Many of my clients deal with a fear of criticism. I see it in several aspects of their lives. At work, people fear criticism from their managers and colleagues, so they keep quiet and don't share their opinions. They play it safe. At home, people fear that they'll be criticized by their spouse or partner, so they don't speak their mind. They back down when they sense conflict. In friendships, people often don't have boundaries because they fear that establishing them would lead to criticism or that they would be viewed as selfish.
Whatever the setting, it's this fear that keeps people stuck. For example, by not speaking up and not sharing your ideas, you'll never advance. People won't know your thoughts and will have no reason to recognize your worth and promote you.
Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor, Kevin Watson