Tackling F.O.M.O (The "Fear of Missing Out")


Recently, I have been finding myself having conversations with my fellow millennials about the influence of social media on our daily lives. There is no question that the majority of us underestimate its effects on the choices we make. Social media shows us constantly the best sides of people, specifically celebrities. We constantly see them out, enjoying life, partying, shopping, eating good (my personal favorite), and so much more. It is easy to subconsciously assume that everyone is living their best lives with no financial restrictions.  While seeing these things can serve as motivation to help us work to get to the place where we can live just as the celebrities do, they can also pressure us to jump into these lifestyles much too soon. FOMO (or the “fear of missing out”) has many of us making choices that are detrimental to our financial futures.

According to a 2017 study completed by GoBankingRates, young millennials are saving at an alarmingly low rate.  67 percent of young millennials have less that $1,000 in their savings accounts and 46 percent have $0. From looking at our favorite social media sites like Instagram, this would be very hard to predict. Many of us look the part, while not actually living the life. It is my desire to see more of us work to let go of FOMO, and focus on building futures, in order to create a better life for ourselves.

I too have struggled with FOMO. Within the last few months, I have been intentionally working on changing my mindset about what I choose to give my attention. The rewards have been a growing savings account and more peace from getting more work done. Below I have outlined 3 tips that should help you tackle FOMO for more money in the bank and more productivity:

Determine what’s important to you.

This seems like common sense, but the reality is that we must take time to distinguish between what we really deem necessary to our growth and better quality of life, and what we just “want” for instant gratification. The things that do not directly contribute to a better life for us now and in the future should be limited greatly and/or eliminated. Be aware that saying “yes” to unnecessary experiences means saying “no” to experiences that are more rewarding. The reverse is also true: saying “yes” to the experiences that are important to you, means saying “no” to the guilty feeling you get when you’re alone and thinking about the decisions you’ve made that leave you with less money and completed work than you desire.

Let go of the pressure to multitask.

Step back. Slow DOWN. In the pursuit of MORE,  we often try to take on too many tasks. This only makes life harder and increases the chance of little to no success in some, if not all, of the tasks. When working your hardest at your dreams, you really don’t have time to do much else, if we are honest with ourselves. Slowing down and basking in the present helps you to enjoy the process of making your dreams come alive, instead of feeling overwhelmed at every waking moment.  

Remind yourself of the benefits.

When battling FOMO and saying no to things you still enjoy very much, it is easy to begin to feel down. However, it is important to continue reminding yourself of why you made the decision. Also, keep track of your mini successes on your way to your ultimate measure of success. This helps to keep you motivated. Remember that all of the things that you desire will still be there when you are able to pick them back up, and with more money and more peace, you will be able to enjoy them even more! The goal is to create quality experiences. If we are able to do this, the quantity of them is irrelevant.