with Elsabe Manning
“Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” describes the outcome of one’s fears, desires, fantasies and thoughts (even subconsciously). Whatever you concentrate on tends to happen. If you worry and concentrate on problems, you will find more problems. If you concentrate on and fantasise about happiness, you will have happiness.
We set ourselves up by allowing “shoulds” to control our lives. “My spouse should always be fair to me”. “I should be able to lose 10 kg’s before summer.” These “shoulds” lead to unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. Beliefs that would create positive behaviour might be “I react maturely even when my spouse is unfair” or “I can lose 10kg’s even if it takes me a bit longer.”
The mind is like a computer. It takes everything it “hears” quite literally and we start behaving as if it is true, because it “believes” everything. If you continue to believe as we always have believed, we will continue to act as we always have acted. If we continue to act as we always have acted, we will continue to get what we always have gotten.
Our minds accept every suggestion made by someone we perceive to be an authority or expert and every suggestion we make ourselves. Our minds are “made up” by beliefs or ‘recordings’ from our childhood – messages it heard from parents, teachers, friends etc. We reinforce these beliefs with our own self-talk and by associating with people with similar “programming.”
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is reinforced by social interactions. Everything we do is influenced by the reactions of others. Think about the conclusions you draw (or jump to) about other people’s behaviours or attitudes. If your prophecy is that someone is behaving hostile towards you, you are likely to behave defensively – even offensively. At best the other person – who may or may not have been hostile initially, is likely to perceive your behaviour as aloof. Worse case scenario, the other person will perceive your behaviour as an unprovoked attack and will respond in kind. Therefore, your initial conclusion will be confirmed and your belief has become a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. These negative outcomes should have been called “The Self-Limiting Prophecy.”
If you have a perception that your spouse is in a bad mood, your perception will evoke actions from you that will create a bad mood in your spouse.
A man feared inviting a particularly nice lady out on a date – when he eventually plucked up the courage to approach her he said, “you don’t want to go out with me, do you…?”
Our beliefs lead us to act in ways that influence the behaviours of others.
You can change your beliefs, fears and negative self-talk by using affirmations. Affirmations work in exactly the same way. It is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - with a positive outcome.
Affirmations were used successfully by Dr Emil Coué around the 1880’s to help alcoholics and drug abusers to overcome their destructive habits. Affirmations are widely used to help people to form new positive beliefs about themselves and their experiences and to achieve goals. You can let go of fear and distorted perceptions and beliefs by writing positive affirmations, which will change your life forever. An affirmation should be written in present terms as though what you want already exists. For example:
I am in control of my life.
I am emotionally strong
I make good choices.
I have a strong, healthy body.
I have good relationships with people.
I am highly successful and self-empowered.
My life is filled with abundance.
You do not have to believe the affirmation when you start, because the new suggestions, which you have to repeat several times per day for approximately two to three weeks, will change your ‘programming’ to new beliefs and actions.
Create positive outcomes and experiences for yourself instead of enduring negative outcomes and experiences you have drawn to you through negative self-talk and fears. Read my article about how to write affirmations on my website www.successfactory.co.za and create a life you love.