Article first published on on 31/01/2017

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a driving force in the lives of too many of us.


We overload our lives with unnecessary activity because we’re focused on finding the ‘golden nugget’ that is going to catapult us to success and we’re worried that we’ll miss out on the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives.

In our late teenage years we’re expected to seriously assess our future and we’re asked to pick the direction our lives will take. With the changes in the education system, we now face a significant expense to cover the cost of a university degree, or any other form of post schooling education and unless we’re lucky enough to have someone who can afford to pay these education expenses for us, or we win a scholarship, the first step of our ‘career’ is weighed down by the shadow of debt.

Despite bringing fresh energy and excitement to our very first job, we also step out into the workforce feeling pressure to rise in our career – and quickly. Over time this pressure morphs into an underlying fear that we might not amount to much if we haven’t already made it.

Before we know it we’ve adopted a lifestyle that accepts being tired and stressed as normal. In fact, most people now hold a belief that if you’re not these things then you’re not working hard enough.

We find ourselves unable to say ‘No’ to a networking event, professional or personal development session and we’re left with our heads spinning trying to fit everything in. Our sleep is the first thing that goes – we don’t get anywhere near enough and the quality of the sleep depreciates over time.

When asked about the pressures in everyday lives, the number one recurring theme from women is that they are overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted because they’re busy living a life others expect of them.

FOMO is now the major factor driving us as a society to increased stress, ill health and untimely physical and psychological breakdowns.

Safe Work Australia reports that stress, burnout and fatigue impacts an increasing number of Australians each year, with 6% of all workers’ compensation claims for mental health disorders.

Safe Work Australia 2015, Work-Related Mental Disorders Profile Report claims that “Mental stress is the main cause of compensated work-related mental disorders, with 90% of mental disorder claims attributed to mental stress”

The report also found women workers were more likely to suffer and make a claim for compensation with the number of claims per million hours worked 2.3 times higher than those recorded for men.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Our societal belief that we have to wait for a traumatic event in our lives to have permission to change the way we live is one of the biggest furphies of the modern life. Getting ahead and achieving success is not about being busy – it’s about filling our lives with things that give us more energy than it takes to do them.

Each of us is a unique human being, and as such we need different things to support us in our everyday activities.

There are simple and easy things that we can do every day to help us make sure our energy is focused in the most productive way for us as individuals:

• Understand where you get your energy from:
Make a list of all the things that give you energy – these are the things that make you happy, make you smile, make you laugh. They can be related to people, places or activities.
• Understand how your energy is drained:
Make a list of all the things that drain your energy – things that make you tired just thinking about them, people who steal your energy when you see them, work tasks that aren’t challenging or
• Reduce negativity:
Make an effort to stay away from activities or people who drain your energy and replace them with things from the list that gives you energy.

It’s time to buck the trend. It’s time to start thinking and living differently. It’s time to open our eyes to the cost of living our lives in the shadow of stress and exhaustion.

It’s time to put FOMO in it’s place!

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from

Want to chat? Email me on or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicty Expert and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist‘. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at; Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.