We’ve all experienced FOMO – also known as the Fear of Missing Out – at some point.
It’s that feeling you get when you say “no” to something you’d like to do because there’s something you want to do even more. Or, maybe it’s not an activity you want to do, but something you need to do.
FOMO is that feeling you get when you must miss your school dance because you have a volleyball tournament, when you can’t go to a birthday party because you need to go to practice, or when you can’t go out to dinner with your friends because you need to study.
As athletes, we experience FOMO a lot but, unfortunately, missing social events is just part of the job. I can’t think of how many events I’ve had to miss over the years because I had volleyball commitments! I learned early in my athletic career that I can’t always do everything I want to do, which forced me to make choices by evaluating what matters most.
The first step in dealing with FOMO is to prioritize the things that are most important to YOU. Priorities you might juggle include family, friends, school, sports, work, religion, cooking, reading or other hobbies. If you understand what you value most, you’ll have an easier time making decisions.
During my freshman, sophomore and junior years in high school, I missed my winter formal dance because I was playing in volleyball tournaments. It was sad to see my friends going to the dance together! I wished I could have been there, but I knew how important volleyball was to me and understood that I made the commitment to it a long time ago.
When you experience FOMO, it helps to think about the benefits of what you’re doing. For example, volleyball gives me the opportunity to play the sport I love with my teammates, travel, improve my skills and gain more experience.
Another tip I’ve found helpful is to stay in the moment. It’s tempting to think about what everyone else is doing, especially with social media. But if you stay present and focused, you’ll get more out of your own experience and won’t stress yourself out.
Remember that it will all be worth it in the end. All the sacrifices I’ve made have helped me get to where I am today as an athlete. I am attending my dream school next year (Stanford), have made new friends and have had countless amazing experiences – all because of volleyball.
I would choose my life as an athlete over a school dance any day.
Insights designed to charge your body, mind and emotional well-being.