It almost destroyed me. And it caused me to waste 4 years of my life. It led me to depression and anxiety and stripped me of my locus of control. It led me to think that nothing matters and stopped me from taking action towards my business dreams. But I didn’t know it. Because it also kept me blind to what was going on.
This “silent killer” is rarely addressed in self-development or psychology circles – which makes it even more dangerous, since most people remain blind to it.
I’m talking about cynicism, which is a disease of perception, something that poisons your will so that you see everything in an indifferent & negative light. And that affects every choice that you make and every action that you take, which slowly, but surely, will destroy both your life and your business.
“Eh, not a big deal, now that I know what this is about, let me just close the article” – if that was your reaction, then you too may be suffering from it. That’s how it starts. It is insidious. And it leads you to not taking things seriously, refusing to pay attention. Because “it doesn’t matter”. Because “it’s not important”.
How Cynicism Made Me Lose 4 Years of My Life
When it started for me, it seemed completely harmless too. I had very good grades in school, which led me (wrongly) to the opinion that the university I attend won’t matter, I’ll be successful anyway. Quite a harmless belief no?
But that belief soon led me to look at university research, the subject I’d study, and so on as irrelevant. Why put any effort in it? Just do whatever is easy. And that’s exactly what I did.
I didn’t even bother applying to Ivy League universities or Oxford/Cambridge, even though my grades enabled me to. Because why bother? In the end it doesn’t matter anyway. Not only that, but if I succeed without them, that will really be a testament to my skill.
Then I picked a subject to study that didn’t terribly interest me, but I did it just because I thought it would be challenging (more ego games).
That’s just how it started… over the next 4 years, while attending university, it expanded to other areas of life as well. Why attend classes? I can get good grades regardless. Why try to start a business apart from freelancing as a copywriter? After all most businesses fail, and this will be complex. Why buy this course? After all most gurus are scammers.
Soon I was overwhelmed by negative beliefs, which kept me from taking meaningful action… for 4 years. Four years of my life went down the drain in doubt & cynicism. Looking back, I now understand that the only thing that held me back was my choice. My choice of believing these cynical thoughts – I was actually responsible, and all along my choices had power, even though I felt exactly the opposite at the time.
Cynicism Blinds You
And that’s the worst thing… when you suffer from cynicism, you don’t even realise you’re driving through life with the breaks on.
Cynicism is also an ego trip – it lets you feel superior to others. “Hey look, these small people care so much about all these little things, I don’t. I’m better than them”. Or “these people are all fooled by this guru to hand over their money. I’m not getting fooled, I’m smart!”
It’s only when I started learning about the power of perception – and that we have a choice in how we perceive things, which determines the way we act. Then I realised that this cynicism was destroying my life…
All I had to do was look at the consequences of my perceptions.
And I was shocked when I realised that because of my thoughts, I wasn’t taking any action towards my dreams. I was just dreaming of being an entrepreneur…
My cynicism was blocking me from reaching for my dreams, from taking action, from taking my life seriously. From being in charge!
Cynicism Turns You Into a Victim
If you have a dream, if you want to start your business, or grow your business to millions, but you’re cynical, you’re unlikely to succeed. Why?
Well, your actions are first born inside your thoughts. If your thoughts are poisoned, then you will not be making the right choices that can guide you towards your dreams. Never forget that thoughts determine actions.
That’s why if you don’t think you can achieve your dreams – then guess what, you can’t. That’s what I call being a victim in life. Through your own choice of perception, you take away all your power and control and make yourself into a victim.
And victims are always resentful. That’s why the next stage of cynicism involves the rise of resentment. You find that you hate this, and you hate that. Things don’t make you happy anymore, and frustration grows.
It Can Destroy Your Business & Crush Your Dreams
The next stage going forward is a complete shrinking from your potential. You “let go” of your dreams. You “let go” of your business ambitions. Because it’s too hard. Because it’s not worth it.
Because, because, because…
Bottom line, cynicism always has a reason. And if you let it, it will destroy your business and crush your dreams by making you feel powerless. By getting you to believe that your choices don’t matter. That no matter what you choose, it has no effect – it doesn’t count, it can’t change anything.
And you’re not alone in this. Our whole culture is affected.
Cynicism Is Destroying Our World
As we speak, cynicism is rampant in our society. All you have to do is open the news. People don’t trust the electoral process anymore. People don’t believe in governments anymore. Faith in our social institutions has never been lower. Trust in each other, in fact, has never been lower.
Cynicism is eating at the very fabric of society. And the results are extremely destructive. Just look at the polarisation that is going on in the US. What used to be a beacon for tolerance, freedom, and democracy has turned into warring states, with irreconcilable differences. It has led to cities being burned down by angry mobs…
Our society is crumbling because we have stopped taking our lives seriously. We have stopped taking each other seriously. We consider the other side to be fools, not worth even talking with. We’re cynical of each other. We don’t trust each other. We don’t trust ourselves…
The way out both individually, and collectively is to understand what is going on, and reverse the process.
Are You A Cynic? Watch Your Thoughts!
The best way to identify if cynicism may be affecting you as an individual is to watch what you’re thinking. Your thoughts will often be the only indicator that something may be wrong.
If you frequently find yourself thinking thoughts that involve distrust of others, attributing negative motivations to others, and not taking things seriously, then watch out.
Things such as “this doesn’t matter”, “this guy is a guru/scammer”, “only stupid people do X”, “I won’t succeed”, “this doesn’t interest me (without even spending the time to learn about it)”, “I will never make $1 million” and so on. These “black or white” thoughts often indicate that your thinking is poisoned by the attitude of cynicism.
When you notice that this happens, ask yourself how that thought affects your behavior. Once you understand the negative effect, changing your thinking often happens naturally. But understanding is key – if you don’t understand the cause/effect relationship between your cynical thoughts and your (lack of) action, then you won’t fix it.
And there’s one other thing you can do…
Replace Cynicism With Faith
If you think about it, cynicism is the exact opposite of faith.
It’s important at this point to keep in mind that faith isn’t blind trust… Rather faith is an opening towards the world, putting your foot forth on the bridge even if you’re not sure it will hold. It is strength, courage, adventure. Cynicism is the opposite. It is a closing down to life. It is a “no”, a refusal to even try crossing the bridge.
For this reason, cynicism is like the unforgivable sin in Christianity… it’s very hard to turn back from it. Whatever you say to a cynic, they will find a way to doubt it. To find some ulterior motive… Show them how people are making millions with this business opportunity, and they’ll just say you’re lying. Or they’ll find a reason why it’s not for them.
Don’t be like that. You’ll waste years of your life not taking action, holding yourself back, and allowing your doubt and cynicism to give you the illusion that you’re powerless. Today in fact you can break the chains. Today, you can take the decision to start that business you’ve always wanted. Right now you can claim back the power of choice.
It only takes one thing.
One foot in front of another…
But you’ve got to do it and only you can do this. Fortunately, faith is something that can be nurtured, by consistently watching your thoughts, removing negative thoughts, and taking action towards your dreams.
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