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SYMPTOMS OF THE FEAR OF CRITICISM
This fear is almost as universal as the fear of poverty, and its
effects are just as fatal to personal achievement, mainly because this
fear destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination. The
major symptoms of the fear are:
SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. Generally expressed through
nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers,
awkward movement of the hands and limbs, shifting of the eyes.
LACK OF POISE. Expressed through lack of voice control,
nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of body, poor
PERSONALITY. Lacking in firmness of decision, personal
charm, and ability to express opinions definitely. The habit of side-
stepping issues instead of meeting them squarely. Agreeing with
others without careful examination of their opinions.
INFERIORITY COMPLEX. The habit of expressing self-
approval by word of mouth and by actions, as a means of covering
up a feeling of inferiority. Using “big words” to impress others, (often
without knowing the real meaning of the words). Imitating others in
dress, speech and manners. Boasting of imaginary achievements.
This sometimes gives a surface appearance of a feeling of
EXTRAVAGANCE. The habit of trying to “keep up with the
Joneses,” spending beyond one’s income.
LACK OF INITIATIVE. Failure to embrace opportunities for
self-advancement, fear to express opinions, lack of confidence in
one’s own ideas, giving evasive answers to questions asked by
superiors, hesitancy of manner and speech, deceit in both words
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LACK OF AMBITION. Mental and physical laziness,
lack of self-assertion, slowness in reaching decisions, easily
influenced by others, the habit of criticising others behind
their backs and flattering them to their faces, the habit of
accepting defeat without protest, quitting an undertaking when
opposed by others, suspicious of other people without cause,
lacking in tactfulness of manner and speech, unwillingness to
accept the blame for mistakes.