I recently read an article which talked about the trap of not wanting to miss out on something. Not wanting to miss something is more commonly known as the fear of missing out (FOMO). When struck by FOMO you might find yourself saying yes to everything.
I think I might be somewhat of a FOMO expert.
I believe FOMO is a common fear encountered by those who have chosen self-employment. I understand why that happens because if you’re not working, you’re not making money. For me, I have found myself trapped by FOMO in numerous ways:
- Saying ‘yes’ to work I didn’t want because I believed generating revenue was the priority
- Filling my calendar with billable work because I have to take the work while it’s there
- Agreeing to partner on a conference talk I didn’t want because if I don’t someone else will get the spotlight
- I have to take the work while it’s there so vacation will have to wait until another year
The list goes on. In all of these stories, my justification is a story I’m telling myself. The stories were rooted in my fears. This is when I find myself in the grips of FOMO.
Don’t worry if you are not self-employed. FOMO is not the exclusive domain of those who are self-employed. FOMO is a common fear most of us wrestle with at various points in our life.
For me, this fear of missing out can manifest itself in several ways. All I know is trying to keep up with everything can feel like a never-ending battle.
When I get caught up in trying to keep up with these things, the other things I want to do both personally and in business suffer. Many of those other things require hours of my concentration to get through. If I’m too busy worrying about missing out on something I cannot focus on what’s needed.
Around a year ago I started to make significant changes to fix this situation. To start, I stopped wearing my smartwatch. I stopped wearing a watch all together, but that’s another story.
I started to realize the only thing a smartwatch was doing for me was to interrupt me. What on earth…