Fear of being criticized is a huge obstacle for a lot of women entrepreneurs.
They know they need to become more visible to grow their business but because this scares them, they (subconsciously) decide to lay low and keep playing small.
I know this fear from my own experience as well.
Fear of what others might think of me has held me back in many ways.
It is why it took me years before I was able to write my first book.
And I didn’t share anything to do with spirituality for a long time, because I was afraid that people might think I was a stupid airhead(and I would lose all of my clients and my business as a result of that).
But my desire to write my books, reach more people, fulfill my mission and grow my business was bigger than my fears, and I decided I wasn’t going to let it stop me anymore.
These tips help you deal with (fear of) criticism:
#1 Accept that you will be criticized, no matter what you do or say
I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but you WILL be criticized if you become more visible and share your vision, gifts and expertise with the world.
Knowing this, you have two choices:
The first one is to moan and complain about how unfair this is and how we should all love and respect each other.
This will get you nowhere and it won’t change a thing.
The second choice is that you accept it (which does not mean you have to like it OR let people walk all over you!!) and decide to deal with it.
I highly recommend this second choice, of course 😉
#2 Don’t post comments or send out emails you would rather not receive yourself
I know, you are a very nice and loving person who would never do this, of course 😉
But I also know that there ARE people out there who send out emails or post things on twitter that are crappy and mean and spiteful.
I know this for a fact, because I’ve received some nasty emails over the last nine years.
I remember for example the woman who emailed me shortly after I started writing my ezines in English.
She sent me an email that started with some nice compliments.
But she also wanted to share some advice because she would hate to see me fail.
(Tip: Beware of people who say or write stuff like that. It’s usually followed by some nasty shit.)
Although she thought it was courageous of me to now offer my services in English, she honestly thought I should reconsider this, or at least hire a professional translator to write my ezines for me.
She felt my English was SO bad she feared it would ruin my business faster than I could blink my eyes.
That was a nasty blow below the waist.
I was deeply hurt for a moment.
But right after that, I got PISSED!
Who the hell did she think she was to be writing such a hateful email!
And yes, I know,this email probably says more about her than about me and it is a direct reflection of her own fears and blablabla etc.etc.
(I understand how these things work. I explain all about it in my upcoming book.
And yes, I also know that you can learn from feedback and it is wise to see if there are some lessons in it for you.)
But I’m no one’s therapeutic punching bag!
Deal with your emotional shit and leave me out of it, thank you very much.
I can laugh about it now,but I share the anger I felt because getting angry really helps you deal with criticism.
Which is why it is tip #3: Allow yourself to be angry!
Women often have a problem with feeling or expressing their anger.
Well, I think it’s very healthy to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel.
You do not have to act upon it, of course.
But you are allowed to feel it! It’s healthy and it empowers you.
Did I act upon my anger?
No. I did not. I simply deleted the email and did not respond to it.
(I may have deleted her from my ezine-list, though. I can’t remember, but I might have done that while I was still angry 😉
#4 Delete & delegate
Let your VA handle your emails, and instruct her to delete all nasty mails. That way you don’t even have to see them.
If you do receive them yourself: just delete them.
#5 Manage possible criticism upfront
This morning I received an ezine from Shamala Tan, a business coach from Singapore. She send out an email informing everyone that next to being a business coach, she will also start offering energy healings.
She shares her opinion on energy healing and invites people to book a session to try it for themselves.
But the people on her list know her as a business coach.
They may not be interested in healings or may not even believe in it.
This could be a possible trigger for some people to send an unfriendly email.
And this is how she brilliantly manages this upfront:
At the bottom of this mail, she invites you to send her an email if you are interested in an energy healing.
And right after that, she writes this:
*Skeptics and people determined to prove that we are wrong need not email.
That is one brilliant way to manage possible criticism upfront.
I love it! 🙂
This week’s Transformational Action
Answer this question honestly:
Are there things you do not share, say or do because you are scared of being criticized?
If so, do you accept that this fear holds you back any longer?
If not, move on to step 3:
What could you do to deal with your fear?
Which of the tips in this article could you implement? How and when will you do this?
In conclusion I will share one of my favorite quotes with you:
“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
P.S.: And this is what happened 2 days after I send out this article to my ezine-subscribers:
Two days later I found a beautiful card in my mailbox.
And to my amazement, I saw it was from the woman I mentioned in my article!!!
She writes that she was reading my ezine and all of a sudden recognized herself in it, and how deeply ashamed she feels about sending me that email.
She admitted the email was mean and uncalled for, and was a direct result of the jealousy she felt – jealousy of me and my success.
And as a result of these hurtful feelings, she lashed out at me….
She apologized and thanked me for teaching her a wise and valuable lesson by sharing this story in my ezine.
Her card, her honesty, and her courage to open up and be so brutally honest with herself and me amazed me.
Thank YOU so much and know that I accept and appreciate your apology and your card whole-heartedly.
Let me know what you think!
(Unless it’s something nasty, of course 😉
You can post your thoughts and comments below. Thanks!