A few days ago, I posted something on Facebook about how I recently discovered that I make many decisions out of fear.
Yes, the fear of missing out is real among small business owners! (You can check out the actual post and subsequent comments below.)
Should I promote a new service on my website, or will doing that just give my competitors a new idea?
If I promote the fact that I’m sponsoring at an event, will a competitor see I’m attending, and follow me there with a better exhibit and a more attractive offer?
What if I don’t start taking this popular new certification program or course my competitors are taking, will that be the one thing new clients are looking for?
There’s a huge event happening on the other side of the continent everyone on social media is buzzing about, but I can’t afford to go. If I don’t book a ticket, will this decision put me out of business?
Why is it so hard to simply make a decision based on what is best for me and my business?Does FoMo make it difficult to make a decision based on what is best for your business?Click To Tweet
There was a bit of discussion that took place in the comments of that post, and I learned that making fear-based decisions is a challenge many others face as well.
FoMo is an acronym for Fear of Missing Out, and it’s apparently such a common phenomenon that it’s actually been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, where it is defined as:
“anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
As entrepreneurs, the fear of missing out doesn’t end when we turn off our business brains! We see our social media feeds filled with updates about luxurious vacations, and elaborate Pinterest-inspired dinner spreads, and the meticulously decorated home interiors of our colleagues.
If we let ourselves get too wrapped up in this new digital version of keeping up with the Jones’s, we can really get quite overwhelmed.
We all need to take a few deep breaths and remember that what we see on social media is just an amplification and broadcast of things that have always been happening in the world around us. They are just more “in our face.”
Here are a few ways you can start to get a handle on the fear of missing out in your life so you can concentrate on making decisions that are in your absolute best interest (and the best interest of your bank account).
Don’t click through all of the photos. If you’re looking at photos of an event you really wish you could attend, and you’re afraid all of your competitors and dream clients will be there … just click away. Remind yourself that your business won’t fall apart because you didn’t book a ticket; and don’t torture yourself by clicking through the 816 photos of the previous event. And remember, those photos only show the highlights. They don’t mean it was a total success.
Set goals. Rather than letting fear put you in credit card debt to send you to that conference in East Labobia – the one you can’t afford to attend this year, make yourself a set of attainable goals that will help you get there the next time around.
Get to the root. Is fear holding you back from doing something really great? Are you hesitating about sponsoring a specific event because you’re afraid your exhibit table won’t be as fabulous as those of your competitors? What would happen if you take a deep breath, release that pressure and give yourself permission to attend, and do your very best? What’s the worst that could happen? Is the fear of attending something a fear you can get past to truly help grow your business?Is the fear of missing out holding you back from doing something really great?Click To Tweet
Meditate. Take some time every day to center yourself. In my personal life, I take time each day to have a heart-to-heart with God. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s how I get centered. How I get peaceful. I pray. You do whatever you’re comfortable with. Maybe that’s simply sitting in a quiet corner and closing your eyes for five minutes. Perhaps it’s sitting in the sun listening to the birds or walking along a quiet beach listening to the waves move in and out. Meditation is simply connecting with yourself and/or your higher power. It doesn’t have to be done in a yoga studio, and it can truly help you get more grounded and make better decisions.
What about y’all? How do you get past the fear of missing out?
Also published on Medium.