While I know I didn’t arrive in this world as a cynical baby, I still don’t know the exact moment when I adopted the belief that the world is filled with selfish, self-serving people that should never be trusted.
All I know is that by the time I started college, my cynical beliefs were deeply entrenched in my mind.
I had no sense of spirituality, thought there was nothing more to our existence than pure coincidence, and above all, believed that the world was out to get me.
Many of these self-limiting beliefs were subconscious but they nevertheless ruled my life, making me doubt everyone’s intentions and filling my mind with fear.
But then sometime in my mid-20s, I began to change. I simply could no longer ignore all the ways in which cynicism had negatively affected my life and hindered my growth.
Here are the 3 reasons why I finally stopped being a cynic:
1. Negativity had overtaken my life
Negativity and cynicism feed off of one another.
When you believe everyone has ulterior motives, your brain looks for ways to confirm this belief, which then feeds your negativity, fuels your cynicism, and the cycle continues.
Of course, I had zero awareness of this pattern. At the time, I was living life on autopilot, believing that the negative way my mind was interpreting the world around me was factual.
When I finally uncovered this pattern, I dared myself to go a few days without consuming negative content (especially on social media) and to get a grip on my automatic negative thinking.
The change in my mood was so drastic that I knew I couldn’t possibly go back to the way I was before.
2. Cynicism caused me to stagnate
When cynicism becomes your default state, this makes it incredibly difficult to be hopeful or optimistic about any challenge you’re facing. And when you lose all hope, you also lose any willpower to make your life better.
Since cynicism is rooted in a fear of disappointment, you’d rather stay where you are than risk failing, which leads to stagnation in both your personal and professional life.
Once I awoke to this fact, I realized that I had been sabotaging myself for a very long time. The fact that I had let so many opportunities pass me by because of my cynical beliefs was painful, to say the least.
After I took some time to mourn what could have been, I became determined to replace my cynical attitude with a growth mindset that would enrich (and not sabotage) my life.
3. It affected my personal relationships
Because cynicism impairs your ability to celebrate the good not only in your own life but also in the lives of others, it can also cause your personal relationships to suffer.
Don’t trick yourself into thinking your loved ones can’t pick up on your negative, defeated energy – it’s most definitely there, affecting your every interaction.
Because I had conditioned my mind to view every positive piece of news as ultimately having a bad outcome, it was hard for me to be genuinely happy for someone else. And people pick up on that.
Even if your friends and family are too kind to let you know that your energy is bringing them down, this doesn’t mean they’re okay with your behavior. You should still make an effort to change for the better to prevent your relationships from deteriorating over time.
Deciding that you’re going to kick your cynical beliefs to the curb is a major move and I congratulate you on embarking on this journey.
In a world that’s become overtaken by cynicism, it can be difficult to adopt a more positive outlook on life – but it’s absolutely possible.
You just need some determination and bravery to leave your old limiting beliefs behind. But what will welcome you on the other side is a world filled with opportunity, gratitude, and happiness.
Aida Knezevic is a digital media content creator and personal development enthusiast. Her blog, A Glass Box Of Emotion, is home to all of her musings on emotional wellbeing, relationships, and mindset. You can connect with her on Instagram and Pinterest.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.