One of the biggest fears you face when you set out to better yourself is the fear of being criticized. You want to lose weight but you are so afraid of what people will say about you that you quit …
168. Dealing With Criticism
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 168, of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners and today: dealing with criticism. One of the biggest fears you face when you set out to better yourself is a fear of being criticized. You may want to lose weight, but then you’re afraid of what people will say about you.
And so you quit or you never even start in the first place. The fear of being criticized is one of the main three reasons why most people don’t succeed with losing weight, or with really accomplishing anything big for that matter. The other two are the fear of failure and the fear of success, which I talked about in the last two episodes of the podcast.
So today, I’m taking a comprehensive look at the fear of being judged and criticized and how dealing with criticism might be one of the most important things you do on your journey to becoming your best self. But first, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight and failed, you’re probably worried that you’re going to fail. Again, this is very common for most people.
Just because you’ve tried and failed in the past, though, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again, your past does not determine your future. The real problem is that being so afraid to fail means that you don’t ever try anything new. You don’t ever try. You don’t ever start anything. And the only surefire way to actually fail is to never start in the first place. Right?
So in my coaching program, we look at failure in a whole new way. We never expect to do this stuff perfectly. Nobody does. We accept that failure is part of the process. So we fail. We learn our lessons from it, and then we move on. Every success is built upon a big ol pile of failures.
So don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Just start. Imagine what you could accomplish if you weren’t afraid to fail. To learn more about my unique weight loss coaching program for runners just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply. All right.
So I’ve been thinking about this episode for a while now since I’ve started talking about the three big reasons why people don’t achieve their goals. So this is the third episode in that series. So the first one was the fear of success, which I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Last week, we talked about the fear of failure. And then today I’m addressing the third big reason why people don’t succeed, or don’t achieve their goals, which is a fear of being criticized.
So what is the fear of being criticized? What is this all about? Well, fear of being criticized as being afraid of what people are saying about you. So you’re afraid that people are going to think negative thoughts about you, or say negative things about you? It’s not really a fear of being criticized positively. Get out. It’s like, Oh, I’m so afraid that people are talking wonderfully about me.
No, it’s a fear of being negatively talked about negative feelings towards you negative thoughts towards you. It’s a fear of being judged, being judged unfairly. And we all judge people unfairly all the time, then you might be thinking to yourself, but, but those people shouldn’t judge me like that. They don’t know me, they don’t know my story. None of that stuff matters, people look at what they see on the outside.
Then you might say something, you might put a picture out there on social media, and you’re gonna get judged. So welcome to Reality. It’s just part of being a human being, unfortunately. But a fear of being criticized, the fear of being negatively thought about, or maybe somebody has negative feelings towards you, or says negative things to you, writes a negative comment about you.
And really, it’s a fear of being seen as well. It’s a fear of being exposed, of being vulnerable. We don’t like to put ourselves out there. We don’t like being vulnerable. And here’s why. Here’s where this fear comes from: this fear that we have about being criticized and being vulnerable and being exposed and being judged.
It all comes from, you know, this ancient ancestral fear of being kicked out of the tribe, like it’s that we, it’s that fear of being alone. And the fear of not being a part of this is really what’s at the root of all of this, okay? This is something that’s baked into our DNA. So for millions of years, it was certain death to be kicked out of the tribe, if you were shunned from the tribe, it meant that you had to go it alone.
And going in alone, in those days was pretty dangerous. You needed the safety, the safety and the protection from the people around you, to help you hunt and help you gather food and help you stave off enemies and animals and things like that. So being alone meant that you were probably going to die.
So this fear of being criticized when we get criticized, or somebody says something negatively towards us, it kind of feels like we’re being kicked out of the tribe, like we’re not a part of, we’re different. We’re being shunned. We’re being exposed for who we really are. And those people don’t like that. They don’t like who we really are. Okay. So, how this shows up for us today, you know, obviously, we’re not afraid of being kicked out of the tribe, so to speak, like literally or being eaten by saber toothed tigers, I hope that’s not an issue we have to deal with.
Most of us listening to this podcast probably don’t have to deal with that. But this could be something where you have been working to better yourself. So maybe you are working on losing weight, and you start running, and you’re feeling pretty good. And you’re feeling confident. And you know, you’re starting to feel more like oh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna share my story, I’m gonna put some pictures up there on social media and kind of talk about my journey here.
