FOMO is a serious epidemic. I have found that it is so easy to spend extended amounts of time watching what other people are doing (um, hello, YouTube and Instagram...) and get completely off track on your own plans.
I'm speaking from experience of course. Like everyone else, I've been guilty of scrolling for hours, watching colleagues in various industries showcasing their awesome stuff. I've seen the newest, hottest social media trends come and go (Periscope, anyone?) while everyone screams about them being the next "BIG" thing. And I've realized that following the FOMO, and bouncing from thing to thing with the rest of the crowd does not serve me or my goals at all.
FOMO stands for "fear of missing out," and it's an ugly bit of human nature.
Have you ever been stuck in FOMO? When you're stuck in FOMO, you:
- scroll endlessly on social media, always feeling a pang of "How come I'm not doing that?"
- insist on trying every new thing that flies on by.
- second guess the crap out of all of your decisions, make changes and choices based on outside influence, and believe that everyone else has it right while you most certainly must have it wrong.
What an icky feeling!
But here's the thing: FOMO is a big fat liar!
The lie it tells us is that there is this "one secret" to success, that everyone else has it, and that if we scroll long enough, and try enough things, the secret will be revealed and the entrepreneur "struggle" will be over. But deep down we know that's not going to happen, and so the guilt sets in.
Bottom line: FOMO = distraction!!
So how do we guard ourselves against this shame spiral? I've got three tips to get you out of your own head and back on track.
1. Be sure of, and confident in, your current goals.
If you are doubtful of your goals, if they are achievable, if they make sense for you and where you are in life, or anything like that you'll fall victim to FOMO much more easily.
- Start by setting SMART goals and checking in with them on a regular basis. Remember, SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable/Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Time-Bound.
- I check in with my goals on a monthly-basis, using both my Monthly Reset Workbook and my PowerSheets.
2. Evaluate new things honestly.
Whenever someone starts raving about something new evaluate it honestly. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I have time to research and implement this new thing, and do it well?
- Is there really something wrong with what I'm already doing?
- Can I actually get anything different or better from this new thing that I can't get from doing what I am already doing more consistently?
Once you have your answers, you'll know whether it makes any sense to pursue the new thing or if it's just a handy distraction.
3. Tune it out and turn it off if you can't get away from FOMO.
Social media is the #1 cause of FOMO in my own experience, so when I can't block it out, it turn it off.
- Do all of your social media posting through Buffer or another third party app. You can still use it for your marketing, but avoid the vortex of your feeds.
- Block your Facebook feed on your laptop using a feed-blocking app. This has the handy side-effect of helping you stay focused on whatever you're working on also.
- Remove the social media apps from your phone. Out of sight, out of mind.
Are you currently stuck in FOMO? Try these tips and let me know in the comments how they work out for you. With back to school and the holidays just around the corner, it is the time of year for comparisonitis to rear it's ugly head.
**Need help setting SMART goals? Or figuring out how to distraction-proof your schedule and workflows? All of my Core Focus Strategy Session clients get access to a workbook that contains a SMART goal planning workbook. Schedule a discovery call here.