We’ve all heard the term FOMO right? The fear of missing out? Well what about FOBO?
I was reading a great article the other day in Collective Magazine (for anyone who’s been a great fan of this magazine in the past and was as devastated as me when the print edition closed – it’s back! … in limited releases – go and grab a copy!)
Anyway – FOBO.
FOBO = the fear of better options
It was being described by the founder of a company called Extraordinary Routines who said she had first come across it from entrepreneur Thomas Oppong.
So what does it mean?
Well have you ever felt yourself paralysed because there are too many options and you’re scared that you might pick the wrong one? That’s FOBO!
As business owners we’re particularly susceptible to this because it is literally our livelihood on the line and making the ‘wrong’ decision could be extremely costly in the long run.
We’re also living in a land of opportunity where more and more options are presented to us all the time. Which ones should we take? Which ones should we let go?
Throw in a healthy dose of perfectionism and you’ve got the perfect storm.
FOBO can lead to stress, regret, unhappiness and stop you from moving forward in ANY direction as you become so fixated on which one is the right choice.
When are you suffering from FOBO?
I recognise this all the time in myself. When I have a crazy long to-do list and instead of working diligently through it (or better yet knowing exactly what the highest and best purpose use of my time is and only having that on the list!) I start jumping around. Starting one task and then getting a rush of ‘oh no, but this other thing needs to be done first’ and jumping over to that (more about context-switching another time!) – it’s the FOBO taking over.
Even worse when you’re faced with various opportunities for your business and you don’t know which one to pursue. Both avenues may have pros and cons – how do you know which to choose?
So how do we overcome FOBO?
Realising that you’re in it is the first sign to combatting FOBO. Just like it’s cousin FOMO – once you know you have it, the awareness can give you a kind of acceptance and from there rationalise as to whether you really are missing out or whether whatever else you’re doing instead is totally satisfactory!
When you are aware that FOBO has taken over, it becomes much easier to then get all of the options down on paper and start processing whether they really are better options or whether you’re simply tricking yourself that they are.
At the end of the day – no option is going to be perfect. But which option is going to give you the best return on your investment whether that is time, energy, effort or resources.
Without so many FOBO roadblocks – imagine what we could achieve!
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"Confessions of a Small Business Owner"
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