And you might get some positive comments. And you might get a lot of positive comments, and no might make you feel good, you know, but then you’ll get that one person that says something negatively, or is critical of you. And you, it makes you feel terrible, because you don’t really focus, we don’t ever focus on all the 20 or 30 positive comments we get, we focus on the one negative one, that’s the only one that really stands out where we’re like, why they’re saying something bad about me.
So people can be really, people are mean, people are idiots, and people are mean sometimes that’s the bottom line, right. And when we’re dealing with stuff online, especially, you’re dealing with a bunch of people who are, who don’t feel good about themselves, and they just want to put other people down.
And so you’re gonna get some criticism, you’re gonna get, if you put yourself out there, you’re vulnerable, you’re seen, you’re gonna get judged, whether people are judging you internally, or externally by like actually writing some sort of a negative comment. But you’re being judged, no matter what, whether you see comments from people or not, they are criticizing you internally, they are judging you. And, and we just have to accept this. We have to accept this, okay.
They’re critical of you for wanting to better yourself. I know, it’s crazy. Like I said, people are stupid. They’ll make fun of you for not eating junk food, or like not drinking alcohol. Really, really, that’s not a thing. So why do people do this to us? Like, why are people critical of us? Well, mostly, it’s because they don’t feel good about themselves. You know, so they kind of hate themselves.
They hate where they are, they hate how maybe they let themselves go. And so when you try to improve yourself, and you start losing weight, and you start looking better, and you start feeling better, then saying something negative about you, will help make them feel better about themselves. They feel bad about themselves. So they’re trying to make you feel bad too. And this doesn’t really work. And the people that do this kind of stuff are generally pretty miserable. People will talk about that in just a minute.
But the reason people do this is that they’re just trying to pull you down to where they are, right? So there’s this story, principle, whatever you want to call, it’s called crabs in a bucket. And if you’ve ever seen fishermen like catching crabs, they will put them in a bucket. And if you put one crab in that bucket, it will eventually be able to pull itself up by its little claw or whatever, and then pull itself out of the bucket.
But if you put a bunch of crabs in the bucket, as soon as one starts to pull itself up, other ones will grab it and pull it down and keep it in the bucket. So the crabs will be able to climb out of the bucket. I don’t know if this is actually true in practice or not. But let’s just use this as our analogy here today, okay.
People are just like crabs in a bucket, you know, they want to pull you down so that you don’t, you know, you don’t advance that you don’t get out of the bucket, they don’t want to see you doing well, they don’t want to see you improving yourself, they don’t want to see you losing weight, and looking better and feeling better about yourself, they just want to pull you down to where they are.
So one thing we have to understand about this is that criticism and judgment, this stuff does not happen from the top down, it happens from the bottom up, you will have people who have improved themselves and who are successful. You will not have those people criticizing other people who are trying to improve themselves and who are working on being successful, they just don’t do it.
Successful people don’t put other people down, emotionally evolved, people don’t spend any time putting other people down writing negative comments on people’s posts and things like that. Think about somebody like Oprah Winfrey, sitting behind her keyboard and writing some sort of like crappy little comments about you online, that’s just never gonna happen. It’s never gonna happen. Why? Because she doesn’t hate herself. She doesn’t need to put others down so that she feels better. She’s an emotionally evolved woman, I’m assuming.
I have a lot of respect for Oprah. And she doesn’t need to do that because she’s a successful woman, successful people, people who are working to better themselves do not spend time writing negative stuff about other people. They just don’t need to do that. Okay. And then there’s a big difference here. Now, listen, this is important because there’s a big difference between when we’re talking about randos on the internet, and then the real people in your life, people that are important to you.
For the randos, for the people that are just randomly writing negative comments about you, people that maybe you are friends with on Facebook, or that follow you on Instagram, just forget about those people, they don’t mean anything to you, right. And if you’re friends with these people, and they are doling out some criticism to you about what you’re doing, you’re trying to improve yourself, and you got people that are sending negative energy your way, then unfollow those people, unfriend those people block those people get their energy out of your life, you don’t need that, get rid of them. Okay, so let’s just start there.
