Have you ever looked at the internet and wondered how curated and wonderful everyone’s life seems? If it’s not a Mykonos trip, it’s a bottega bag, perfect skin, or ‘couple goals.’
I’m literally just trying to remember how to get through the day and drink water, while someone just graduated from their Mandela fellowship while simultaneously completing their PhD with 3 kids and a successful business.
It’s like life is happening the way it is supposed to for everyone but me. So, what’s the deal? What am I not doing right? Why does everyone seem to have it all together when I’m struggling? Am I broke/broken or is everyone just faking it? I’ve come up with a few reasons and no shade to the people living their best lives, but I’m just going to say what I think these reasons are.
We like to brag
Bragging is almost ingrained in our DNA. Humans like to talk about themselves. We like people to know what’s up with us. It is why expert communicators tell you that, when you’re stuck in conversation with someone, just ask them about themselves. They’ll just keep talking. Especially when it’s something good. This creates an atmosphere of perfection where everyone is constantly talking about and showing off the coolest things about their day, their job, their situations. It is why brands send us things in pretty packages and restaurants consider ‘instagram aesthetics’. It’s because we would like to let people know that we have that item or that we have been to that place.
We’re constantly comparing the outside of people’s lives with the inside of our own lives
Your Instagram influencers constantly posts about her thriving business, how she has grown from a small store to many different branches. That’s amazing but that may just be the outside of her life. She may be struggling to pay hospital bills for a family member, send her siblings to school, and many other hardships you are just not aware that she is facing.
We only post our highlight reels
If I get into a program for a second degree right now, I might just put it out there that I got in. I would not include that I probably tried 25 different schools and was rejected by 24. Or that I wrote so many different exams before I passed this one. And when will I get the degree? You only see the quirky caption attached to a graduation cap. Not the sleepless nights, long essays, project deadlines, eye bags, exhaustions and depressions that came before the degree. Your oomf (one of my followers) posting up on an island could have been waking up at 3am and getting home at 11pm everyday to get to a job she’s not fond of for the past 6 months. Just to take that trip.
Pressure to feel like you’ve made so and so accomplishments at a certain age
Everywhere I turn, there’s someone telling me I have to accomplish this and that in my 20s. Or I have to have so and so in my 30s. The pressure of age can seep in and start to make us feel broke or broken. I have sha learned, albeit painfully, that nobody should rush me in this life. I try to remember that as unique as every individual is, so is their timeline. So if I’m not married by 30 or don’t own a house, it will happen at the time it is supposed to.
So, how do we get over this FOMO?
We need to start romanticizing our everyday lives. Yes, it may not be a trip to Morocco, but it may be love, laughter, food and friendship. Start to think of the ‘inside of your life’ as essential for happiness as well as the ‘outside’ that you are so eager to show the world. Live life on your terms and not what society expects of you. Prioritize small bouts of happiness and peace of mind. Every good thing will come to you in due time.