The Fear of Missing Out

Everyone has stress in their life; maybe it isn’t particularly serious stress, but it’s still stress. The real question, however, is whether or not you realize that one of the most stressful aspects of your life is one you create for yourself? It’s called the fear of missing out; and oh boy is it stressful. Women are putting too much on their plates at one time because they fear missing out on things that may help further their careers, or make new contacts, meet new friends, or have a good time. The biggest cause of this fear is social media; seeing what everyone is up to – or says they are up to – at all times is causing people to overextend themselves in an effort to be more fabulous, when they may not even want to be more fabulous in the first place.

The Problem With the Fear of Missing Out

Even when you really don’t want to do something or go somewhere, you fear what you are missing while you are not there. The problem with this is that it makes you unhappy. It makes you unhappy in your life, your social status, and even your career. This causes you to become unhappy, anxious, and miserable, which takes the enjoyment right out of your life.

Of course, it’s natural to feel envious when your friends are all off celebrating a huge birthday on a tropical island in the Caribbean while you’re 9 months pregnant and waiting to give birth; you feel like you’re missing out, and you are. However, there’s a difference between legitimately missing out on things and feeling like you’re missing out on something you don’t even want to go to.

Take, for example, my 10th high school reunion. I wasn’t all that interested in going. In fact, I still don’t know why I went, other than the fact that two of my friends begged me relentlessly and it seemed easier to go than to listen to them whine. However, when it came down to it, I didn’t want to go, but I feared missing out on something great that I would forever regret. Long story short, I did not miss out on anything but the realization that there is a reason I am friends with my friends, and have not kept in touch with these people for the past 10 years.

What To Do About the Fear of Missing Out

If the fear of missing out on things is so bad that it makes you feel your life is inadequate, go ahead and delete your social media accounts. If seeing what everyone is up to all the time makes you feel you have to always be up to something more fabulous, even though you can’t, it’s time to make a change.


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