For the people in your life, who you actually know, this would be spouses, partners, friends, family members, coworkers, kids, even, there will be some people in your life who are critical of you, who don’t fully support you. They may not be on board with your goals and dreams. We have to accept this, we have to accept that there will be people in our life, maybe people that are close to us who don’t support us.
Now, in this case, it’s a little bit different. We can take some of these, you know, if we’re talking about your partner, or a family or a close family member, you know, you can take some of their criticism and really say like, is this, maybe I need to work on this, this could be something that I need to improve and work on. And yeah, maybe they’re right. Maybe I am, you know, being ridiculous here or whatever, right?
So there are times when you want to take some of this criticism to heart and really look inside and see like, is there truth to this, you know, a lot of times there isn’t. A lot of times, it’s just people that are even though they love you and they’re close with you, they feel uncomfortable when you start to move ahead. I see this a lot with partners, like spouses, husbands and wives who want to better themselves and they start losing weight and they start eating better, and they start feeling better, and they’re running and they’re getting healthy and they feel great.
And their partner is not doing those things and their partners kind of feeling left behind. And they will kind of lash out at the spouse that’s doing better and want to pull them down crabs in a bucket, you know. And so sometimes we have to look at some of those relationships and decide if we want to stay in that relationship.
Now I’m not telling you to go leave your partner or anything like that, but just like sometimes we may need to find new people to hang around. If the people we’re hanging around are critical of us and they’re negative towards us, and they’re judging us, you know We can’t control what other people think or feel or what they say or what they do nothing, right. But you don’t have to hang around that and you don’t have to be a part of it. Okay?
So I forget who said it, maybe Jim Rohn said, like you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. If you spend enough time with four millionaires, you’ll probably be the fifth, if you spend enough time with four criminals, you’ll probably be the fifth. Spend enough time with four people who are ultra marathoners, and you’ll probably end up running an ultra marathon at some point, right?
When I quit drinking, which was, gosh, almost 16 years ago, now, I had to get a whole new group of friends because all the friends that I had were people that I drank with, and people who drank a lot. And for me like to go and hang out with those people was very challenging. And I realized that when, when I was sober, like they weren’t that great of friends anyway. I was like, wow, we don’t have a whole lot to talk about here. We don’t have a whole lot in common.
I think I needed to start getting some new friends. And that was hard. That was a hard transition to go through, where I started, you know, have to kind of find new people to hang around with and stuff like that. But listen, here’s what I’m trying to say. If there are people in your life, who don’t support you fully, who aren’t on board with your health and fitness goals, they don’t want you to lose weight. They make fun of you for eating the way you do.
You know, you go out to dinner, and you’re like, oh, no, thanks. I’m not going to have the bread. And they’re like, what seriously? Or if you don’t drink, and they’re like making fun of you for not drinking and trying to push drinks on you or something like that? Are these people really your friends? Do you really want to spend more time with these people? Think about that.
Do you want to spend more time with those people? And if the answer is no, then don’t. Like if you can avoid it, like don’t spend time with those people. Maybe you need some new friends, new friends are great. It’s great having new friends. And then here’s a good reality check for you, just understand that people already don’t like you.
There are already lots of people out there who don’t like you who don’t like me. And you cannot make anyone like you. You certainly can’t make everyone like you. So if you think that everybody in your world, in your sphere of influence, all your friends and friends of friends and everything is going to like you, you’re mistaken, because they already don’t.
You can’t control what other people think, or say or feel or what they do. All you can control is how you think, feel and act. That’s it. So don’t worry about any of that stuff. Don’t worry about the fact that there are people who don’t like you, like those people, just there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s nothing you can do about it. Okay?
Do not let your fear of being criticized or judged, stop you from becoming the person you want to be. You know what it takes to grow, evolve and become more? It takes trying hard things, and maybe failing and risking criticism all along the way. It takes being willing to be vulnerable, because vulnerability is the cost of growth.
So how willing are you to put yourself out there and possibly be criticized to be seen maybe for the first time ever to be really seen to be judged? How willing are you to be criticized because there’s no way you’re going to do great things and become more without judgment, criticism. In fact, the more you achieve, the more you are going to be criticized.
