Have you ever shared a BIG IDEA you had, one that stretched the current boundaries of what was thought possible or probable, only to have someone immediately shoot it down with a strong spray of cynicism? When that happens to me, it feels just like a punch to the gut. It’s such a bummer to be in conversation with someone whose first response to a story, idea, suggestion is something akin to “That’ll never work” or “What a sap”.
I don’t mind getting constructive feedback on my ideas. I actually really like to know what others think about them. It almost always ends up making my idea better. So what I’ve learned is helpful is share my BIG IDEAS (or thoughts or feelings) with people who don’t have cynicism as their default position. It’s not only a protective mechanism but it is also the most productive path to take.
It is easy to be cynic. It takes no effort at all. And typically there is no shortage of people who will swiftly jump in and support the cynic’s point of view. We’ve all had years of practice doing this and there are certainly lots of other people modeling that behavior for us. What I try to do when I find myself slipping into this rather scornful perspective is to do a personal call out – “Kim, you can work harder than that!” I’m embarrassed to admit how many times (a day) I end up saying this to myself.
Being cynical has become such an engrained way for many of us to behave, we hardly recognize when we’re doing it. This week, just for fun, do a check in with yourself and see how many times you end up doing your own kind of call out.