Is the Fear of Criticism Holding You Back?
by Linda-Ann Stewart
Fear of criticism is a frequent stumbling block when you want to change or achieve a goal. When you want to break a habit or grow as a person, others may object and find fault with your behavior. This is to manipulate you to remain the same so they won't become uncomfortable with the changes you're making.
Artists and creative people of all types often don't express the fullness of their talent for fear of jealousy and being belittled. It's not unusual to try to hide, conform or underachieve to avoid being singled out.
If the fear of criticism is affecting you, it probably stems from being unmercifully criticized as a child. You could have had adults, or other children, censure you for being too different. Maybe bullies humiliated you, a teacher demeaned you, or you had a disapproving parent. These wounds can impact the way you view yourself and other people.
There's a difference between criticism, constructive criticism and feedback. The first is focusing strictly on a perceived problem. The other two identify an issue in order to seek a solution.
What You Do Doesn't Matter
Unfortunately, a person who criticizes you is going to do so no matter what you do. This is a conclusion I came to after many years of trying to appease people around me. Criticism is what they do to make themselves feel superior and in control, and has nothing to do with you.
Remember, the best defense is a good offense. They're attacking you, not because there's something wrong with you, but because they feel insecure. And, take it from one who tried for years, there's nothing you can do to reassure them.
They're going to condemn you, not for what you're doing or not doing, but because of what they aren't doing and who they are. Sadly, you can't gain their approval. This is hard to accept, but the only thing you can do is move forward and do what you feel is right for you.
Transform Your Beliefs about It
First, consider the kind of person who would be this way. It's likely to be someone who feels vulnerable, envious or fearful and is lashing out at you. They're trying to build themselves up by tearing you down. It doesn't absolve them of responsibility, but when you realize it isn't about you, it's easier to let it go.
Second, keep reminding yourself that anyone who criticizes you is simply coming from their own point of view, opinion and issues. What they might find fault with in you is something that they might be uncomfortable with, or don't like within themselves. They probably aren't even seeing you clearly, but filtering their view of you through their own perceptions and misconceptions.
Third, remind yourself that you're an adult now, and can handle the kind of criticism that might arise. You're no longer a helpless child, and you don't need to depend on anyone's approval anymore. You know that everyone has as much access to achieving their dreams as you do. If they don't, it's not your fault or responsibility.
Wayne Dyer said that when you achieve more, you can EXPECT to be criticized. It's true. When you begin to achieve your dreams, then those who haven't achieved theirs will may be bitter and want to hold you back, as well. That's their issue, not yours. It's okay for you to be visible now and to shine.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
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