April 11, 2021
“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.”—Elbert Hubbard
Do you know what is the biggest fear of humans, or people in general?
When we think about this, the first thought that comes to our mind is a super-apocalyptic event causing mass human destruction and wiping everyone off the planet. More euphemistically, the fear of death.
The truth is, fear of death isn’t at the top of the list.
It is, according to Psychology Today, the fear of public speaking.
I get it.
Isn’t it better to die right away than decay slowly through public humiliation and criticism? Instead of suffering alone, it is better that a super-apocalyptic event wipes out all of us together!
This is just a vivid visualization of what goes on in our minds, but the primary thought is the same. However, you don’t need to die or wipe out humanity to prevent public suffering. You can do that right now, ethically and lawfully, without a murder charge behind your name.
Want to know how? Read on!
What is the Fear and Why Does it Top the List?
I know that everyone will gleefully accept the offer of living without suffering and a murder charge. But to do that, we need to know what fear makes us commit a murder and forces us to be pessimistic about the future of humanity. We need to understand why it does that. And that’s where the path to a beautiful life begins!
The fear, as simple as it may sound, is just about presenting something publicly or doing something publicly. The fear rises because we doubt that others won’t like it. If they do like it, we can be happy and move on. If they don’t like it, we can make a sad face, pack our stuff, and flee before the water bottles start flying and the tomatoes rain. And well before a landslide of uncooked eggs comes our way. We need to flee very fast.
It is as simple as that. But we don’t like things when there is no spice in them. Understanding this fear is not very simple for us.
Do you know what makes us human? It isn’t bipedalism or the ability to communicate and comprehend verbal sounds with so many changes and different meanings. It is the ability to exaggerate things unnecessarily, make assumptions and create unsolvable complex mysteries through our thoughts even in the simplest of circumstances.
Let’s say that you went to your local park and sang a song one evening. And three people stopped by, listened to your song, and appreciated you. While singing, you saw another man walking by with a wrinkled expression of disappointment and anger embodying his face. He glanced at you and then continued on his path as if nothing happened. After the performance, while walking back home, you thought, “Why was that guy frowning at me? Did he not like my performance? Was I singing awfully? Or was he jealous of my voice? What will he tell other people about me? Maybe I should not sing publicly because some people don’t like it, and they may think bad of me.”
Whereas, the truth may have been that he was denied a promotion his boss promised, and an incompetent colleague was given that position. That’s what made him angry and disappointed. In this case, you represented all the traits that make us human: unnecessarily exaggerating things, making assumptions, and creating complexities in simple circumstances.
That’s what gives this fear so much power that it surpasses death and makes us wish for an apocalypse. The fear itself is one of the most illogical and weak, but our imagination and thoughts about “What will people think?” make this fear powerful. Extremely powerful.
How to deal with criticism and overcome this fear?
Overcoming this fear means accepting any criticism, plastic bottles, tomatoes, and eggs that get thrown at you. Doing this is also very simple, but we don’t enjoy life until we burn our mouths with too much spice. We will have to reverse this behavior and ditch this attitude. If we want to live suffering-free and murder charge-free, we need to start caring for our emotional health and eat simple food that isn’t spicy. We need to eat the simple food of clarity and intolerance instead of emotional disturbance.
- We need to be clear on our purpose. Whenever we doubt our abilities and the fear of publicly doing something arises, we often wonder what other people will think of us. The reason for the uprising of this thought is that we are not clear about our thoughts regarding the activity we are going to do. We are not clear on our purpose; we don’t know why we do most things in our lives. Therefore, the first step towards dealing with criticism is to be clear on why you are pursuing a specific activity. Continuing with the example of singing in the park, let’s say that you are doing it because you want to practice your skills and also give some stranger a melodious evening if they fancy a listen. That way, you will not be affected if that guy goes by frowning.
But, let’s say that your purpose of singing in the park is to offer motivation and a smile to other people. Then you will think over that person’s actions, but if you know that you are giving your hundred percent and are staying true to your purpose, then the three people who stop by and listen will give you a success rate of 75%, which is pretty good!
This way, you will not feel demotivated by any criticism because you will be true to your purpose. If you know that you are giving your hundred percent with total dedication, you will not go into fear because of one critic, but you will rise through the feedback and come out as an improved version instead.
- Be intolerant to emotional disturbance. When you become clear on your purpose, you will naturally become intolerant to emotional disturbance or negativity that other people may throw at you. If people criticize you a lot, it can act as the biggest demotivator. But if you stay true to your purpose, evaluate the criticism with a neutral vision, and then decide if it applies to your goal or not, you will become intolerant to the emotional harm people try to do to pull you down. You will become immune. Even if someone throws the smelliest eggs at you, you will be able to walk away with courage, respect and dignity for yourself, without being answerable to anyone, because you are doing your best and are true to your purpose.
Every car has an oil filter in its engine for filtering out the fuel before it is used. All the pollutants are blocked, and the vehicle runs smoothly. If those pollutants get inside, they can jam the car up and leave the driver stranded. It is the same with you. Your purpose and clarity become your oil filter. That clarity allows you to evaluate things from the perspective of your vision, and that’s how you decide what the fuel is and what’s the pollutant. If you are not clear, you will allow the pollutants in, and they will jam you. They will stagnate your journey and stop you from reaching your vision. You will need to make a conscious effort to become intolerant to emotional pollution. Every time you receive a humiliating and demotivating opinion, you need to remind yourself of your purpose. You need to put on the filter of clarity and block those pollutants. You will change, and you will change the world!
Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope that now you can overcome the fear greater than death and lead a prosperous, happy, and joyful life without worrying about humiliation or praying for an apocalypse instead. You will become strong, and so will humanity as you continue to inspire and become an example of turning the biggest demotivation into the most efficient fuel. Every critical remark will remind you of your purpose and will push you nearer to it! Do share your thoughts in the comments below, and I will surely reply!
Partnering in your success, happiness, growth, and apocalypse-free life,