FOMO: Fun Of Missing Out.
FOMO. Commonly known as the Fear Of Missing Out. But I’d like to redefine it, because there is a lot of Fun in missing out, too.
From the ages of 16-21 I was living in constant FOMO. Going out four nights a week through university seemed reasonable, just in case something exciting happened and I would live the rest of eternity in regret that I had been too boring to go out that one night in my teens. What this led to was a serious waste of cash, time, mental energy and my health.
I spent my youth chasing social acceptance instead of real goals.
At some point I made the decision to step back from an overactive social life and reassess my values. And what I found was that if I spent less time going to every imaginable event, I’d have more time to live a life I designed.
In 2013, I made the New Year's Resolution to say "no" more often, and I gave myself permission to stay home. Life amped up from there.
For me, my FOMO often means I see the fun in staying home from another pointless night at a bar to save for a life-changing adventure in a brand new country. I have been to six new countries and moved interstate since.
My FOMO means working on new projects like this blog, learning new skills and having less money outgoing on things like drinks and taxi fares, so I don’t have to worry so much about bringing extra money in to cover it. I can focus on something more important.
If I was still drinking four nights a week I probably wouldn't be earning an income from blogging and content marketing today. I probably wouldn't be so well-versed in plantbased nutrition and chronic illness. I probably wouldn't have had the work and volunteering experiences I've had, starting my own social enterprise or traveling colleges in America to talk about my work.
Choosing to say no to normal social expectations doesn’t make you an antisocial loser. I think it makes you a really cool person, one I want to be around. Who cares what your friends are doing? If they’re your friends, they won’t mind you having different interests. You’re not a sheep, you don’t need a herd to lead your way. Have goals. Pursue hobbies. Do you!
Here are a few mantras to help you in the practice of saying no:
– It’s impossible to miss out, I’m just experiencing something else.
– Nobody benefits from my exhaustion.
– My happiness is more important than impressing others.
– The most important item on my to-do list is myself.
Choosing Fun instead of Fear is an opportunity to redefine your values and what you think is fun. It’s a chance to ignore peer pressure and social expectations and live your life in a way that makes sense to you. Do not be driven by fear of “missing out” or being the black sheep. Be driven by things that you genuinely want and that bring you joy.
This week, say no to something you don’t really want to do. Miss out on that one experience for the sake of an experience you'll enjoy more. Invest in yourself, and discover the fun of missing out.