The fear of criticism is a strong emotion that can bring a grown man to his knees. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” listed this fear as one the six fears that cripples people from achieving success in life, relationship and business. Your sweaty palms and shaky knees may be overwhelming from doing something as simple as speaking in front of a crowd. This fear can be detrimental to anyone seeking success in business and cause them to reach only a fraction of their potential.
When you are in a crowd moving along with the masses in a non-descriptive mode you are great. Your name is the best thing that is bestowed upon you as a child. You love the sound of your name and you stand at attention when someone calls your name. Yet when someone calls your name to bring you out of the crowd and places you in a fish bowl the sweaty palms and beads of sweat rolling down your head makes you frightened. The fear of public speaking is only second to spiders in the top 10 phobias. Social phobias are the fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.
A successful leader stricken with the fear of criticism would find it very difficult to succeed. A leader must be able to make decision about policy and not worry the negative chatter that might arise from it. You must overcome this fear if you are truly going to generate the riches that you want in your life. If Henry Ford was ever afflicted by this fear all he would have to do is push one button and have someone else’s take care of it. This method might only work for Henry Ford, but there are more practical and psychological ways to defeat the fear of criticism.
There are a number of simple and not so simple ways to overcome this fear. Three ways that you may use is to unlearn the fear is through therapy, Counter Conditioning and Behavioral Therapy. Counter Conditioning uses relaxation method to allow you to think of a better scenario that you are in as opposed to being on the stage in front of people speaking. We have all heard about the suggestion of imagining the people naked is a form of Behavioral Therapy.
The fear of criticism can do tangible and intangible damage to a person’s confidence and psyche. Tangible damage could be an inability to get on a public stage to talk to a group of people. Intangible damage might be stripping a person of their imagination, limiting individuality and destroying self reliance. The fact remains that you must beat this fear to achieve success in your life, love, relationships and business. The fear of Flying is the #3 phobias and once you get on the plane whether the plane crashes or not is beyond your control. The fear of criticism is a fear that you do have control over.
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