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What is FOMO? (and How to Beat It)

What is FOMO? (and How to Beat It)


    Are you unable to say “no” to a party invitation even if you have some work to do? Do you feel like an outsider if you don’t see the hottest Hollywood movie everyone is talking about? Do you feel that you have to buy the latest and hottest “making money online” information product because everyone else is doing so?

    If you have been in these or similar situations before, you have just experienced FOMO.

    What is FOMO?

    I learned about FOMO by reading a book “Find Your Focus Zone” by Lucy Jo Palladino. In that book she described the FOMO with an everyday example: Have you ever felt that you had to pick up the cell phone right away when it rings?

    The longer the phone rings, the more and more you experience the fear of missing out (FOMO). You feel that there is something important you are about to miss if you don’t pick up the phone at instant.

    The most important element in FOMO is the word “fear”. It makes us to do things even when we necessarily don’t want to.
    It’s like logic versus emotion: When a compelling option is presented to us, we feel like an outsider if we say “no” to that. We may even fear that we miss an opportunity of a lifetime if we say “no”.

    At the same time, we know that we probably shouldn’t say “yes”, because we may be spreading ourselves too thin. Also, there are going to be plenty of other opportunities out there, so missing this one wont probably make a difference after all.

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    What are the symptoms of FOMO?

    When you are a “victim” of fear of missing out, you are going to experience at least one of the following:

    1. Being unfocused and stressed, procrastination

    It is obvious, that when the temptation to say “yes” to a request is too big, you accept yet another task or project to your task list.

    In practice, you are spreading yourself too thin. Not only are you stressed out by too many activities in your life, it increases the likelihood for procrastination. This is because you cannot keep up with your schedule and you start finding excuses for not doing something you promised.

    2. Losing money

    Sometimes you don’t want to feel like being an outsider in a group by making different decisions than the rest of the people.

    For example, I have been in internet marketing circles for couple of years and every time there is a big product launch coming, there is a lot a of buzz around it.

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    Since this “next shiny object” is probably going to make you rich and famous overnight, you don’t want to miss out. If you do, others are going to be rich and famous, not you.

    Unfortunately, in many situations like these, nothing groundbreaking is going to happen after all (no fame, no money, just hard work). It is yet another product launch, which is going to waste your money, if the fear (FOMO) is getting the hold of you.

    3. Overwhelm

    Being overwhelmed is one of the symptoms of fear of missing out. When you are unable to say “no”, feeling overwhelmed is destined to happen at some point.

    There is just too much going on at the same time and you are unable to focus on anything properly.

    How to get rid of the fear of missing out?

    There are certain things you can do when you experience the FOMO:

    1. Be aware of it

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    First thing is to be aware of the feeling. Stop for a moment and acknowledge when you are having a feeling of FOMO.

    Understand that this is a natural (although undesirable) way of reacting in a certain situation (in other words, when you feel that you are missing out something important and you feel you have to say “yes”).

    2. Be honest to yourself and others

    Honesty is one of the best ways to deal with the situation.

    First, you have to be honest to yourself: If you say “yes”, you have to understand that you may be spreading yourself too thin.

    Second, it is also important to be honest to others too. They have to be aware that you may not be 100% committed to their requests, if you have plenty of action going on at the same time.

    3. Make a quick decision regarding the situation

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    One of the worst things to do to be on the fence on a decision. As long as something is left undecided, it is using your brain capacity for nothing.

    That’s why it is imperative to say “no” to an opportunity as quickly as possible, if you feel you are unable to commit to it 100%.

    When you say “no”, you may even your decision at first. On the other hand, if you are meant to experience the opportunity at all, it will come available to you at some point later.

    4. Change the perspective

    Lastly, one step in defeating the FOMO is to see if a situation or event supports your goals.

    For example, I used to buy lots of internet marketing training programs in the past. However, once I started to see things from my goals perspective (what I wanted to achieve and if the program supported that goal), I was able to eliminate distraction and fears of missing out on something seemingly important.

    Conclusion

    Fear of missing out can make you do things – sometimes even something that you don’t want to do. However, there is a way to overcome the fear. Once you learn to handle it, you will feel better and happier than before.

    (Photo credit: Businessman in Danger via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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