LifeAnxiety

Your Fear Of Missing Out Is Making You Miss Out

It’s so much easier to focus on what’s missing from your life than what isn’t. So much easier to fixate on your absence from somewhere you wish you could be than it is to feel gratitude for your presence right here and now. Missing out on an event, a party, an evening with friends could’ve been out of your control. It may not have been your choice to make. But, you’re still, in fact, making a choice. You’re making a choice to react.

When you miss out, you give yourself permission to become triggered. You let your mind run wild with delusion, tell stories about a made-up world in which a happier version of you is experiencing all the things you can’t. Because you’re here and not there, and here has no value. Here is holding you back. You accept these ideas unquestioningly as though they’re completely true, and you accept the pain that comes with it.

There may not even be anything there to miss out on, because the feeling manifests itself in all kinds of ways. It shows up when you’re deeply absorbed in social media. It shows up when you measure your Instagram feed against someone else’s. It shows up every time you feel inadequate.

But, despite how it much it hurts, missing out is actually so important, and it’s good for you. It’s an opportunity to sit quietly with yourself, and just listen. It’s a chance to shift your focus inwards and observe yourself as you become triggered. Observe your mind as it leaps into stories, wrestles with your emotions, lunges at your self esteem.

It’s a rare, precious privilege to miss out, because it gives you a chance to appreciate a moment you’ll never get back – this one. The one where nothing exciting happens, but where life hums all around you. Your entire day stares back at you, expectantly, excited for you to show up.

So, next time you miss out, remind yourself of this: there’s value to this experience. The silence of your own company gives you the chance to listen. The emptiness of your surroundings gives you the space to observe. This is your time to grow in ways you never imagined. This time is all yours – yours to support you, to teach you, to remind you of what’s real.

Next time, try looking forward to missing out. Try looking at it as a warm invitation to stay right here.

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Toronto-based news and travel editor. Follow Lilly on Instagram or read more articles from Lilly on Thought Catalog.