Are you wondering how to overcome FOMO?
(Or are you like I was and first had to check out what this was?) Either way, I will try to enlighten you because most of us have had this issue for years and just didn’t have a fun acronym to call it.
Fear Of Missing Out
How many times have you wondered if the grass is greener? Would life be better if I had a different house, partner, more money, or less stress? All of those things can be classified as FOMO. We are afraid that we are missing out on something better. It’s a big reason that people don’t make decisions. IF they make the wrong one they might miss out on something else. If I book that trip to Mexico I might miss out on an amazing cruise.
Another term we often use when thinking about FOMO is scarcity. We are afraid there isn’t enough to go around. We overeat at restaurants even if we are full because we might never get to have this same food again.
Some of this can be linked back to the prehistoric days where there literally was not a grocery or convenience store on every corner. They didn’t have a refrigerator full of food less than 10 feet away most of the time. When food was gathered, it was usually consumed. It did break down to feast or famine. That just isn’t reality currently but how many of us still live that way? We think that if we don’t eat it now we might starve before we can get more food and we’d miss out.
How many of you were taught as a child to clean your plate so you could get dessert? We would stuff ourselves just so we could eat more. All because if we didn’t then we would miss out and our brother might finish all the cake. We had a fear that we would miss out.
What I want to help you see is that this is a very common issue that comes from our thoughts.
FOMO is a thought that creates urges. These urges make us want to:
- Eat when we aren’t hungry
- Drink when we said we wouldn’t
- Socialize when we don’t want to
- Check Facebook or Social Media constantly
- Agree to take part in things when our schedule was already full
- Spend more money than we make
Perhaps you associate a good time with food or drinking. We experience FOMO when we convince ourselves that the reason we feel relaxed or comfortable is that we are consuming. The truth is that the food or drink you are afraid to miss out on is not what is causing you to feel good. The reason you might feel better at the moment is that you are having a thought that is creating this feeling.
Remember: feelings are created by our thoughts
Understanding that the way you feel is driven by what you are thinking, is the key.
This quote is from my article on how to feel better. Read this article when you want to explore that further.
What is FOMO costing me?
Whenever we make a decision we choose one thing over another. We choose eating over not eating. A salad over chocolate cake. Mexico over a Cruise. Buying something over saving our money. Either way, the choice has a price. I encourage my clients to journal to figure out what their choices are costing them. When we think we overdrink alcohol because we didn’t want to miss out on the fun at the party, there is another side to that. The next day when we have a huge hangover it kind of sucks to realize that we made the choice and now are paying the price.
What else are you missing out on when you give in to FOMO?
It’s important to look at the experience you can have outside of the food or drinks. How would you feel the next day if you enjoyed the party without drinking as much? Picture the version of you who didn’t give in to that fear that you would miss out if you stopped?
How to overcome FOMO?
A great way to overcome FOMO is to do it intentionally. Don’t wait until you are in the moment and then beat yourself up because you did the same thing you always do. It helps to visualize yourself IN these situations and practice a different behavior like saying no to food or drinks. Imagine how this would feel and come up with what you could tell yourself at that time. When we prepare and practice ahead of time it is easier to do at the moment. Our habit brain is going to give us the solution that has always worked in the past and your job is to offer another solution if you want a different outcome.
The next time you have FOMO, ask yourself what you might REALLY be missing out on?
Sign up for my Power Thoughts workbook here if you want to work on thinking intentionally.