Overcome Your Fear of Criticism and Feedback, Gain the Power to Succeed


It happens in different ways, but appears throughout your life and throughout life’s various aspects. At home as a child, your mother asks you to wash the windows again because there are several spots you missed. In adult life, your wife mentions that she wishes you were more confident speaking in front of people and participating in group conversations with friends. At work, you receive a never-ending stream of feedback from your boss – and never is it without criticisms. Even though each stage and type is different they all bring out the same feelings and reactions in you.

You feel sad, angry, and frustrated. There’s a part of you that recognizes that the comments are intended to make improvements – but instead of challenging you or making you want to work harder, they just make you feel small and incapable. Why do people need to criticize you incessantly? Are you really that bad?

Exploring the Fear of Criticism and Feedback

Fact of the matter is, feedback and criticism are a part of our lives and they do come from all sides. And while, yes, some comments are not exactly welcome and at times may not be polite, most of the feedback you receive is intended to help everyone and the overall outcomes and the criticism is likely constructive criticism.

It isn’t necessarily a “suck it up” situation, but overcoming your fear and loathing of feedback and criticism will serve you well in life, helping to improve your own behaviors, performance, and outcomes while also being a stronger asset to your team – whether that team is at home, at work, or elsewhere in life.

Unlike many other fears and phobias, the fear of criticism and feedback isn’t necessarily rooted in early experiences – sometimes, people simply have these natural propensities. That said, it doesn’t make them any easier or more difficult to conquer.

At the root of it, no one likes being told what they can’t do or that they aren’t good at something – however, many times, if you listen, this is not what people are truly saying; people who have a fear of criticism and feedback have a tendency to hear the worst in statements, rather than the constructive feedback that is most often being provided.

People who have a fear of criticism and feedback often display the following behaviors or experience thoughts such as:

  • Extreme dislike of routinely scheduled feedback, such as report cards and parent teacher conferences in youth or performance reviews in their professional life
  • Mistrust or resentment of authority figures
  • Anger and resentment when given feedback
  • Natural tendencies toward defensive behaviors

Overcoming Your Fear of Criticism and Feedback

Overcoming a fear of feedback or a fear of criticism is often a bit of an inner struggle because, rather than fighting a chemically caused reaction or feeling, sufferers often must battle their own nature and deeply rooted thoughts and behaviors. Recognizing the fear in and of itself can be tricky, as this fear isn’t necessarily experienced in the form of sweaty palms or nausea (thought physical symptoms can certainly accompany emotional reactions), but rather in feelings.

However, there is strong reason to overcome it and move past the fear because feedback is a necessary component to our improvement and growth. Often times, it is how people receive and respond to feedback in the workplace that furthers their position and opens new doors and opportunities – without overcoming a fear of feedback, you may be missing out on opportunities you didn’t even know existed.

Learn to conquer your fear of feedback and criticism by joining us on August 19, 2014. “Break Through Fear and Self Doubt: Discover How to Overcome Fear, Phobias, and Gain the Confidence to Take Control of Your Life,” is a groundbreaking seminar series featuring industry expert-led sessions focused on conquering even the most challenging of fears and phobias to regain control over your emotions and life.

In our sessions, we will take a deeper dive into your fear, exploring its roots and causes and take the first therapeutic steps toward your new life. Visit LINK to learn more or to register.

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