- Rule 1: Always strive to please others and agree with everybody
- Rule 2: Do not attempt to change people’s minds
- Rule 3: Do not try a new idea or pursue any worthwhile goal
- Rule 4a: Conform to established ways of doing everything
- Rule 4b: Never step a foot away from the path of convention
- Rule 5: Follow the crowd; stand for nothing unique
- Rule 6: Let the world shape you; be who others want you to be
- Rule 7a: Accept life “as is” and never examine the status quo
- Rule 7b: Believe whatever you are told without checking evidence
- Rule 8: Do not say, attempt, or do anything contentious or imaginative
- Rule 9: Do not say, attempt, or accomplish anything at all
The Fear of Criticism
Yielding to criticism can bring about many negative consequences: hesitation, aversion to risks, stagnation, letdown, rejection, and, eventually, failure.
Being criticized never feels good. But, avoiding criticism will never give you the delight of generating and trying out new ideas. You forego the personal evolution that results from overcoming fear and obstacles, and the contentment that comes from reaching out to others and pursuing your dreams.
Listen, take it in, and learn
Look, criticism is inevitable. Whatever course you decide upon in life, there is always somebody to tell you that you are wrong. Criticism may not be agreeable. It may feel unjustified and, depending on how the critic delivered his comments, criticism may even feel confrontational.
Criticism is necessary and can catch your eye to caution and forethought. Remember that criticism just represents another person’s opinion of your values or pursuits. So, instead of talking criticism personally, take a step back, and reflect on what the critic is saying. With an open mind, mull over how the criticism might differ from your own opinion. Perhaps, the criticism casts light on a blind spot you had hitherto ignored. Or, the criticism draws your attention to points of prudence and slippery slopes where others have failed. Criticism can therefore cast new light on your pursuits.
Bottom Line: Use criticism to your own advantage
In tackling life’s biggest opportunities, it is the magnitude of your courage that matters the most. Do what you feel in your heart to be right. And, instead of feeling attacked by critics and becoming defensive, take time for reflection and treat criticisms as learning opportunities with positive outcomes.