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ARE YOU AFRAID OF CRITICISM OR AFRAID OF FAILURE?

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What do you think about when it comes to being critiqued? I think about the famous words of Erykah Badu, “I am an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.” Our body of work is our baby. We put our dedication into it, our love, and we want it to be perfect. But guess what? It’s not, and we cannot be afraid to accept a bit of constructive criticism. We must remember that the way you speak and your choice of words is vital to a person’s perception of what you are saying when giving constructive criticism.

            But when you are on the receiving end, you need to understand:

  • Not all criticism is destructive, so you should not look at it in that way. Yes, we are sensitive about our shit! Constructive criticism is always constructive. It’s all about growth when it comes to your work, yourself, and the people you have around you.
  • Constructive criticism is the outline of your action plan. It is what you may need to work on to improve your work and grow. Think of constructive criticism as the buying criteria for your product to be successful in the market. Every customer has needs and wants when it comes to certain products. If you don’t achieve those demands, your product will not be successful.
  • The person who’s giving you constructive criticism is not attacking you as a person.
  • Yes, you may need some help in some areas of your work, and that is okay.
  • When you are getting constructive criticism, the critical thing is to listen to what the person is saying because you must decide if the feedback is helpful.

When you think about being afraid of being critiqued, it’s you are being fearful of failing.  So, what is the definition of failure? According to dictionary.com, “an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success.”

  This fear of failure is why according to Statista, 35% of entrepreneurs in the United States fear failing, 47% in Australia, 44.7 % in China, the UK is 44.5%, Japan 43.5%, and Germany is 29.7%.

When you fear failure:

  • You try not to challenge yourself by taking on new projects or try new things.
  • You are a perfectionist.
  • You may have low self-esteem
  • You don’t have confidence in yourself.
  • You self-sabotage your goals and values.

Are you the type that wonders, why her and not me? What does he have and not I don’t have? But the truth of the matter is that those people were brave enough to step beyond their comfort level to change their lives. But the rest of us are stagnant, lost, fearful of making that bold move to change our lives. What is the difference between any celebrity and you? Nothing, they just had the guts to take that first step and keep knocking on doors. 

An article in betterhelp.com (https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-psychology-of-fear/ ) states that fear is an emotional and biochemical reaction. A biochemical reaction is our heart rate racing, we are sweating, and our adrenaline increases. When it comes to being emotional, we can either elude away from our fear or attack it head-on.  

How do you think we are going to change our life if we don’t act?  

We have a decision to make, and some of us are chicken to face our fears, including myself.  We want change to happen; we have goals and dreams. You can daydream all you want to about what your life should have been, but without you taking the necessary steps. You are going to be where you are until you change your frame of mind. 

So, what fears do I have?  

Sometimes I can be silly when trying to be bold by convincing myself not to speak to strangers, “my momma taught me not to speak to strangers.” I can sit in central park all day to spark a conversation with someone about my book and not say a word. I take in the breeze and write. I even maybe do a video, knowing damn well I will need to start talking to people eventually if I get people interested in my book. But I stay silent. 

I am the type that has a little burst of bravery, where I tackle my fear and attack it head-on. Like I did sometime last summer, while I was in Target with a friend, I experienced a brave, bold moment and asked a female cashier and a guy when we were leaving if they would buy the t-shirt. I had a design that I had on. The female cashier said yes because t-shirts like that were in, and it was a positive message. The guy said yes to, but he took things a little further and said  I needed to make the image brighter because it was a little dark. I thank them both because I was afraid to speak, but I needed to get answers. Talking to two strangers is a small step, but it is a step in the right direction toward fear-facing—tomorrow, who knows. 

There is no‒it’s too late!  When starting a business, I tell myself that there are multiple ways to market your business, the same several ways to start your business. Therefore, when you are tackling your fears, and achieving your goals, apply this philosophy. Don’t stress over it, and don’t give up. 

Therefore, I am challenging myself to continue to face my fears.  I am turning my Fridays into #fearfacingfridays to move on to the next phase of my life.  

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