Hey friends - my apologies for not getting my blog up yesterday! Yesterday was one of those days that did not go quite as planned! Ever have one of those? (I know you have!).
Anyway, I will combine thoughts on not only the podcast for today but also combine it with some thoughts on yesterday's podcast ("Facing the Fear of Criticism").
I know that Napoleon Hill in this book, "Think & Grow Rich", calls the Fear of Poverty (the first of the 8 Ghosts of Fear) the most damaging and prevailing - and I can see his point because the fear of poverty and the desire for riches is a big reason our crime rate - at least here in America (but my guess is it's the same wherever you live) - is as high as it is. However, I would suggest that the FEAR OF CRITICISM is one that is the most widely shared and felt!
WE ALL DEAL WITH AND STRUGGLE WITH THIS FEAR!
We must all FACE this fear and decide to do something to defeat it! Has it not ruled and ruined our lives long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to rob us of our joy long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to stop us dead in our tracks long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to paralyze us from forward momentum long enough? YES, WE HAVE!
About a week ago I was having lunch with my friends from high school (you've seen their pictures shared on here before) when one of them was talking about visiting with the high school counselor during our Senior year. My friend said the "counselor" (and I use that term VERY loosely) sat him and another guy down together and basically said, "Well boys, about all I can tell you two is that neither of you are going to amount to much of anything!"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
That criticism COULD HAVE frozen both of these guys - at a very young age - dead in their tracks IF they had chosen to take this criticism to heart and let this fear take root. However, I'm happy to say that neither of them did and they both are doing quite well today, thank you very much!
Here's what Napoleon Hill had to say about this fear of criticism: "This fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways."
Mr Hill also discusses the fact that "Criticism is the one form of service, of which everyone has too much. Everyone has a stock of it which is handed out, gratis [free], whether called for or not."
Isn't that the truth? As the old saying goes, "EVERYONE is a critic!" and we've all experienced that, haven't we? And, for whatever reason, many of us FEAR this criticism to the point that it prevents us from sharing our thoughts, ideas, plans and talents. What a shame.
I have discussed this very fact earlier in discussion of this book. Have you ever considered the fact that - for the most part - these critics have very little, if any, knowledge about that which they are sharing their criticism? Think about that and you will likely agree. Oh, I know that there are some with a boss that likes to use this fear of criticism to control those under him or her. But even if that situation, think about this - WHY do they find the need to do so? I would suggest to you that it is due to the fact that they, themselves, are AFRAID! Afraid of what? Afraid of you or another worker actually coming up with an idea or suggestion that is better than what they could have thought of themselves. That being so (and I do believe that it is) they, themselves bow down to the fear of criticism from whoever it is that is THEIR boss!
What a vicious cycle!
In the podcast for today (Thursday) I shared with you some thoughts from an article by Donald Trump in which he declares that the opposite of fear is FAITH! We have also discussed this fact before and I have shared this thought several times in my podcasts and blogs. Mr. Trump discusses the need for us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES to the point of KNOWING that we do, indeed, carry within us the ability to achieve whatever the task may be. The way I have worded it over and over again is realizing that, "YES, YOU (I) CAN!"
This is also what is talked about in the earlier chapters of this great book on FAITH and also AUTO-SUGGESTION. We must all work to develop this deep-rooted FAITH or BELIEF in ourselves and our abilities to the point that our subconscious mind "automatically" kicks in and "reminds" us of this fact every single day and even many times throughout the day.
Here are the "symptoms of the fear of criticism" that Mr. Hill shares in this chapter (notice how many of them are tied together and try to identify these in your life - also go to the book for more descriptions about each one of these):
1. SELF- CONSCIOUSNESS (Why self-conscious? Not enough belief in yourself!)
2. LACK OF POISE (The physical manifestation of self-consciousness!)
3. PERSONALITY (These first two impact even your personality!)
4. INFERIORITY COMPLEX (Trying to appear to be something your not!)
5. EXTRAVAGANCE (Trying to "keep up with the Joneses" - tied in with #4)
6. LACK OF INITIATIVE (The idea of, "Why try? I'll just be criticized anyway.")
7. LACK OF AMBITION (I would suggest that this one is the "full-grown child" of #6)
HERE'S MY THOUGHTS ON DEFEATING THIS FEAR OF CRITICISM...
Yes, although it is good and at times, important to listen and take advice from others, STOP listening to everyone that criticizes you and STOP believing everything that "they" have to say! Who are they anyway? Instead, LISTEN TO YOURSELF and your inner voice telling you, "YES, YOU CAN!"
I know that is easier said than done - but it is a necessity for each of us to develop this and put it into practice!
Before you "blow this off" as just "fluffy talk" ask yourself this question:
- Are you working DAILY to instill this type of talk/inner belief into your life?
- IF NOT - (for one, WHY NOT?) then how can you "know" that it doesn't or won't work?
- If you are trying to instill this in your life, understand that it is a process that does take time! It doesn't happen overnight but that does not mean that it doesn't work or that you should give up!
My friend, criticism (and, as a result, the "fear of criticism") has been around since the beginning of time - it is nothing new.
But you MUST know that you CAN defeat this fear and you DO have within you the ability to do so! Thank you for allowing me to do my part in helping you cultivate that ability!
Do not allow others and their criticisms stop you from moving forward and making progress. FLY IN THE FACE OF CRITICISM! Soar and live the life that you were intended to live!
YES, YOU CAN!
And, along the way, remember...
"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"