Have you ever butted heads with somebody that knew everything? Or rather, pointed out that they knew or did everything better than you and then proceeded to pack your worth into a blender and hit the “crush soul” button?
Maybe you just sat and watched as your ideas were ground into puree, or equally sucky, attempted to argue with the all-knowing sage?
The unfortunate thing is that these sorts of people and exchanges exist—and they’ll continue to exist throughout our lives.
So what can we do?
Should we stop coming up with ideas and instead just give up on life? Sure, it’s an option and it might work to avoid the scenario above…but it sure would be lifeless, don’t you think?
Napoleon Hill’s advice about not telling anyone about our plans while they’re still in diapers holds iron today, just as it did then. The reason is simple. That’s when our plans sit on shaky legs and consequently when we’re an easy target for persuasion (being persuaded to quit). New ideas simply lack the strength of commitment. Usually though, as you complete small step after small step toward making the idea a reality, that commitment begins to grow. But, when the idea exists solely in words, it’s open to assault.
Public speaking by its very nature is a vulnerable gig, too. Sharing ideas in the flesh, to a real-life audience, is vulnerability at its purest.
Ultimately though, we’ll have to show the world our cards…that is, if we want to add value to it.
And that’s precisely when we can expect criticism to tap us on the shoulder.
What sort of criticism am I talking about? There are plenty of ways this can come into play. From the sneaky indirect, to the nasty direct. Perhaps they’ll question your ideas. Dismiss you as unqualified. Or maybe they’ll just ignore you. Keep in mind that there is also good criticism. However, you can usually discern negative criticism from constructive because constructive criticism (helpful stuff!) is usually sought; the other is unsolicited and given free-ly (and often).
So then, the answer is this: Build your immunity to criticism
It’s necessary if you’re going to spill your guts to the world. A wise thing to do is to build it up even during times that you don’t need it, which is also the easiest time to do it because you aren’t in a state of rage caused by, you guessed it, criticism…
“How can you build it up?” you ask. Reflect on your intent every single day. If your intention is to help others, focus on that—toss out the rest. When an arrow of poison speeds toward you from the bow of a hater, focus on your purpose. Don’t take it personally.
Understand that there’s something inside of us…something inherently lazy (or that thrives on comfort). Something that welcomes any and every opportunity to quit. We must see to it that this something remains restrained. In this sense, the building up of immunity to others’ faultfinding is like wearing a condom that blocks the sperm of criticism from impregnating the egg of laziness (or comfort). We want to keep them separate. Instead of creating life, they’d create death. The death of an idea. The death of the future.
At any rate, the nature of public speaking is that you are putting yourself “out there,” for all eyes to see. Naturally, people are going to want to tell you that you suck! And maybe they’re right 🙂 But who cares. Fight on. Continue putting yourself out there naked for everyone to see.
Prepare for the haters, because they’re gonna hate. Just don’t let criticism bury you.
P.S. Don’t forget to CRITICIZE my new book The Perfectionist’s Guide To Public Speaking. But in order to do that, you gotta get it! There’s even a chance that you’ll like it! Can’t beat those odds. It even comes with the audio book for free.
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