You’re scrolling through Instagram and come upon a picture of someone’s gorgeous vacation spot, idyllic corner in their home, exclusive event they’re attending, and it hits you…your mood shifts, and suddenly your own life feels just a bit less “okay”.
FOMO can really get triggered during “fairytale” events like royal weddings, or coverage of galas or award shows like the Oscars. But honestly today’s media is adept at pushing even everyday stories of celebrity news and gossip in a similar way.
Idealized images can lull us into focus on the “greener-side of the fence.” And when this happens, often we are also triggered to negative judgments about our own lives in comparison. This doesn’t feel good, number one. But more importantly….
Over-focus on celebrities (or anyone else frankly) encourages a habit of focus on other people’s power instead of your own.
Let’s remember the compassionate reality and context to anyone else’s fortune:
Circumstances like wealth or fame are different backdrops to what is still a human story. We all deserve peace and security and joy and comfort. We all have strength and deservingness to go after what we want.
FOMO, envy, or any of its derivatives, is simply a round about way of naming a need or desire that we have for ourselves. And that indirect perspective is the danger of focusing on others’ lives too much.
There is nothing wrong with wanting things. And feelings of envy mean there is something, or more of something, that you want/need. Listen to that feeling from your own experience, and move your feet to get it.
Joy and happiness are yours to create. Remember your own deservingness and power.
Jessica is a psychotherapist, relationship and addiction expert, and creator of The Visible Self ® and VisibleU™ system. Over the last 17 years she has helped hundreds of busy adults create healthier habits and more satisfying relationships.
Jessica received her Master’s in Applied Psychology from New York University, and completed mediation training at the Columbia University School of Law. She has held numerous clinical roles, managed clinical operations for a national EAP, and advised executives on employee-relations concerns at Fortune 1000 companies. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and a master instructor of mindful living …their Border Collie/Pointer-mix “Abby”.