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Why does FOMO Hit Some People Harder than Others?

It comes down to self-confidence and security within oneself.  Those who are susceptible to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are people who need social approval to feel reassured about themselves, which is like a hamster in a wheel—a never ending cycle. Those who are reared during their developmental years to gain a good sense of who they are and are encouraged to follow one’s path no matter if it not in accordance to the masses, are unlikely to experience FOMO. 

Social comparisons are distractions from finding one’s purpose and meaning in life and the latter is the key to unlocking the hold that FOMO has on our psyche.

FOMO feeds the ego, which formulates our learned self through the influences of external forces like our parents, culture, teachers, race, ethnicity, society, media, nationality, etc…

Consequently, our true selves get covered up by all these external influences in our lives.

So how do you find meaning in life?  It starts with accepting the natural unfolding of life instead of trying to control outcomes.  Then listening to our gut to guide us towards discovering our affinities.  The more we surrender to our authentic self rather than spend energy building up our ego, we begin to cultivate a better sense of ourself, valuing self-reflection and a life that is intentional according to our own purpose.  When we achieve this, we experience JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out), which allows us to be who we are in the present moment.  When we free up that competitive and anxious space in our brain, we have so much more time, energy and emotion to conquer our true priorities.

As Robert Holden, a British psychologist who works in the field of positive psychology and well-being and founder of the “Happiness Project,” once said, ““If something in your life is missing, it’s probably you.”

Yung Park, M.D.

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