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Fear of Criticism Test
From The Ashes:
A Brain Injury Survivor's Guide

The Importance of Attitude. A positive attitude about your advocacy efforts is critical to your success. As a society we hold many different cultural values. Some of these values make it hard to 
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feel good about yourself when you advocate; but others can make you feel good about your advocacy efforts. An understanding of values that shape attitudes about advocacy will help you create a positive image of yourself as an advocate.

          Most of us are brought up to be nice, agreeable and cooperative. We are taught it is bad to disagree, to confront and to feel angry. We are discouraged from "rocking the boat." In an ideal world there would be no need to have confrontations, nor would there be any reason to feel anger. In an ideal world there would be no need to "rock the boat." 

          Unfortunately, in the real world, there are many situations in which confrontation is necessary. In the real world, expressions of anger are appropriate and effective. In the real world, there are times when "rocking the boat" is necessary and appropriate. On such occasions, well practiced self advocacy skills are essential to having your needs met, especially following brain injury. 

       Advocacy involves identifying problems and calling for solutions. Typically, it entails confrontation, disagreements and constructive use of anger. When advocating, these qualities leave you open for rejection and criticism. Such qualities can lead to being labeled as a "complainer" or "troublemaker." You might even become a target of retaliation or harassment when you stand up for your rights. However, well practiced advocacy skills can prevent or end such unfair, and possibly illegal, treatment 

     Advocating activities might lead to you being labeled as a "complainer" or a "troublemaker." Whereas, seasoned advocates might not be phased by such labels, novices might feel intimidated by such name calling tactics. Thinking carefully about the questions in the Fear of Criticism Test, below, might help you put a fear of criticism into perspective. An advocate does risk criticism, and while it is natural to feel anxiety about criticism, it is essential to keep any anxiety in perspective. 


Fear of Criticism Test
  Do you believe that people
have the right to fair and 
humane treatment?
 Yes
No
Why is that so? 
  Do You believe that people
have the right to self 
determination, and 
self advocacy?
Yes
No
Get the information
you need
concerning individual
rights and freedom/
  Do you believe that
your have these rights? 
Yes 
No
Identify & Rank
Order Your
Goals
Who is the individual
who will oppose your 
exercise of these rights?
Yes
No
Do these individuals
try to please
you?
Do you feel a need to 
please these individuals?
Yes
No
Proceed with your
self advocacy, self 
determination and 
self management.
Gather other
resources &
advocates 
that can 
help you take
the risk
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