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The Fear of Missing Out and the Courage to Go In



The fear of missing out is a modern day phenomenon in our society. We get afraid of not being able to do everything. There are two parties we can attend. If we choose one, what will we be missing at the other? Will the other party be better? There are two great workshops we can attend on the same day. Which one do we choose? There is something off in this way of being. In our obsession with not wanting to miss anything, we are perpetually riding the hamster wheel of trying to do everything. This has accelerated with the age of the internet, which gives us access to so many more options. It is overwhelming. The popularity of the acronym FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) demonstrates this point.

The dilemma stems from buying into the collaborative narrative that our worth and life satisfaction is based on not missing out on anything. It stems from the belief that our worth and satisfaction is contingent upon how many events we go to, how many friends we have, and so on. Our value becomes quantitatively based. We believe there is something wrong with us if we haven’t done it all. This is a self-defeating attitude, and an impossible goal. There are a limited number of things we can do and there are an excess of options. If we deny this reality, we are denying our healthy limits. We are finite human beings. Refusing to acknowledge this so we can attain the fantasy of doing it al