No one wants to be left behind.
No one wants to be the odd man out.
No one wants to be the last to know.
But, sometimes that’s just how it has to be. Someone has to be last to know. Or perhaps not to know at all. There is nothing wrong with this. There are plenty of things we don’t know and don’t need to know. Don’t let FOMO make you think any differently.
What is the FOMO I speak of?
FOMO is a term that has been around for a while, but has been exacerbated by the use of smartphones and social media. FOMO is an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out.
FO·MO ˈfōmō noun –
anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
Addicted to Updates
There is a hormone that is secreted into the bloodstream and impacts your brain when you get that update on facebook, twitter or hear that ding letting you know you have a new text.
Pop Quiz – What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
The most common answer today is … Check your phone.
To see what you missed? To share something? To be in the know?
Possibly all of the above.
It’s human nature to think about what we might be missing. There is nothing wrong with this and it will likely never change. However, there is something we can do about it. For starters we can realize that what we see in a lot of the social media updates is an illusion. We are only seeing the best and most curated part of peoples lives.
No one wants to see posts about the mundane and boring parts of peoples lives. And, if we know anyone that posts things like this we will likely stop paying attention. Again, this is human nature.
Getting Beyond FOMO
In order to move past the madness of FOMO there are a few things we can do. The first is just realizing that it’s OK to not be in the know for everything. The second is to focus on what’s important to us, to our lives, our families, our careers. There is no wrong way to get beyond FOMO, but the sooner we realize the Fallacy of FOMO the sooner we can move on.
Those that Stand Our in their Careers will be able to focus on the things THEY want. And, ignore or at least marginalize the things that are not relevant to their goal. Is it hard to do this? Absolutely. Some people are much better at saying no than others. If you need help saying you you might want to check out my post from Entrepreneur “How You Can Say ‘No’ Like a Pro” which was first published here.
It’s hard to say no, but … the first step is realizing what you do want and getting rid of what you don’t want.
“The first step to getting what you want
is to have the courage to get rid of what you don’t.”
~ Zig Ziglar
If you need a touch point to consider when thinking about FOMO consider this one simple line I recently heard from a 93 year old retiree.
Focus less on what you left behind
and more on what you made possible.
I took this to mean … being everywhere at once only touches the surface. By diving deeply into relationships, business challenges, and your plans you will be able to leave the idea of FOMO on the sidelines. You’ll be able to bypass the Fear of Missing Out because you’ll be so busy getting your stuff done.
Don’t Let FOMO Paralyze You. Take evasive action now. Think hard about you want. Realize that most of what we see on social media (and in the news) is an illusion. Focus on your goals and your plans. When you can do that — even for small segments of your day you’ll already be ahead of the game.
Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey