Combating The Self-fulfilling Prophecy
Have you heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? It’s a term that’s used a lot in psychology and education. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s basically when a belief comes true because a person is already acting in a way to make that belief a reality. Let me give you an example…
Let’s pretend that there’s a kid somewhere who’ struggling with school. He’s really intelligent, but for some reason he can’t seem to understand the material that he’s being taught in class because he doesn’t learn well with the teacher’s teaching style. Now, his teacher knows that he’s struggling, but instead of encouraging him, she makes remarks about his lack of intellect. She always tells her star students how smart they are, but whenever this boy approaches her, her demeanor instantly changes. Frustration is splayed across her face as she tries to explain the information to her student. She even says a few snide remarks under her breath that he ends up hearing. Now, even though this young man has the potential to learn and become a great pupil, the fact that his teacher shuts him down before he even gets a chance to shine means that he’s unable to ever pick up on the lessons that he’s supposed to be learning, and his grades end up suffering as result. Even when he’s trying to do something that comes naturally to him in school, he struggles because he believes that he’s not smart because of the grades that he gets that are a result of his teacher not helping him properly because she thinks that he’s unintelligent. So even when he has the potential to do well, he doesn’t study for his tests because he thinks that it’s pointless and that he’ll end up with bad grades even if he puts in the extra work, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
This was an example of how a self-fulfilling prophecy can be a bad thing, but it can also be a good thing…
Let’s take the same teacher, but this time we’re going to focus on one of her other students. This woman also has another boy in her class, but she believes that this one is smart. He picks up on her lessons, and whenever he doesn’t understand something, she takes her time with him and explains it to him in a way for him to understand. Because of how she treats him, he believes in himself, and he believes that he is smart. That’s why he goes home and studies, and when he comes into to the classroom, he’s prepared for his tests and does well.
Both of these were examples of a self-fulfilling prophecy. One ended up working out in someone’s favor, but the other did not. That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of them. Self-fulfilling prophecies can have the ability to change your life for the good or bad. If you allow a good belief that you or someone else has about you to lead you to something great, then there’s no need to stop letting it effect you. On the other hand, if someone has a bad opinion about you, you can’t allow this to get into your head because if you do, then it just might end up making your life more troublesome because of it. In these instances, you have to know your worth. You have to know that you’re not any of those bad things that people say about you. You have good inside of you, and you have to use that good to drive you forward to make your dreams a reality.
Positive thinker, don’t allow someone’s negative opinions of you to change how you feel about yourself. Find the parts about yourself that you do like and have them handy so that when these voices of negativity come your way, you can shut them down with the truth. It’s going to happen to you at some point in time because there are always going to be people out there who don’t see your worth, but that’s when you have to find the strength to block out those people and their negativity. And if you can’t do it alone, then find someone who knows how great you are, and allow for their words of positivity to remind you who you truly are.
Remember, the negative voices are always going to be there, you just have to block them out.