Do you know what a self-fulfilling prophecy is? If you do, do you know how it works? This is handy information to have, because, believe it or not, each of us has the power to create the kind of self-fulfilling prophecies we want.
Most people know that a self-fulfilling prophecy is an event, which, because it is predicted and expected, is therefore more likely to happen, and even be caused to happen.
Here’s a favorite example: According to an article in an older “Success Magazine,” two different groups of psychologists were asked to observe the same child at play. One group was told beforehand that the child was emotionally disturbed. The other group was told that the child was a genius. When the psychologists were asked to report on their observations, each group had found evidence to support their preconceived ideas.
Now, it is important to realize that self-fulfilling prophecies are everyday experiences — not just laboratory experiments. What do you expect your day to be like when you get up in the morning? How do you expect your kids to behave? What do you expect from traffic? How much success do you expect for yourself? You see, we actually go looking for information that confirms what we believe.
If you predict failure, failure is generally what you’ll find. If you expect excellence, excellence is very likely what you’ll see. How we think about a situation, what we believe about an upcoming situation, determines how we behave, and how we behave, more than anything else, determines the results we get.
That’s how self-fulfilling prophecies work — there is nothing magical about it. What you get in life is pretty much what you think and believe, coming back at you.
What did you expect for today? Did you get it? Are you happy with that, or do you want it to be different? You do have the power to change what you expect. So, what do you expect for tomorrow?