Is Fear Of Criticism Getting In Your Way & Stopping You From Creating The Business Of Your Dreams?
I have always prided myself on the fact that I give personal and speedy customer service to my clients and customers. While I do have several virtual assistants for specific things, I try to answer many customer service emails myself, because I remember being on the other end of that. Heck, I still am! And I always appreciated when a business owner contacted me directly. Not for everything though – not like a change of email address or something small — but for the bigger issues. Say when someone has a question about a product or program I have. I created it, and I’m asking you to trust me & pay me to teach you something, so why can’t I take out a few moments to answer a few questions about it? Hey – that’s just me
But the other side of this – is that this opens me up to ALL the customer service emails. The ones that thank me (which I love:), that ask me questions like I’ve already mentioned, and also the ones that have something negative to say. The critics! And for a long time – those were the emails that use to truly bother me.
I wouldn’t lose sleep or stop eating, but I could hear the words in that email if I went to write something or try a marketing strategy. It was a nagging little voice that had me second guessing myself about many things. And second guessing is simply a waste of time and permits a lot of bad energy into your business. Next thing you know, you need someone else to cosign on every major decision because you aren’t sure if you are making the right ones. Ugh! What a mess!
Or here’s another example — have you ever had a great idea but then talked yourself out of it by the next morning because of the criticism you anticipated from others or from one particular person? Do that enough and you will have left enough great ideas behind that could have made you a millionaire 10 times over.
Or how about the “professional” critics? Are you a service professional in a licensed or certified profession and you’ve got colleagues constantly questioning your philosophy, your marketing, your ethics, your new income stream? These are people who either fear the unknown or fear you becoming greater than them. Cutting you down is their quickest solution for feeling better about playing small or safely. Imagine if Dr. Ruth listened to her colleagues?!
So How Did I Get Out Of Criticism’s Way?
1. I realized that there are just some people who have allowed the fear of criticism of others to seep into all parts of their lives. If you’ve grown up in a family of critics – chances are that you fear it, will do anything to avoid it, but that you also have had your fair share of giving it as well. (This was me.) So it was important to realize first that this was a part of who I was and it had to change. You know — you cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
If you find yourself criticizing others in your niche, in your mastermind group, in your family — then I’m talking especially to you! You know who you are. Recognize it and decide today that it’s just not acceptable any longer. You will not be able to grow the business that you were meant to have if you fear other people’s criticisms and if you criticize others. Let it go.
2. I know now that people who criticize are really dealing with some of their own issues. It has nothing to do with you. For instance, if a fellow entrepreneur criticizes how much you are charging for your new product or program — it’s probably because they have their own issues around charging and cannot get what you are asking or are afraid to even price their stuff at that price point. Their criticisms are stemming from their own fears, inadequacy, jealousy, etc. — not from anything you are doing or not doing.
3. Criticism is not truth. Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it so. When you take it on – you are validating it’s truth. Therefore the real key here is to not take it on as truth. Drop it. Forget it. Ignore it.
4. Work and play in your business fearlessly! Fear of criticism should never stop you from being creative, for trying something new, for stepping outside the box, for being uniquely you. Try to remember the big WHY you’re in business to begin with. Why do you do what you do? Who do you do it for? My big WHY is my family. And all I have to do is look at a picture of them in my office or look outside in the yard and see my kids playing to remember that my fear of criticism is unfounded and not real. Keep your big WHY in mind and you’ll be able to push criticism completely out of your way to greatness!