What Is FOMO?
Have you heard of FOMO? Recently, I've been seeing this term everywhere! I've heard it in podcasts, on my favorite Instagram accounts, and even in finance articles. So, what the heck is FOMO?
No, it's not a scary genetic illness. FOMO stands for "Fear of Missing Out." Yep, you know the feeling. Here's a very real example: a group of your friends invites you out on Friday night. Even if you were planning to stay in and watch a webinar, you become so scared that you're going to miss out on a fun night with friends. And, here comes the FOMO.
You don't want to be the one who misses a hilarious inside joke or is excluded from all the fun Instagram pics. So, you spend hours agonizing on whether or not you should go. This is FOMO, and it can kill your energy and happiness.
My FOMO Story
I first learned what FOMO means during a sermon about being face-to-face and fully present in the lives of those who we care about. Many people can relate to this feeling of being pulled in so many directions that some of your personal connections suffer. But, my fear of missing out is related to missing business or educational opportunities. Now, you might be thinking: “That doesn’t sound like Kati—she is always on the top of her game, constantly learning, and building her business!” Yes, that is me, but my priorities have recently shifted.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my husband and I recently welcomed our first baby boy to the family! Baby Nash has become the sunshine of my life and fills me with joy. But, I've become a victim of FOMO.
I'm constantly worried about education and business opportunities that I might be missing out on while staying at home with my family. With a newborn, I’m limited in the events that I can attend and be present for. I know the working-mamas can back me up on these struggles: Where do I find a decent babysitter? Will I be mom-shamed for attending an out-of-state conference with an 8 week old at home? How could I miss baby’s first smile, laugh, words, and the list goes on!
Say NO to FOMO
Now, it’s not fair for anyone to experience FOMO—especially when you’re a hardworking, thoughtful, and compassionate person. So, how do you combat these feelings and say no to these negative emotions?
A great place to start is with gratitude. For me, I think about how thankful I am for a healthy baby boy, a loving husband, and amazing friends and family. When I’m present for Nash’s first words, I will be thankful for that moment.
For you, this practice might look different. If you’re a graduate student and your FOMO is related to going out with friends, take time to write down how thankful you are for having the opportunity to further your studies, attending the university of your dreams, and learning from top minds in your field. Everyone has something to be grateful for.
- Take Your Time
FOMO will not disappear immediately, but it can get easier with time as you begin to define or realign your priorities. For example, I recently received an invitation to volunteer for an event that I really care about, but the time and location are totally inconvenient for my life. On the first day that I received the email, I had a bad case of FOMO. I kept thinking about the participants who I would let down and how much fun I would have at the event. But, when I came back to the email a day later, I didn’t feel FOMO and politely declined the invitation. Oftentimes, you can come back to an idea or feeling with a fresh mind and a clearer perspective on your priorities. Make a decision and don’t look back.
As a follower of Christ, I trust God’s timing and the path for my life. I know that I am exactly where I’m meant to be right now, and I know it’s true for you too! Remember to treat yourself kindly, stop comparing yourself to others, and enjoy exploring the unknown.
Do you have a FOMO story, or tips to combat these fears? Share below or reach out to me on Instagram! Together we can say NO to FOMO!