The Placebo Effect

What does the sugar pill have in common with potential? More than you might think.

A placebo, sometimes called a sugar pill, is a substance sometimes given to people who are sick, in pharmaceutical research studies, to compare against the “real” medication. It has no medicinal qualities at all, but quite often people who are given placebos get better anyway. This is powerful testimony to the strength of beliefs and expectations.

People can be healed of illnesses because they strongly believe they are being healed. It is not just in medicine that the power of expectations is apparent. School children perform up to the expectations of their parents and teachers, or down to them. Employees perform up to the expectations of their employers, and elected officials perform according to the expectations of their constituents. Most important of all, you perform up or down to what you expect of yourself.

As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.” It is that simple. Beliefs are that powerful. Fortunately, as adults, we have the ability to choose our beliefs and to reject the ones that stand in our way or that hamper our performance.

What do you believe to be true about yourself? Try making a list of those beliefs about you, and mark the ones that are holding you back. For the ones you determine are holding you back, why keep them if they don’t do you any good? You have the right, indeed, the personal responsibility to get rid of beliefs that no longer serve you in a positive way. Replace them with positive, helpful beliefs that allow you to move forward.

You will be a lot happier for it – and so will those around you. It will be your own, personal, positive ripple effect on your world.