5 Ways that I Transform Fear of Missing Out Into Joy of Missing Out
Fear of missing out is something that the majority of us experience from time to time.
Whether it comes from knowing our friends are all able to go to an event that we are not able to go to or feeling we don’t measure up. It can come from comparison, from looking at someone else who seemingly has what we want or is able to do things that we find ourselves unable to do.
We feel that we are missing out on crucial life experiences, owning different things or being part of a certain group.
None of these are good things. The comparison, the envy or the feeling of being left out all contribute to our lives negatively. So, what do we do to combat and overcome?
Choose what really matters to you
Sometimes what we are called to or choose to pursue is not what everyone else is doing. This can be either short term (I missed the concert to work over time to meet a financial goal) or long term (I’m choosing to focus on self-development before I get involved with someone).
In this season of life, make a list of what matters to you, both the big things and the small things.
Don’t compare with what anyone else would have on their list or what someone else has that you wish you had. Make this based on you only. What are your major goals right now? What skills do you want to develop?
By making this list, you know your priorities and what you want out of this time in your life. It’s easier to focus on what you want and to compete with yourself to reach goals.
This has helped me a lot in different situations. Every winter, for example, I see a lot of friends getting engaged. For many years, I struggled with the fact that I was not one of them. I felt like I was missing out on one of the biggest things that could happen in life. Instead of allowing myself to wallow in misery, I assessed my own life and where I wanted to go. I knew that if love was meant to find me, it would, just not on my time table.
Limit Social Media
Most of social media, beyond the memes posted, is someone else’s highlight reel. It’s easy to feel that we’re missing out when we see what someone else is accomplishing, where they are vacationing, or what good things are coming into their lives.
Remember that their highlight reel is not the only thing going on in their lives, it’s just what they are choosing to project. It’s easier to post the good things rather than being honest about where we are struggling.
Follow accounts that inspire you, challenge you or that you connect with. There’s nothing wrong with using social media and messenger to connect with others. Just keep a level view of what people are posting. Remember to disengage when needed and to mark specific times to be social media free.
Expand Friend Circle
As we grow as individuals, our friendships change. Sometimes it’s a matter of just not being as interested in an activity anymore that several friends still are. Sometimes it’s the fact that our lives take on a completely different trajectory and it’s difficult to bridge the chasm.
The friend that it hurt me to lose the most was a girl that I met in high school. We had been close in college, to the fact that I chose to go to the same college as her to spend more time. After college, the drift didn’t happen right away. It started with little things: I was working the night of her friends and family dinner. She got married shortly after college and wanted to spend time with him the night that I was off. We would still connect over books and an occasional dinner, but as time went on we drifted further apart. When her grandmother who raised her died and she told me about it after the fact, I offered to be there if she needed me. When she stated she was okay, I knew that it was pretty much over. If we were still close, she would have reached out to me earlier.
Drifts like this happen sometimes in life. That’s why it’s important to build friendships with those in different areas of life. So that when friendships with a group that no longer interests us, we already have friends that share different interests. It doesn’t always end the pain, but it does allow for more connections that can be deepened with time.
What are you really interested in? What would be the ideal evening for you?
We all have different needs. I’m an introvert who prefers quiet nights at home reading or talking to my significant other. So a night out on the town doesn’t speak to me. If some of my friends want to go out and update me later, I’m happy to hear about their night. It also works the other way around, I enjoy metal concerts and many times choose to go alone.
By knowing our own preferences, it’s easier to experience the Joy of Missing Out. We are allowing ourselves to do the things that speak to us whether or not they connect with any one else’s idea. It also allows us to give up the emotions of missing out.
Try Something Different
Variety is the spice of life. Whether we choose to try something different with friends or by ourselves, our hoirzons only grow when we choose this path. Trying something that we’ve always been interested in or just found out about will give us a sense of exploration which helps combat fear of missing out.
These are some of the methods that work for me when I face fear of missing out. By experiencing and experimenting with these five things, I have gotten to a point where more than often, I feel a joy of missing out.
It comes down to fousing on you and what could be brought into your life by your own experiences. It’s hard to be left out of a get together, but what if that time is time that you could be developing a friendship with someone who will be your best friend? It’s hard to feel like we don’t measure up, but what about if we change the defintion and decide what we really want for our lives?
I hope that you’ve found some encouragement of solice for any time that you feel you’re missing out on something big. We’ve all been there. However, reframing can do wonders for our lives.