So most people are not willing to do this. Most people just want to say stay small, they want to stay unnoticed. Because their fear of being criticized or judged is too big. So they want to stay and be criticized and judged. People already see you though, they’re already judging you whether or not you know it. They’re already criticizing you, whether they say it out loud or not. So you might as well do your thing and like kick some ass along the way. Okay.
I get criticized pretty regularly. And as I get more exposure, more people listen to this podcast and follow me on social media, whatever, I get more criticism. All throughout my weight loss journey. I’ve posted pictures and I’ve shared my story. I’ve shared a lot about myself here on this podcast too. And occasionally, I’ll get some negative comments or like a negative review on iTunes podcast, Apple podcast or whatever.
And I’m gonna go off on a little rant here because the reason I get these I’ll get a one star review and I’m like, what, really on Apple podcasts or Spotify or whatever and I’ll look at the review and it’ll say They like, oh, this guy is just, you know, talking about his coaching program on the podcast. So one star.
You know, listen, I put my heart and soul into this podcast and it takes me hours and hours every single week to do this. And I do it nonstop. I have not missed a week in like three years of doing this. And I made a decision early on in the, whatever journey of this podcast, where I wasn’t going to advertise stuff on this podcast.
So a lot of podcasts you listen to will advertise stuff like every 10 minutes, like you got another ad that pops up, right. I’ve even listened to podcasts where I had to sit through 20 minutes of them advertising different products and stuff, before they actually got into the interview or whatever it is they were going to be talking about. Right? I talk about my program. I do it for like 30 seconds. Have you ever listened to a podcast without advertising? No, there aren’t any, there aren’t any.
It’s like going to the movies and complaining about giving the movie a one star review because they advertise popcorn and coke at the beginning of the movie. Stupid, it’s stupid. I’m tired of it. Alright, so this is my little rant here. I’m in integrity with what I’m doing on this podcast. And I feel really, really good about how I do things here. Okay, so I just wanted to say that okay, I’m done with that now. So I had to be okay.
And I’m okay now with these negative reviews, because for every one like negative I get, I get like 20 or 30 positive reviews, right? So I get criticized, and it’s been one of those processes where early on it kind of stung a little bit. I was like, oh, he’s paying up someone like me, oh, my gosh, what am I doing now? It doesn’t matter.
You know, I get criticized for how I look for pictures, I have people body shaming me, I get body shaming comments from idiots on the internet, I just don’t worry about it, I just blow it off, right? Here’s the important thing. I don’t let the criticism stop me from fulfilling my mission. You know, my mission is to be an example of what’s possible and to inspire you to do the same.
My prime directive is to always become more to always improve myself to grow, evolve, become more, the more I grow. The more criticism I get, the more I put myself out there, the more I am seen, and judged and criticized. But I do not let my fear of this criticism stop me from what I’m doing. I just keep going. So do not let the fear of being seen, judged or criticized stop you from becoming more.
Do not allow your fear of critical criticism to stop you from going after your goals and your dreams. You want to lose weight, you will be criticized. You want to run a marathon, people will judge you for it. You want to stop drinking alcohol, you know, people will see that and they will call you crazy or stupid until you’re no fun anymore or whatever.
Do not let any of this get in your way. Do not let any of this stop you from doing what you know, feels good. What you know it’s right for you. Remember, emotionally evolved people don’t spend time criticizing and judging others. The people who do this are typically people who are not where they want to be. They are definitely afraid to try anything that will cause them to get criticized. They are the crabs in the bucket that will just pull you down.
So stay away from the crabs, get the crabs out of your life, do the things you want to do because they’re important to you. They’re meaningful to you. They cause you to level up, keep digging, keep taking action to fulfill your purpose. And you just have to accept all the criticism and all the judgment along the way. It’s the price you pay to become your most badass self. Cool. All right, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
If you’re a runner and you’ve been struggling to lose weight or you keep losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again. Or you’re finally ready to get to your natural weight and stay there for good this time then I have something you will love. I’ve created a powerful new training just for you called running lean for life. You’ll learn exactly how to transform yourself into a lean fat-burning running machine. So you can run without bonking, lose weight without calorie counting and develop the habits required to make it last for life. To get this free training right now go to runningleanpodcast.com/leanforlife and start your transformation today.