We all know we live in an era that fosters distraction. Not only that, the number of opportunities available to us has skyrocketed…and that has caused some of us to suffer from a new ailment: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). We say “yes” rather than discover later that we regret having said “no.”
If you are suffering from FOMO, it’s no wonder you feel so unfocused. You have taken on too many things that now need your attention.
In reality, “no” would be a better response about 90 percent of the time…if not more. The more often you say “no,” the more focused you become.
The Cause of FOMO
How do you contract a case of FOMO? You let your fear of regret get the better of you. This causes you to say “yes” to everything—whether it’s something you or others bring to the table. You might not be able to decline following through on your (many) ideas. Or you might find it difficult to decline invitations, offers, classes, projects, responsibilities, parties, committees, and…
You get the picture.
How to Diagnose FOMO
How do you know if you’ve got FOMO? Simple… Notice if your plate is overly full. Have you said “yes” so many times that you’ve got no time on your calendar to focus on your priorities—the things most important to you? If so, you’ve got it.
Also, if you feel burned out from running here and there and handling this and that…all the time, you’ve got FOMO.
Or do you feel scattered? Upon waking up in the morning, do you find yourself stressed and unable to concentrate on one thing for very long because so many other things are calling for your attention? When you sit at your desk, do you struggle to stay focused on one task for more than about 10 minutes? Are people pulling at you from all directions?
Yep…you’ve contracted a good case of it.
Of course, if you are constantly riddled with the fear that you might, indeed, be missing out on something…you’ve got FOMO.
How to Cure FOMO
If you are ready to get rid of your FOMO, stop taking on so much! Learn to say “no.”
You might want to read books like Essentialism, The One Thing, Outliers, or Deep Work. You’ll quickly realize that focusing on one (or maybe just a few) things will help you succeed in those endeavors.
Get out of the habit of regret. Stop saying “I shoulda,” “I coulda,” or “I woulda.” These phrases incline you to take on more—just in case you’ll be sorry you didn’t.
Replace these regretful phrases with this one: “I would be better off doing _____.” Fill in the blank with your biggest priority. That focuses you fast!
Say, “I want to do _____,” “It’s my priority to do _____,” or “It’s on purpose to do _____.”
You Aren’t Missing Out
Also, consider how you want to show up in the world…scattered? Overwhelmed? Burned out? Or…focused, energized, present, and enthusiastic?
I’m sure, it’s the latter.
Remember that, and you are more likely to say “no” to the next opportunity—or even to a few you’ve already taken advantage of along the way.
Additionally, realize that you have more to gain than to lose by focusing on the things that are most important to you. Begin to delight in the time and attention you place on fulfilling your purpose.
As you see how much you get done because of your increased level of focus, you’ll start saying “no” more often. The success you achieve with your ability to focus will inspire you to continue managing your attention—even to say “no” more often.
And it will become apparant that you aren’t missing out on much at all. Instead of feeling regret, you will feel joy in the time you spend on your priorities.
Realize that your FOMO is a result of fear—the fear of regret. But you will regret your inability to finish what you start more than the things you think you’ll miss out on. When you eliminate that fear, your newfound focus—as well as the energy, clarity, enthusiasm, and presence—supply you with many more reasons to say “no” and hunker down and be present with what’s most important to you.
How are you shining your light and what affect does doing so have on you or others? Tell me in a comment below.
Never miss one of my videos! Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel.