Tis the Season to… Humblebrag?!
Something happens between Christmas and New Year’s Day that we don’t talk about enough… As soon as the soft, twinkling string lights come down, a new, harsher spotlight seems to get pointed directly at our deepest insecurities. This “spotlight” usually comes in the form of social media, where other people’s carefully crafted humblebrags tend to take over as the calendar comes to a close. And the insecurities that we tend to feel most deeply as goal-oriented female entrepreneurs? Well, they’re often tied to the success of our coaching businesses. A lot of us get some serious FOMO about what other coaches are claiming to have experienced in the year before…
Are you wondering whether you’ve made ‘enough’ progress in your coaching business in 2018?
Here’s how to recap your year without falling prey to FOMO (fear of missing out).
Shutdown Your Social Media, Shutdown That Sense of Inadequacy
I’m not saying that your friends, colleagues, and followers are liars. Nor are they wrong for being proud of the goals they reached in 2018. However, they probably have FOMO, too… and they probably aren’t telling the whole truth when they post on social media. Studies show that people tend to sugarcoat their lives online, which can start a vicious cycle of viewers developing their own fear of missing out and sugar coating their posts, too. It’s important to remember that what you read and see on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn is kind of like …. a cropped image of the poster’s life. Their profiles only show what they want you to see.
Need an example?
Plenty of coaches post their revenue at the end of the year. They’re excited to share how much money they ‘made’. However, how many of those same coaches are posting what they spent to get there? How many are willing to share what they actually brought homeafter the expenses of their coaching business were paid? Without this information, the figures you’re seeing pop up on your social media feed are completely arbitrary.
Unplug Completely If You Can
It’s hard not to play the comparison game in a world where “everything” is on display, but being constantly confronted by others’ successes is one of the ways that FOMO sneaks in. It is also a surefire way to start minimizing your own. One of the easiest ways to get rid of that dreaded FOMO feeling is to stop watching what others are doing so closely and really focus on your own life. If you can, just unplug for a few days! Shutdown your social media when you can and refuse to take in the ‘show’ that everyone seems to put on this time of year.
I say ‘when you can’ here because it’s no secret that successful online businesses rely on social media platforms for leads. However, that doesn’t mean can’t go off-the-grid for the weekend or schedule your most important posts out a few days ahead of time to allow yourself a break from the bombardment. When you do have to log in- do it with a purpose. Once you’ve achieved that purpose, log back out and consider turning off your notifications until your business requires to brave social media once more.
Be More Selective About the Social Media You Do Continue to Consume
Afraid to unplug because you don’t want to miss the posts that actually matter to you? (Like- your favorite niece’s Santa photos or updates from family members that live out of state?) You’re not alone, but you still have options.
Now is the time to switch up your social media settings!
Pay attention to how the content you encounter makes you feel. Have you noticed a pattern lately?
Did you know that Facebook allows users to choose whose posts show first in your feed? Make a point to select only family, friends, and colleagues who leave you feeling uplifted…
Maybe it isn’t such a good idea to keep following your old college roommate, though. Especially if you find yourself comparing where she portrays herself to be in life with where you’re really at now. You don’t have to break all contact. It’s easy to ‘unfollow’ people to get rid of FOMO without unfriending or blocking them.
(And, just a note: it is not disloyal or unsupportive to stop following someone who is always humblebragging or spreading negativity. It is simply self-preservation. )
Axe the Ads to Get Rid of Career-Related FOMO
What if you keep seeing posts and ads from other coaches and female business owners, and it’s making you feel crippled with the fear of missing out on some sort of amazing trade secret?
Have you been doing some research for your own business lately? You’ve probably been lumped into other coaches’ advertising audience thanks to the scary-good modern magic of advertising algorithms. The cookies and other clickstream data your computer and smartphone collect point to your interest in the coaching industry. Then, social media platforms show you competing coaches’ ads as a result.
There are two things to keep in mind here:
1) Think About Your Own Ads
As a coach yourself, you know that you put your very best foot forward with your advertising. Remember that other coaches are doing the exact same thing. Take their social media postings and advertisements with a grain of salt, just as you would do so with any other brand.
2) You Can Opt Out!
Don’t forget that you have the option to tell Facebook and other social media platforms what you don’t want to see. When advertisements from other coaches keep popping up, you may find it tempting to just leave them alone. That way, you can keep lurking and making competitive comparisons between your coaching businesses. Don’t. Elect to opt out of seeing their posts.
Specifically for Facebook, you can click on the post and select “Why am I seeing this ad?”, then “Hide All Ads From ____”. It takes a moment, but it’s worth the peace of mind.
Be Realistic When Recapping Your Own Year
Just as you need to use good judgment when looking at other people’s recaps of the year, be realistic when you look at your own. Be kind to yourself, too! A major contributor of FOMO is being too hard on yourself and expecting yourself to live up to an unrealistic, unmeetable standard set forth by someone else’s social media accounts.
One thing I tell a lot of my clients is to recognize the progress you HAVE made.
Yes, it’s good to evaluate your goals and assess where your business needs a little extra work. These are the processes that bring about progress, but don’t let yourself be discouraged. Maybe you didn’t meet every single goal you set out to achieve this year. Give yourself a pat on the back anyway for the ones that you DID meet. (Give yourself a pat on the back for acknowledging that you’ve got a case of FOMO and trying to do something about it, too).
December 31st means you’re wrapping up 2018, but you’ve got next year to work on your coaching business, too. You don’t need to become a totally different person the moment the clock strikes twelve. Remember- success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s gradual.
You’re NOT starting all over next year.
There will never be a year where come December you say, “That’s it. I’m finished. I’ve accomplished every single thing I can as a business owner.” As an entrepreneur, growth never ends.
How you choose to view that is, ultimately, up to you… Personally, I choose to see that as a positive, exciting opportunity- not a sign of weakness or failure. It’s a lot easier to live without that dreaded FOMO feeling when you come to accept that where you are now is not where you’ll be forever.
So, take a breath, look around you, and take a moment to appreciate all of the blessings that have come your way in 2018. Then, make room for more by stepping toward 2019 with an open heart and an open mind…