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FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a real and increasingly common experience for many business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs I work with as their business coach.  If left unchecked, FOMO can cause greater levels of stress, anxiety, overwhelm and a feeling of not being good enough.  Fear of missing out can lower self-esteem and self-confidence because we feel that we are missing out on something exciting and important.

The rise of social media has seen a rise in FOMO as people showcase their exciting, perfect lives that others aspire to.  This leads to constant checking of social media so you don’t feel out of the loop or left out.  FOMO also leads to people creating regular updates of their life so they can showcase how exciting their life if.  To help build their self-confidence and self-worth.

If you’re caught up in the FOMO cycle, this article shares 8 ways to overcome fear of missing out so you can shift you attention away from what others are doing and focus on what matters most to you.

FOMO meaning

The fear of missing out, FOMO, is our perception or feeling that other people are experiencing something more than we are, or are achieving a level of success that we don’t currently have.  FOMO is an ideal we create in our own mind of someone else’s life that we want for ourselves, and it can cause stress and effect our feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.

Fear of missing out or FOMO is about consciously wanting to see and connect with what other people are doing in case you may be missing out on something.  Feelings of FOMO are amplified through social media channels where we get to experience people’s perceived perfect life firsthand.

FOMO can be applied to everything in your personal and business life, from the big to the small, but always involves a sense that the person with FOMO is missing out on something important.

But, here’s what’s really happening when you experience FOMO.  When you experience fear of missing out there is an acute sense you’re missing out on something important.  FOMO can be perpetuated by comparing yourself and what you aspire to be with others and what they have.  

Symptoms of FOMO

There are a number of symptoms of FOMO that many people experience.  There are others, but these are the four main ones I experience working with entrepreneurs as their business coach.


Comparing ourselves to the achievements, experiences and successes of others can cause procrastination.  People with FOMO know they should take action, but they’re not sure which action to take because they’re comparing themselves with others.  This is especially true in the online business world where success is displayed everywhere.

When you have FOMO, self-doubt creeps in.  You’re not sure if what you’re doing or creating will measure up to your own ideal or what others have achieved.  So, for many people, they do nothing or they become perfectionists.


When you experience FOMO, you’ll either procrastinate and do nothing or becoming a perfectionist and do nothing.  Perfectionists have created an impossible ideal in their minds of what the result of doing something should be.  Rather than get that something out into the world, they polish and check and change, trying to make it perfect.

If perfectionists see that other people are perfect or creating perfect things, or doing perfect things, their perfectionism is amplified and they waste days, weeks and even months trying to create something perfect.

Shiny Object Syndrome 

Shiny object syndrome is all about being distracted from the things that are the most important by chasing new things that might be better, faster or easier or more exciting than the thing you’re currently doing.  People with FOMO often have shiny object syndrome.  They see others with new things and exciting things that they don’t have, and they want to try it.

This distracts them from their goals, takes them down numerous rabbit holes and wastes lots of time.

Feeling overwhelmed 

Feeling overwhelmed is an experience that people with FOMO have.  There is too much to do, too much to see, too much to experience that it creates an overwhelming feeling.  This creates distraction and inaction.

As well as feeling overwhelmed, self-confidence drops and people beat themselves up because they’re not taking action or making any progress on the things and goals that are most important.

How to overcome fear of missing out 

If you want to overcome fear of missing out, here are 8 tips to eliminate FOMO from your life.

1. Focus on achieving your goals 

When you have clarity on your goals and a clear plan and path to achieve your goals, you can worry about yourself and not think about anyone else.

By being clear up front about your goals, understanding the importance of achieving your goals, and understanding the difference goal achievement will make in your life, you won’t worry about what anyone else is doing.

Set goals that are exciting and paint a picture of a visually compelling future that you want to achieve for yourself.  Build measurements and deadlines into your goal setting and celebrate progress and achievements along the way.

2. Appreciate what you have

When you appreciate what you have and are grateful for everything you have, then there is no more FOMO.  Fear of missing out comes from a scarcity mindset, while gratitude and appreciation comes from an abundance mindset.

FOMO lowers your self-confidence whilst appreciation increases your self-worth and self-esteem.  Take a moment to list everything that you appreciate and are grateful for in your life.  Think about the things that make you happy and expand those things.

3. Focus inwards 

Fear of missing out comes from an external desire to have or experience something that other people have, are currently doing or have achieved.  To overcome FOMO, focus inwards.  Focus on yourself and everything you have in your life.  Your capabilities, your confidence, your relationships, your achievements, your purpose.

Get clear on what’s most important to you, and what other people are doing won’t matter so much.  You will have your on path and plan to follow.

4. Be more intentional 

Being intentional is about getting clear up front about what you want and what is most important to you.  When you have that clarity, you have a higher sense of purpose.

That sense of purpose gives you more direction, capability and self-confidence.  Your time and energy becomes more important, because you have clear goals and a clear plan.

With this focus, you choose where to invest your time and energy.  You can then choose to experience FOMO, or not.

5. Turn off notifications 

Fear of missing out thrives when we are inundated with notifications from people in our life sharing their experiences, whether real or not.  If we consume multiple social media platforms, and have a large network, the constant pinging throughout the day can cause ongoing FOMO.

Achieving your goals takes focus.  When you are working on your most important projects, or spending time with the people that matter most, turn off your notifications.  Be present in the moment to avoid experiencing FOMO.

6. Celebrate achievements 

Building morale, momentum and motivation in your business and life can ensure you don’t experience fear of missing out.  FOMO often happens when things aren’t going so well or your self-confidence is low.

This causes people to gaze enviously at what other people have or are doing.  The key to overcoming fear of missing out is to simply focus on what is going well, however big or small.

Take ten minutes at the end of each day to write down three things that went well or you achieved that day.  Do this every day and your self-confidence, motivation and achievements will grow.  What we focus on expands.  We can choose to expand FOMO or expand out focus on achievements.

7. Spend more time with the people that matter most

Much of FOMO happens through engaging with people and content on social media, often from people that we don’t actually know very well.  Instead, invest your time and energy on the people that matter most in your life.

Get clear on the people and things that really matter to you.  Then create more real world experiences this those people that create life-changing memories.

8. Focus on gratitude

Be grateful for everything you have now, and what you want to create in the future.  Cultivating an attitude of gratitude and abundance can help you overcome stressful and envious feelings by focusing on what you have.

Focus on working towards achieving your goals and celebrating progress along the way.  Send a note to the people that are most important to you.  Create a gratitude journal and write down what you’re grateful for.

A gratitude focus will help you overcome fear of missing out and create an abundance mentality.

Summing up

Fear of missing out is a paralysing trap that is easy to fall into.  It can rob you of your self-confidence and self-esteem and create anxiety and stress.

The way to overcome FOMO is to focus on what you have, express gratitude and appreciate everything that’s good in your life and focus on your path and plan to achieve your goals.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s the biggest thing that cause you FOMO?

How do you overcome FOMO?

Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results.

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