Is the fear of missing out preventing your success?Article added by Wayne Cotton CLU on July 9, 2014
Wayne Cotton CLU

Wayne Cotton CLU

Lake Country, BC,

Joined: December 09, 2013

My Company

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a recurring condition that kills the productivity of many people in our business. I hope you don’t suffer from it, as it can cause you to accomplish far less than you are capable of achieving. You have to watch carefully for the symptoms of FOMO and take action right away when you notice it creeping up. You want to nip it in the bud, because if you don’t, it can and will stay with you for your whole career.

I know about FOMO because I have contracted this debilitating disease several times in my career. It keeps coming back again and again. I have a friend, Hugh Culver, who is a time and life management expert. I follow his teachings because he has excellent content on how to be more productive. His book, “Give Me a Break,” is about the art of making time work for you.

When Hugh mentioned FOMO, I realized it was a disease that had set me back repeatedly over the past 45 years since I started in this business. I was raised to believe that knowledge is power. I was told that the more you learn, the more you’ll earn. And I thought that I had to be aware of everything that is going on so that I could better help my clients, my audiences and my customers. But then I learned there is another side to that coin. It is only knowledge put into action that makes a difference.

I am not suggesting that you should stop learning, but if you don’t or can’t apply and implement what you are leaning, then you are just wasting your time and energy. The problem occurs when FOMO leads to an obsession for more knowledge. The issue is that too much information (TMI) chokes your ability to make progress. Instead of speeding up, everything slows down. It seems the more you try to move forward, the more you need to research, analyze or organize. Every subject is connected to five or six more. It is easy to get stuck in the minutia of too many details.

TMI often leads to an inability to move forward because there are too many options, alternatives and possibilities. When you don’t feel competent, it is easy to lose confidence. After all, how can you give clear advice to prospects when there is so much to learn, know and do? The symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, anxious and frustrated, as well as inconsistent income or even an empty bank account. Then your discontent builds into a loss of career satisfaction.
Put an end to FOMO

When you think you are going to miss out on something, your curiosity can get the best of you. You think you have to read every book, take every course, get lots of designations, attend all the workshops, sign up for all the webinars, read all the emails, take all the training classes, go to all the meetings and learn about all the products. The list goes on and on. The fear of missing out leads directly to too much information. And then you don’t think you can make decisions until you gather more information because if you don’t, you might miss out on something. So the cycle continues; you keep gathering more stuff. And in the end, that’s what gets you. If you suffer from the FOMO, take the following action steps:
  • Narrow your profile of a prospect down to a focused area and become a profile specialist.
  • Focus on the products, systems and solutions that fit your profile, not everything else. Learn to say no to the incessant flow of new information that doesn’t apply.
  • Focus your search efforts on information just in time, not information just in case. There is way too much to learn and know, and you can’t do it all. Narrow it down to your specialty and what you deliver to your prospects and clients.
  • Stop getting sucked in to all the bright, shiny objects that cross into your line of vision. If you have a great solution that works, such as precision marketing, then stop searching for more marketing techniques or gimmicks that will distract you.
  • Control your FOMO urges. Focus, focus, focus. Be disciplined. Be in control of your future. Get out of things that waste your time and talent.
I have suffered from FOMO and TMI most of my life. I have gone in and out of those phases and stages over and over again. It is when I stop the search that I have had my greatest growth in my personal and professional lives. I met with Hugh Culver the other day and shared the new term I had coined. I said I am a “FOMOholic," as I’m sometimes addicted to the fear of missing out, and am still trying to control my FOMO urges. If you have suffered from FOMO and TMI, share how it affected you in comment section below.
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