How would you describe a self-fulfilling prophecy? Most people understand that a self-fulfilling prophecy is an expected situation, and therefore more likely to happen. Some would say that we actually cause these events to happen.
For example, according to Success magazine, two different groups of psychologists were once asked to observe the same child playing. 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 afterward, each group had found evidence to support their preconceived ideas.
Now, it’s 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? How much success do you expect for yourself? What do you expect for your organization’s production or sales for this month, or this year?
You see, if you predict failure, failure is generally what you will find. And if you expect excellence, excellence is likely what you will get. How we think about a situation determines how we act, and how we act, more than anything else, determines the results. Our thoughts drive our results.
That is how self-fulfilling prophecies work. There’s nothing magical about them. What you get in life is pretty much how you behave, coming back at you. Does that make sense?
Do yourself a favor this week, and see if you recognize areas where you are setting yourself up because of your expectations. If you are setting yourself up for the good, terrific! If not, what can you do to change those internal expectations, and change your life, your work, your business? For the school-age children in your life, how can you help them set themselves up to expect the best, creating self-fulfilling expectations, and work toward them?