Say “No!” to the Power of Cynicism by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)



(This article was originally published on

Scrappy Project Management Mindset Series – Part 1 of 4. If you’re going to lead projects to success you’ve gotta have a powerful mindset that supports you. This week I’ll share some mindset medicine that will keep you scrappy. – Kimberly

I’m proud to say I’m a self-declared possibility thinker, a menace to mediocrity on a mission that matters, and have been called a force of nature by those who know me and my work. But lately I’ve wandered into the line of sight of a few cynics, and they’ve taken pot shots at my commitment to the extraordinary. At first I tried hiding in the shrubbery, hoping they’d lose interest and go discourage someone else. But I guess there aren’t many possibility thinkers out there to verbally joust with these days, so I received a few more volleys of negativity. I fought back with inspiring quotes of people far more wise than I am, but they just escalated their snide remarks and brought in reinforcements. They seemed bent on convincing me of something . . . maybe that I was unrealistic, irrelevant, out of touch with reality, wearing “rose colored glasses”.

Even as committed as I am to embracing possibilities in a sea of skepticism, I faltered momentarily. Even I have my limits. It was like a punch to my gut. I wondered why anyone would take time to discourage me. What possible threat could I be to them, me and my penchant for asking “What’s possible?”, “What seems impossible?”, and “What would make the impossible possible?” Then I “got” it. I’m a reminder of the hopes and dreams that they abandoned. By embracing the possibility of the extraordinary, I call into question their choice to settle for what is.

Cynicism is a powerful force in the universe. It crushes hope in the bud, lest that hope lead to disappointment. It withers new ideas on the vine, lest those ideas come to naught. And it darkens the world of those who, basking in the sunlight of possibilities, fall under it’s vast shadow. Hope and possibility will always seem naive compared with know-it-all negativity. Nevertheless, I choose hope and possibility. I won’t bend to pressures to accept the status quo or adjust my expectations to be more “realistic”. Thinking creates reality, and I am totally committed to a mindset open to the possibility of a better future. And, having imagined it, I accept responsibility for contributing to creating it.

Don’t let the C.A.V.E. (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) people get you down! What are you committed to in spite of the cynics?

Want to get even scrappier? Check out all 5 “Scrappy Guides“, including August’s Scrappy Women in Business by me and 11 gal pals,  Scrappy General Management by Michael Horton, released in October, and Scrappy Business Contingency Planning by Michael Seese, released in November 2010.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.