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 over a year ago, I got clear on the ONE obstacle that was standing between me and tripling my business past the 7-figure mark. Contrary to what I originally thought, it wasn’t a lack of knowledge, of what to do next or a marketing challenge. I actually knew exactly what to do to double or triple my business. For me, it was 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 actually fun for me.

What WAS holding me back was something much more internal. It was the deeply ingrained fear that the bigger I got, meaning the bigger my business got, the more I would make myself a target for criticism and “pot shots”.

Here’s why:

For years, I’d witnessed women entrepreneurs truly succeed and watched as others simultaneously 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 sometimes partaken in that in the past too, even when I didn’t know the person. I deeply regret it now, and not just because I am now in the very same position.

In fact, it even happened just last week, when I sent out a picture of me being celebrated for my recent business accomplishments by my mentor (private jet, limos, a party in my honor, etc.) I received dozens of yummy emails, phone calls and FaceBook notes saying it was an inspiration to others to see this. And then, there were also a couple of harsh emails, obviously meant to cut me down. I’ll tell you, even just a year ago, it would have devastated me to read those (FYI, my team doesn’t usually let me see the bad ones – which I would recommend you set up as a system). These days though, I realize it has NOTHING to do with me.

It’s just that particular individual’s resentment of not being in the same place yet. It’s them thinking that perhaps something’s wrong with THEM and then they need to park that anger someplace other than themselves. I know because it’s the same resentment I used to feel years ago when I wanted so badly to have “arrived” too, and I was wondering why it hadn’t happened to ME yet.

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, you have to 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 that comes 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 (I didn’t when I was the one taking the pot shots). It’s just their own “stuff” that comes up, feelings of inadequacy, resentment or jealousy that they haven’t arrived yet.

If this is something you fear, something that keeps you from playing BIG, realize that their personal issues are not your problem, so ignore them, with compassion, especially if you’ve been there too at one point. Then, focus on your 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 and INSPIRES others, not hurts others. In doing so, 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.

Your Client Attraction Assignment:

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) to get out there and help even MORE people reach their own dreams. :)

Author's Bio: 

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time...guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, visit www.ClientAttraction.com.