Besides all the technical terms and projects you may want to learn about, there is another side of the NFT and web3 space that’s not talked about enough.
Being an active participant in the NFT community can bring you a lot of happiness, personal growth, and wealth. However, you should be aware of the FOMO lurking beside you.
What does FOMO mean?
Regardless if you have been in the NFT space for some time now, or even if you are a happy newcomer, I’m sure you have heard of FOMO and have likely even experienced it to some degree yourself. So you’re probably wondering, what is FOMO?
FOMO is an acronym for the term Fear of Missing Out. FOMO is anxiety that is brought on by an exciting or interesting event or experience that may be happening elsewhere, oftentimes FOMO is aroused by posts seen on various social platforms.
In the NFT space though, FOMO has an even greater meaning and level of depth.
If you find yourself excited, constantly thinking about NFTs and the entire web3 opportunity that is upon us, and you have developed some level of anxiety, you may already be suffering from FOMO.
Let’s dive further into these emotions so you can better understand how to identify and cope with different forms of FOMO.
3 common types of FOMO
We can break FOMO down into three categories when we are talking about the NFT and web3 space in the macro.
1. Buyer FOMO
Buyer FOMO happens right before you decide to hop into a project or after you decide you are passing on it, it may be inevitable for many.
You’ll see a hyped NFT project and boom, FOMO kicks in right away, urging you to buy in before it’s too late. Or, if you choose not to buy in, your FOMO warns you there is still time to change your mind.
This continuous back-and-forth indecisiveness can become extremely exhausting, very quickly. As a result of the exhaustion, you may also experience disinterest in what you thought was your newfound passion. Buyer FOMO is real, and it can leave many feeling uneasy.
2. Holder FOMO
If you have the tendency to stress about whether or not you should hold an asset, you may be experiencing holder FOMO.
Holder FOMO is when you experience anxiety over whether you want to hold or sell your assets. Someone who holds an asset long-term is considered a diamond hand, someone who is buying and then selling instantly is referred to as having a paper hand.
In general, paper hands tend to be the ones who experience the most FOMO. Many fear that they will miss out on profiting from the sale of their NFT.
On the reverse, a diamond-hand tends to be someone who is confident in their investment and purchase-making decisions, leading them to hold onto their assets without any FOMO.
This type of FOMO can be very consistent, arising from the previous unresolved feelings that led you to buy an asset in the first place.
If you act fast and make a decision without thinking it through, that kind of behavior can result in a static or frozen state of procrastination, anxiety, and even depression. Both in the NFT space and in real life.
3. Seller FOMO
If you are someone who experiences seller FOMO, then you have a fear of missing out on every sales opportunity there is.
Many NFT and crypto day-traders are prone to experiencing a lot of FOMO, simply because they are constantly tracking floor prices, trends, and potential blue chip companies.
You may find yourself focusing less on what’s actually important and begin questioning your every move, making yourself unconfident, vulnerable, and feeling isolated. Seller FOMO is not fun.
How to recognize FOMO
Everyone in the NFT space has experienced FOMO at least once on their journey. Since NFTs have been around for a while now, we have learned how to recognize the first signs of FOMO and how to deal with this fear of missing out.
Here are 11 common signs that you or someone you know may be experiencing FOMO:
- Anxiety brought on by an abundance of opportunity
- Exhaustion and lack of motivation towards a passion
- Depression caused by missed opportunity
- Saying yes without thinking things through
- The feeling of needing to catch up with the crowd
- Shiny object syndrome
- Low-self esteem
- Making bad lifestyle choices
- Living too fast-paced and not in the moment
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of commitment in fear a better opportunity will arise
Depending on the individual, signs of FOMO can appear in many forms all at once, or periodically throughout life. Here are some examples of how someone may think when they are experiencing FOMO.
- They’ve just invited me, it must be good, I must buy in instantly.
- If I don’t get 13 more invites I won’t be able to be whitelisted and the public sale will be gone in the matter of seconds!
- Influencer just tweeted about it, I should go all in!
- I like this project, but my wallet is empty, I can just use my rent money.
- I’m fearful that I may experience sadness or rejection if I don’t sell right away.
FOMO is a serious matter and needs to be resolved quickly and effectively. This state of mind can lead to some serious health issues and risky decision-making, which you may regret making later on.
As tough as the NFT space can be, the community can be very warm and welcoming. If you or someone you know is living with FOMO, here are some tips that may help you overcome your FOMO.
Top tips for overcoming FOMO
Overcoming FOMO isn’t an overnight task, at least not usually. However, there are studies proving that FOMO can be overcome with the right mindset.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), there are numerous ways that you can begin to overcome your FOMO, such as:
1. Confront your FOMO and anxiety head-on
Acknowledging and accepting that you feel anxious due to FOMO may be one of the best ways to lift the burden off your shoulders. You’re recognizing the insecurity, and with that understanding, you are now able to address the issue.
2. Stop caring about what others think and are doing online
If you appreciate other people’s opinions more than your own, it may be time to start making some decisions for yourself and your health. Setting out a certain time of day to check all of your social and online channels is one CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) method.
I truly only think this is important if you don’t have the ability to make your own decision to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and what they think.
3. Exercise mindfulness
Mindfulness is a therapeutic method that relates to a non-judgmental observation of one’s current experience. Try the following mindfulness immersion activity:
Try sensing the muscles you use to scrub your hands, the smell of the soap, and the sensation of bubbles between your fingers during routine daily activities like washing your hands.
Mindfulness can assist people with strong FOMO by allowing them to enjoy what they are doing in the present moment rather than craving what could be.
If necessary, write your standards down on a piece of paper so you can constantly remind yourself to be thorough with your thoughts. It’s alright to change your standards, but try not to be in a rush about it.
Modeling your standards solely based on influencers’ and celebrities’ standards can bring strong FOMO.
Remind yourself daily that you are taking things at your own time and pace as you see it fit for your life, and do not risk losing your health over the fear of missing out on something.
Final thoughts on FOMO
Remember, it’s completely normal to make mistakes, it’s a human thing. There’s no shame in making moves now, that you may not have made later in life.
The important thing is that you rid yourself of FOMO as soon as you can so that you can save your health and create more time for important things in life.
If you ever feel like you can’t handle it all by yourself, reach out to family, friends, and the community, as there are many helpful people who are just like you, and have also experienced FOMO.