QUOTE: “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson
During a Mastermind session last week, I got clear on the ONE obstacle standing between me and doubling my business next year. Contrary to what I originally thought, it’s not a lack of knowledge, of what to do next or a marketing challenge. I actually know exactly what to do to double my business. For me, it’s a question of leveraging my time, my marketing and my resources so that I can help many, many more solo-preneurs get more clients, create systems for marketing, clean up their mindset and give them the tools and the permission to succeed. That’s my purpose and it’s fun for me.
What’s actually been holding me back is something much more internal. It’s the deeply ingrained fear that the bigger I get, meaning the bigger my business gets, the more I will make myself a target for criticism and “pot shots”. Here’s why:
For years, I’ve witnessed women entrepreneurs truly succeed and watched as others began to pick them apart, to criticize them and sometimes trash them, even when they didn’t know them. Have you noticed that too? Ironically enough, it’s usually other women doing the criticizing (instead of the supporting), and I’m sad to say, I’ve partaken in that sometimes too, even when I didn’t know the person. I regret it, especially as I’m poised to be in the very same position sometime soon.
Somehow, it seems that the bigger in business you get, the more people feel entitled to take you down. My friend Valerie Hayes (PageantInterviewCoach.com) coaches her pageant contestant clients that as they become more of a ‘celebrity’, they must recognize that they’re now a target for gossip and to just “deal with it”. As she says, it’s just a part of human conditioning and that you can’t do anything about it. It almost means you’ve “arrived”, a signal of success.
What she also shared with me is that if people are criticizing you, it’s almost never about you, but about them. When you put yourself out there in a BIG way, realize there WILL be a backlash. I believe it threatens or intimidates people when you have the courage to stand out a little bit more. It’s that Tall Poppy syndrome that Australians talk about, meaning, tall poppies need to be cut down when they grow higher than other flowers in the field. Funny enough, poppies are one of my very favorite flowers and I have paintings of them in my office. Perhaps I was born to be a tall poppy. What about you?
The solution for getting over the fear of criticism from getting bigger is to come from a place of Compassion and Purpose. Compassion because I believe that deep down, people don’t mean to be malicious, it’s just their own “stuff” that comes up, feelings of inadequacy or jealousy, that they haven’t arrived yet.
Their personal issues are not your problem, so ignore them, with compassion, especially if you’ve been there too at one point. And Purpose because, when you stay focused on the purpose for your business (helping OTHERS), then anything else becomes secondary, even if it hurts sometimes. Focus on your leadership and power as being something that SERVES others, not hurts others and you’ll shine and then give others permission to shine.
In a battle between Fear of Criticism and Helping Others, courage will take you through the fear and into doing the right thing, despite what snippy people will say. The bottom line is, the ‘yummy’ people will stay and that’s all that matters: “Those Who Mind Don’t Matter and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.” – Dr. Seuss.
Have you been holding yourself back in marketing because of fear of growing too big and being criticized? You’ve heard me say this a thousand times: “It’s your DUTY to get out there and market your services in a big way because it’s your DUTY to help others.” Your fear of criticism is simply your ego wanting to protect itself from the unknown, wanting you to stay small and stay safe. Fact is, it doesn’t serve you or anyone else to stay small.
Look at fear in the face and start thinking about the worst-case-scenario. What’s the worst that can happen if you get criticized a little? Would you die? Probably not. Would you survive? Probably yes. THEN, look at all the upsides to moving through your fear of growing your business bigger. List all the wonderful things that would come from it and live from THAT place. Remember, Successful People feel the fear, and they do it anyway. And now it’s your turn (and mine). 🙂
If you’re not sure what you need to do to get out there in a BIGGER way with your marketing, in the first place, then it’s time to take action and invest in a step-by-step marketing system that will feel easy and authentic to you.
Copyright (c) 2007 Fabienne Fredrickson