup, that’s right.
For me, it was everything that you can imagine. Thinking back, I believe that being socially active on Instagram was one of the first things that triggered this obsession of mine. It kind of forced me to keep up with everything that people are doing. It started innocently enough, but after a while, I needed to try and experience everything.
Whether it was a new bar, an amazing beach on some faraway island, night out with colleagues, seemingly important, social media influencer events, I had to BE everywhere. I was obsessed with maintaining the same pace as everyone else. I didn’t want to be the only one who misses out on all the fun, opportunities and knowledge. So, I tried hard to keep up.
And I did it for years. I rescheduled plans, I canceled other things and I bent over backward to find time and resources to do all of those interesting stuff. But, strangely they were never as interesting and breathtaking as I expected them to be.
But then at one point, I realized that my whole life is gravitating around that. It finally dawned on me that my sole purpose of doing that was not motivated by the joy of experiencing something amazing. It was motivated by the fear of not seeing it.
So, here I am. After all those years, I finally learned my lesson. Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to share the wisdom with all of you and help you get yourself out of that maze before it’s too late. Because we only get one life, remember?
Let’s face it. FOMO is something that is bothering us all. Some may not be aware that they suffer from it, but it’s in their lives. I mean, how could it not be?
We live in a world where there are so many choices at any given moment, that it is almost surprising to me how we haven’t gone completely mad by now. I used to think that my grandparents struggled with having too little to choose from, but now I understand that having two alternatives instead of 100 is perhaps for the best.
The reason that FOMO is happening to all of us is that we have a whole ocean full of options, yet our life span is not enough to experience each and every one of those options. And so, the more we have, the less happy we are.
We’ve stopped going out to have a good time, we are now going out because we want to be present, seen and get the same attention as everyone else. We’ve stopped enjoying the beauty of life’s unpredictability because now everything must be well calculated and planned. We’ve stopped thinking about what our hearts really want because we are too busy doing what everyone is doing. Too damn busy competing with the whole wide world.
The fear of missing out on life is actually making us miss out on life. Not the other way around.
Because in that process of exploring everything that this world has to offer, we miss out on the most valuable things. We miss out on the present moment, our happiness, our deepest desires that only our heart knows of. But, most importantly we miss out on life.
So, the only way to release yourself from this nightmare is to start destroying those fantasies in your mind. You will never have enough time to experience everything that you want. The truth is, with every breath you take, you are missing out on something. There’s no escaping from that. So, you might as well just stop trying to reach everything and focus on a few most important aspects of your life.
The first step to that process is the moment you realize that life isn’t about running around and experiencing everything in order to keep up with the crowd. It’s about focusing on a few valuable things and learning how to fully experience them.