How To Conquer Your Fear of Criticism and Rejection

by Sheri @ Purposeful Habits
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What Steps Are You Taking To Conquer Your Fear Of Criticism And Rejection?

Acceptance is a core human desire. Like acknowledgement and love. No one enjoys criticism. We all know what it feels like. It is uncomfortable and can be hurtful. Some handle it better than others, but deep down we tolerate it because we don’t have a different solution. Today I want to share with you, how you can conquer your fear of criticism and rejection. If you need to. If not, you can share the information below with a friend, or family member. Help make someone feel better about themselves.

 

Here’s Why It’s A Good Idea

See, most of my life I have lived with the same fear. The fear and pain of not being good enough, worthy enough. So many times I wanted to well and be better; unfortunately, the opposite kept happening. I kept repeating the same mistakes, making the wrong choices. I was going down a bad path.

My mom passed away when I was 18. I internalized the pain and didn’t mourn her until 12 years. Along the way, there were things meant to break me, hurt me, and keep me in the never-ending cycle of pain.

It wasn’t until I started peeling the layers back, finding the root of my pain, and living as my authentic-self was I able to heal.

One thing I have learned on my self-love journey so far is I no longer live in fear of rejection or criticism. Why? Because it doesn’t serve me. The feelings that come along with it only drag you down.

 

Don't call the alligator, big mouth until you have crossed the river.Click To Tweet

 

Why Do We Have To Conquer Criticism And Rejection? Why Are We Afraid?

A fear of criticism can be just as difficult as dealing with anxiety, fear of failure or life changes.
We are four times more likely to remember negative criticism than praise, and those negative words process more thoroughly in our brains.

Negative events impact us to a high extent. So much so we would need another five positive events to make up for the emotional and psychological effect of one negative event.

So why have a fear of criticism or rejection? It convinces us that people won’t accept or approve of us for the very thing that makes us who we are. Opinions, looks, personality, values, beliefs, and behaviour.

This fear influences our daily choices, decisions, and actions.

It is almost impossible to sit down and listen to a conversation when someone is criticizing you, insulting you, yelling at you, calling you names, and treating you with disrespect. What you can take away from that kind of conversation, is to try to find the underlying message if there is one. I’ll explain better later.

First, let us look at the ways people deal with criticism. See if you can identify with any.

 

The Four Most Common Ways People Deal With Criticism

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We all have our ways of dealing with criticism. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, right? Words that hurt you, may mean nothing to another person able to laugh it off.

 

The Self-Convincer

This person takes negative feedback very personally. A character trait of the self-convincer is their ability to deflect the blame back onto others. All criticism or forms of rejection are argued against, as they believe all such statements are unjust. This person often sees themselves as a victim.

The Defender

This person always shows a defensive reaction to negative feedback. The defender will not worry too much about what has been said, rather just assume that the person who has critiqued them has misplaced an unreasonable point of view.

The Internalizer

A person who decides to internalize criticism might seem to accept and understand it on the surface. The truth is, they are engaging in negative self-talk, and beating themselves up inside. This person will hate themselves for days and even weeks on end.

The Feedback Seeker

Ah yes – if you are a feedback seeker, you will listen to the criticism and own it. You actively ask questions, do not deflect the blame. All you want to know is why they think what they do, and what you can do to fix it.
Do you recognize any of the traits in yourself?

Once you have identified which one or blend of two categories you fall into, it is important to go a step further.

In order to conquer your fear of criticism and rejection, you need to identify the different types of criticism you may deal with on a daily basis.

 

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.Click To Tweet

Destructive And Constructive Criticism: What Is The Difference?

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So you want to conquer your fear of criticism and rejection, but you aren’t sure how to differentiate the two. I’ll explain it real simple. Constructive criticism is, meant to help you. Destructive criticism is only intended to cause you hurt and pain. Some people are great at taking criticism and using it to improve themselves, while others may feel beaten down by the slightest sound of critical feedback.

In my opinion, this the first step to being able to conquer your fear of criticism and rejection is to start by analyzing intentions. When you understand the intentions of the person giving feedback to you, it will be easy to tell who has your best interest at heart.

As you are listening, try to focus on the message as well as the delivery. Nobody likes being told that they suck at anything. Not all of us deal with criticism the same way.

It is essential to conquer both criticism and rejection as it can even mess with our productivity.  If your brains devotes too much time and energy to dealing with the criticism, it will make it difficult for you to focus on other things.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

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Draw the line at insults. Simple. You draw the line where rudeness or insults come into play.

If someone approaches you in a condescending and disrespectful manner, then the point of engaging in a further conversation is pointless. Fact is, no matter how fantastic you are, not everyone is going to love you, or even like you.

That’s life. However, not liking someone is not enough of a reason to berate and shower them with abuse. Emotional abuse can do a lot of damage. Once you conquer your fear of criticism and rejection, you will worry about these kind of things a lot less.

 

It is easier to criticize than to do better.Click To Tweet

 

How To Deal With Your Fear of Criticism and Rejection

Separation is key. Are you able to listen to another person’s opinion, and non-judgmentally acknowledge what’s true without it being a reflection of your self-worth? Think about that for a minute? When you can see the difference, the words will have little or no power over you.

