In this world of social media where most people post snapshots of their lives, a new state of mind has come to the forefront:  FOMO aka Fear Of Missing Out.  It’s not a new sentiment yet it has become way more prevalent.  And this fear isn’t just affecting the younger generation; adults are experiencing it as well.  

Fear of missing out is insidious because it preys on the fear of not being good enough and the fear of not belonging.  The modern world judges you on your social media posts. And, in turn, you judge your life, and your success by comparing it to other’s social media posts, specifically how many likes or shares your post received. The problem with this is that social media posts are snapshots of the exciting parts of people’s life and the images are photoshopped or filtered.  Very rarely do you see authentic posts or videos that show people when they are struggling or filled with doubt or even showing the mundane aspects of life.   Every human being has bad days.  Every human being gets stuck in routine.  Not every moment of life is a party or a vacation.  And when we are bombarded with only these snapshots, it’s easy to forget. I could continue to write about the pitfalls of comparison, however, in this blog I’m more interested in authenticity.  Why? Because I believe that a lack of authenticity is what drives most people’s social media, and by extension their relationships.  

In today’s society, we are driven by a need to look good, or more importantly a need to avoid looking bad.  Why?  I think it’s because it makes us feel vulnerable.  If we look bad, we are somehow not good enough and less than.  A while back,  I had the idea to post a video coming clean about how I had fallen off the wagon of my clean eating plan.  And I was nervous about doing it, but then while I was filming I started laughing!  Why?  Because it occurred to me that me being nervous about coming clean was ridiculous!  I’m human and not perfect, after all.  I’m going to slip up from time to time and it’s not such a big deal.  The comments I got from that video were great, very encouraging and empathetic.  Some even thought I was brave to share so authentically.   

What I got from that experience was a sense of ease, like I could exhale.  I was free from the self-imposed pressure to be perfect and feeling bad for having fallen off my plan. The response to my video also taught me that people appreciate it when others are real and honest.  Authenticity has somehow become refreshing!

Now, what does this have to do with business?  As an entrepreneur, authenticity is an important aspect of being successful because if you are operating with authenticity, your business values and plan will be in line with your truth, your ‘WHY.’  This alignment will ease self-doubt, help you through the obstacles and breakdowns and have you feel good about what you are working towards.  Also, people/clients are able to smell inauthenticity from a mile away!  I know I can spot a fake when I see one!  You see, when we are more concerned with looking good we  are too busy maintaining the smoke screen of perfection.  This does not allow us to really listen to our clients and connect to what is most important to them.  Without this we will not be able to fully deliver on their needs.  This will affect our ability to keep existing clients as well as attract new clients which ultimately affects our bottom lines.   

So, when you are out at your next  networking event or client meeting remember to be real!  You are not perfect and no one expects you to be.  Have the courage to let your humanity show through and let go of how you think you should be and just be who you are!  It will make a world of difference in all your relationships-personal and professional.  

 

With Love,

Alanna Carr