Headlines that can trigger FOMO: Sign up today for 50% off! Don’t miss out – this deal ends in 2 days. Join our group – don’t be left behind. All your friends are talking about this – get on board! Successful Coaches hire Elite Coaches. WTF?!

I am disappointed and disheartened by the very industry I’m a part of.

And it’s not just the coaching industry – it’s every company or organization that spins words to make you feel you don’t belong (without this thing), that you’re not good enough (without that item), that you’re missing out (if you don’t join up, sign up or do it their way).

Friends, you’re bombarded daily with messages crafted to make you feel you’re not good enough or that you won’t succeed without whatever is offered.

And here’s the sad fact – it works. How do I know? Because I’ve signed up, joined, jumped, and responded to messages my entire life… spending a bundle of money and life energy.

I listened to messages from external sources instead of myself. 

I’ve also had the good fortune to learn from people such as Angella Johnson, who teaches the importance of prioritizing trauma-informed messaging and marketing before profit. I signed up for her program because her message felt like a breath of relaxing fresh air – instead of – “if I don’t do this, I’ll miss out.”

How do you know the difference between FOMO and TAO (True-Self Aligned Opportunity)?
Use these Five Steps to Live a Life of Harmony.

#1: Pause – check in with your physical body.
Do you feel relaxed or tense? Tension is challenging to recognize because our cultural conditioning has perpetuated the “normalcy” of feeling tense and constricted. Think of squeezing a washcloth – do you feel a sense of constriction in your body or digestive system? 

#2: Is conflict present?
I received an email asking me to “join” at “50% off” and be a part of a group that will benefit my business. The idea is brilliant, and the person who created the offer is someone I know has integrity – they’re simply operating their business exactly how “they” say to do it.

For anyone who’s experienced trauma, messages of “being left out” triggers inner conflict. So, I paused… I felt the tension and, for a split second, even felt conflict… oh my, I “should” do this, or I’ll miss out on the special pricing and be… left out. For others, this offer may very well be their TAO. But for me, it was FOMO. The offer did not uplift my energy; it tangled my energy into a knot. I deleted that email.

#3: Is self-comparison present?
This is the big one! The beauty industry (and coaching industry, among others) feeds off “self-comparison.” Here’s an example – years ago, while watching a commercial, I learned there was something wrong with my face – I had not noticed this “wrong” part of my face until the commercial pointed it out and offered a product to fix that for me. 

So, before responding, check in emotionally. Are you feeling less than, self-doubt, not good enough, or that you “must” do this to be successful, accepted (and beautiful)?

#4: If you’re not a part of this group, offering, or course – will you die?
I know – a harsh question, and of course, you won’t die – but it may pull you away from fully living. This is a great question to ask yourself (with a bit of humor woven in) when challenged with a decision – “Is this a life-or-death decision/situation?” 99.9% of the time – it isn’t. #perspective ?

Humans have a deep psychological need to belong. Advertisers and marketers know this. It takes courage and strength to turn away from messaging that creates a sense of belonging (and loss).

Experiment – try “no” on for size and sit with the feeling of “being left out.” Start with little things and work your way up. There’s no right or wrong way. You’ll likely fall for FOMO again – but it’s also likely, now that you’ve read this, that you’ll recognize it after the fact. When you do, say, “oops, I won’t do that again.”

Be gentle, compassionate, and kind to yourself. As I read recently, we’re all in the process of ‘becoming.’

#5: Do it Differently – Discover your TAO (True-Self Aligned Opportunity).
TAO Definition: The process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony. (Source: Meriam Webster Dictionary).

How often are you responding, saying “yes,” jumping in, and “doing” unwittingly influenced by messaging designed to make you feel a certain way?

To follow a life of harmony…

  • What does harmony mean to you?
  • Where is your feeling of “missing out” derived from? (Hint: cultural and family conditioning).
  • What are you tolerating that is triggering your nervous system?
  • What changes can you make to release tension and call-in ease?

Here’s a thought – jot down your “catches” in a journal.

I almost signed up, said yes, joined in… because _________.
I didn’t (yay me!), and this is how I felt ___________________.
I did, and I see it (yay me!) and this __________________ is what I’ll do next time.

Remember, change is often uncomfortable. Recognize, Acknowledge, Investigate, Nurture (Tara Brach).

I’m curious – before reading this, did you pay consistent attention to how messaging influences you – will you now? What are you “catching” – let me know! suzy@suzycarroll.com


PS If my messages ever triggers your nervous system, please let me know. I’m learning too!

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