Have you ever made a “prediction” about how something would go, and had things turn out exactly as planned?
Maybe you wake up and think—for no specific reason — today is going to be a bad day. Then it turns out that your coffee is cold, you hit every red light on your way to work, and your check engine light turns on. You were right – or were you? You may be unconsciously working to reinforce that negative belief by ignoring the positive, amplifying the negative, and acting in ways that make it difficult to enjoy your day! We often refer to this as a “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.”
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Our Beliefs Shape Our Behaviors
Negative “Self-Fulfilling Prophecies” inhibit our growth. We create a false narrative that tells us that we aren’t good enough, so why bother. When we do this, our worst fears come true! By thinking this way, our mindsets become “fixed.” This makes it very difficult to change behaviors, learn from experiences, and ultimately grow as people. But what if we were to flip the switch on this phenomenon and use it in our favor instead?
What if we were to look at a given situation and actively search for evidence of our past SUCCESSES as reminders that when we are faced with hard things in our life, we have handled them effectively?
This is hard…And I can do hard things.
The fathers of motivational psychology William R Miller and Stephan Rolnick found that people are more likely to make a change when they see evidence that they have been successful in similar situations before. This is referred to as “self-fulfilled efficacy” or self-efficacy, for short.
Putting Self-Fulfilled Efficacy Into Action: Setting The Stage For Success
Use these tips to shift your thinking and rewrite the script on self-fulfilling prophecies for reaching goals.
- Write down your goals. Just taking this step doubles the likelihood that you will follow through with completing them (Bonus Tip: making the commitment to another person further increases your chances of follow-through).
- Make the goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive
- Identify previously attained goals and successes in your past
- Look at other areas of your life where you are naturally motivated. What strengths you can draw on?
- Identify personality qualities, “quirks” and traits that work in your favor and make your success more likely
- When you encounter resistance, remind yourself that you have ample evidence that you can do hard things!
Want More On Goal Setting?
- How To Reach Your Goals While Enjoying The Ride
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- How To Give A Nudge Without Being A Noodge