 

Don’t Avoid People Due To Your Fear

Avoiding criticism will make you weaker, rather than stronger. Part of being successful is to have thick enough skin to be able to take constructive criticism and feedback in order to grow. If you let your fear of criticism and rejection hide you away, your motivation and desire for success will diminish. That’s the opposite of what you want right?
As the saying goes, it’s not what they call you, but what you answer to.” Which essentially means, you can’t change the words that were spoken to you or of you, but you can change the power and meaning you give them.

 

Are There Any Positives That Come From Criticism?

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There are so many! Emotional benefits, personal growth, self-love, productivity, the list goes on. Here are my top five benefits of criticism:

 

1. Choose Calm Over Chaos

Criticism and rejection can present themselves in the form of a test. When you are criticized, is your immediate reaction to attack, or seek revenge? Think of your reaction as an opportunity to choose peace over conflict. Feeling judged? Let the person know. Maintain your strength and power over the words spoken to you.

 

2. Strengthen Your Interpersonal Skills

Criticism gives you the chance to work on your interpersonal skills, such as self-confidence, collaboration, communication and positivity. These are skills we use daily at home and in the workplace. Confidence enables you to deal with challenging situations more effectively.

 

3. Rational Thinking

When dealing with criticism, your immediate response is the most important one, as it has the greatest scope for making things worse or better. Remain calm, and try to get your critic to repeat the comments and then clarify that you understand them. Ask questions. You may realize that the criticism is based on a different perspective or misunderstanding.

 

4. Make You Learn That People Will Think And Say Whatever They Want

If your relationships are built solely out of fear of criticism and rejection, you might end up being very lonely, or even alone. Embrace the change, and let people be open, honest, and vulnerable with you. You need to tell the critical person how you see things differently. It won’t help your relationship to get into the pattern displeasing yourself to please others. Just as you are allowed to speak your, so is everyone else.

 

5. Criticism Helps You Teach People How To Treat You

Criticism gives you the chance to teach people how to treat you. If someone delivers it poorly, you can take this opportunity to tell them, “I think you make some valid points, but I would receive them better if you didn’t raise your voice.”

Finding the courage to express yourself isn’t always an easy thing to do. No matter what you do, you cannot avoid the opinions of others: the good, the bad, and the downright mean.

Remember,  criticism can contain valuable insights for positive growth.

 

Remember,  criticism can contain valuable insights for positive growth.Click To Tweet

 

How have you taken steps to conquer your fear of criticism and rejection? Do you struggle with it,and manage it on a day to day?  Have you had to handle criticism and doubt — especially coming from people closest to you? Share with me in the comments section below.

 

Purposeful Habits xoxo Sheri

 

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14 comments

Suzanne Spiegoski (@SSpiegoski) September 1, 2018 - 17:02

Rejection and fear is something we all have to face. How you deal with it depends entirely on you – but in most cases facing them head on with an open mind is the best way to go! xo, Suzanne

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cleverlychanging July 21, 2018 - 19:47

I struggle with this topic. I’m so hard on myself, but I’m learning to stay focused and push through anyway.

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NPC July 20, 2018 - 20:30

This is such great advice. Unforutnately, criticism and rejection is a big part of our lives, it’s good to know how to deal with it.

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Danielle July 20, 2018 - 06:55

Wow I love this so much hun! Such beautiful words!!

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Wendy Polisi July 20, 2018 - 01:26

I know a lot of women out there who could really learn to conquer this fear. It controls them, and that is unhealthy.

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Yeah Lifestyle July 19, 2018 - 23:14

Such a fabulous sharing Sheri, totally enjoyed reading this..I think I am more of a defender as I tend to defend myself. Luckily I am much wiser now and have learn from my past as I grow older.

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Corinne (@WhatCorinneDid) July 19, 2018 - 21:32

This is defo something I needed to read! Rejection is scary and sometimes prevents me from taking initiatives! great post!

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Heather Barber McMechan July 19, 2018 - 18:32

I really like this post. It’s such an inspiration. I stopped caring what others thought of me a few years ago. It’s been a life-changing experience. But you’re right on how criticism can be a good thing. It’s definitely helped others understand their place with me.

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Becky Willis July 19, 2018 - 18:12

This is such a great, well thought out post. When it comes to criticism I am one to defend myself but internally. There are times when I will defend myself IF I feel it is warranted. Rejection I am one to just cry lol. I loved all you said in your post and will be referencing it for future use.

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Shannon Gurnee July 18, 2018 - 21:11

This is definitely something I need to work on in my life. Growing up, I was teased a lot and when I became a young woman, what other people thought still mattered a lot. Great post!

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GiGi Eats Celebrities July 17, 2018 - 16:03

I conquered this a LONGLONG time ago thankfully and my life is BLISS in comparison to what it was before when I actually cared what people think. I think back to those days in early high school and feel bad for my younger self. I wish I could go back in time and tell her to snap out of it!

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Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life July 17, 2018 - 16:24

I can totally relate to this. We tend to focus so much on what others say, do, and think about us. When we learn self-acceptance, then we can take it with a grain of salt. 🙂 I am so glad you are no longer going through it.

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Nidhi Thawal July 13, 2018 - 18:54

Wow!! I loved it 🙂

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Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life July 14, 2018 - 21:03

Thanks so much Nidhi! <3 Have a great day and weekend! xoxox S.

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