Are you suffering from FOSO?


You’ve likely heard of FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s the fear that keeps us checking into Facebook 3000 times in one day.

But have you heard of FOSO? The fear of standing out? – Tweet That!

Okay, I just made it up.

No matter how many times you’ve taken it up a notch and exposed your brand to larger groups of people, you will always hit a wall where you feel nervous to go further.

Just a few weeks ago, I launched the Tribe Finder Podcast. I hired a fabulous publicist. I did the interviews. I told every stranger on the street what I was doing. I asked everyone to listen.

I was scared the whole time.

I hit a new level of self-doubt whenever I go bigger, bolder and build my tribe in the online world. I worry whether I am “taking up too much space” or even if I am annoying people.

It is my Fear of Standing Out.

The fear is not the problem. 

The problem is suffering from FOSO makes you procrastinate, worry and hold back. 

If you are suffering from FOSO, here is what you must do.

#1 – Feel the fear and do it anyway

I have sad news. That fear won’t go away. Not until you kick it in the nut. Over and over and over again. I stopped getting stage fright after about 500 shows.

That’s a lot of nut kicking.

#2 – Put Yourself between TWO Fears… no, not two ferns

Make yourself afraid to NOT do it.

Tell your mama, your friends and random strangers about your epic sales goal or the upcoming product launch you’re working on.

When you’re afraid to stand out in a new way, you can counter act that fear with the fear of looking like a loser in front of your loved ones. Making our friends and family proud of us is usually a strong motivator.

#3 – Have a plan

You must have a strong marketing strategy to turn to when FOSO hits.

That strategy needs to have small little bite-sized pieces you can handle, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

My marketing strategy helps me along when I don’t want to do anything . I see I can do one small thing at a time and then, I start finding my motivation.

This is why in the first week of Grow Your Tribe Bootcamp we create a marketing strategy.  No matter what is happening in your life, you can keep GROWING not plateauing.

#4 – Get some entrepreneurial buddies who understand

This is essential. No one knows the struggle of doing what you do – creating something from nothing – like another entrepreneur.

They don’t have to be in your field. They can be self-managed artists or bloggers or a retail shop owner. What they do doesn’t matter as long as they are their own boss.

I have a long list of ladies I text, call, email, whatsapp, tweet and have coffee with when I’m having a FOSO fit. These ladies remind me I’m awesome and tell me something they are doing that is wicked inspiring. I return with a revived hope that I can do this. I deserve the success I am working so hard for.

In the comments below tell me about 1 time you suffered from FOSO. How did you get out of it?

PS. If you’re interested in learning more about the Grow Your Tribe Bootcamp click here.


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  • Oh Farideh, I struggle with A LOT of FOSO!

    A big realization came to me this fall. My biggest fear was telling my family and friends about my vision and dream. Strangers – no problemo. People I love and who love me: terrifying.

    I knew they wouldn’t “get it” because the whole artist/online coaching world is not on their radar. But here’s what did the trick for me: I realized that they ARE proud of me and excited for me. That even though they may not “get” what I’m doing – they’re cheering me on.

    I stopped hiding it and now they’re my raving fans. When my first song came out (in feb) THEY knew everything about how it moved up & down the list, where it was featured etc – they kept track way better than me!

    Thank you for this post, it rocks!

    • SO fantastic Lina! I know I’ve often been afraid of what my family will think when the truth is that they always have my back.
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Brilliant term. I think you need to #FOSO on twitter and make it a thing! It always takes me so much longer than it needs to take any major steps forward in my life because of FOSO. If I’m gonna stand out I want to make damned sure I’m not gonna fail doing it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Leah

    Awesome. I definitely got FOSO recently when I started working on courses. I did exactly as you said, and told people about it. If I hadn’t have done that, I’m certain I would have never actually started. And of course my biz ladies to help push me always helps. Perfect tips!

    • Exactly! Suddenly when you’re not feeling so hot for your course – you can’t just avoid it because your friends are asking you and then absolutely wanting to help you solve the problem. And then you HAVE TO DO IT! Can’t wait to see that course!

  • I pretty much always feel FOSO (especially as a scared little introvert). I do the same thing telling people what I’m doing- that way I feel pressure (and am more motivated) to get it done more quickly than I would have on my own schedule. And usually thier excitement about it gets me more excited to work on it too! Win win.

    • It’s so cool that you share what you do to stay motivated! I like that you mention that added bonus of them getting excited for you. I know I love to celebrate other people’s wins – so its really a gift to have them share with you.

  • I always have the fear of two things when I release something new: The fear that no one will come, and the fear that everyone will come. 🙂

  • FOSO. I like it. I mean, I don’t like it. But I like the term you made up!

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HeatherK-circleFarideh is a wealth of strategic launching know-how! Having emotional, technical, and logistical support during a launch empowers you to serve your audience with clarity and heart.
Heather K. Jones,