Fear of Missing Out - Fomo A Social anxiety
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Have you ever found yourself in a position that you want to be everywhere (or most places) and want to know everything (or most things) and say yes to things because you simply must?
Have you ever committed to something, let’s say your friends are doing, and as you get into it, you realise it’s not for you? But you do it anyway as you don’t want to miss out.
Or have you ever seen a promotion where a select few are invited and you so need to be one of the select few, you say yes.
I have. At times in the past, I have so wanted to be part of something, that I have immersed myself so much into being part of that something and have committed and said yes, only to find, it wasn’t for me.
have spent thousands of pounds - spent, not invested - into things which really didn’t serve me, but, I couldn’t back out as I felt I had to be there, otherwise I would be missing out.
I have paid for courses, seminars, franchises, events and much more because my friends were doing it and I didn’t want to miss out.
You know it, as I do, the Fear of Missing Out, can be your shadow and influencer, without you even consciously knowing what you are doing. It’s an unconscious way of being, and it can be quite expensive, exhausting and compromising.
So why do we do it? Could it be because:
· We think we want to be part of that experience.
· It’s cool to engage in it.
· We don’t want to let our friends down.
· We want to fit in.
· We want to be part of the ‘select few’.
· We want to feel special.
· We want to feel valued.
· We want to be accepted.
· We don’t want to be judged.
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". This social anxiety is characterised by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”. (Wikipedia)
This is incredibly common for our young people.
remember being a teenager. It was awful. The bullying and rigid school system couldn’t support my needs. I had incredibly low self-esteem and very little confidence. Equally, my parents had moved to a new house when I was 13, bang through puberty and all the emotions and changes which were taking place were escalated.
disliked my new school as the curriculum was so different from my last school where I excelled as a student. I did my best to engage with other students and make new friends, but the other teenagers were horrible. There was lots of new lingo being used and as I didn’t know what it was or what it meant, I went along with it, save the fear of missing out and not fitting in. It was debilitating and humiliating. Especially as I had no one to talk to about it.
We didn’t have social media as it is today. Nor did we have the choices which young people have today. But, the social anxiety stayed with me.
I know young people find it challenging to talk to their peers about these issues as they don’t want to be judged or not taken seriously. I know young people have got into debt, because they didn’t want to miss out. And this opens doorways for even more challenges.
couldn’t ask for help either. I was too scared. I didn’t know what would happen if my parents found out and I didn’t want to be mocked by my siblings. Neither did I want to lose the little freedom I had, which was going to work when I was 16. I bottled it up and pretended I was ok.
And this continued right into my 20’s as I faced the world of work and people who were mature and experienced. It was frightening at first. I could do my job and I was never a party animal, but I wanted to be accepted and this had a downside.
But that was then. It’s different now. We live in a 24/7, 7 days a week world and many people are plugged into the internet most of the time. To the point were smart phones are controlling peoples lives. For many, there is no way of escaping it. Personally, I switch the internet off each evening and turn off my phone before bed time.
How do we step out this fear of missing out?
As Humans, we are like onions, we have layers of conditioning, limiting beliefs and programming which prevent us from realising our full potential. When we release these layers, we not only feel lighter through the shift, we also have more energy and courage to move forwards and learn to accept ourselves and meet our own needs.
Talk to someone. A Mentor, Coach, Teacher, colleague or friend may be able to point you in the right direction. And by talking, I mean face to face, skype etc., or over the phone, not a text chat as such as these have very little emotion behind them.
There are services available for young people now, which are accessible.
I have experience in supporting young people and will soon be posting case studies and testimonials. I feel honoured to bear witness to the transformations I have seen. I am sure you know the value of releasing these layers and realising your potential.
Are you ready to break the shackles which bind you?
With love and grace