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Self-fulfilling prophecy, what do you expect?

Posted by Gale Bernhardt on Jan 18, 2008 9:54:06 AM

I have had encounters with people that expect the worst from others. They expect people to lie, cheat and steal. They expect to be treated bad by others and oddly it happens. It seems they attract bad treatment by expecting to be treated badly.


Now that the New Year's resolution rush had died down, it's easier to think about the issue of expectations as it relates to expectations for the year. I know people that made New Year's resolutions, told me the resolutions and on the heels of the new goals said, "I can never keep my New Year's resolutions."



If these people expect to fail, what do you think will happen?



Do you think athletes that make Olympic and World Championship teams tell themselves they are not good enough to be on the team? Absolutely not.



Right now, you've got to take a hard look at your expectations for yourself. Do you expect to meet your goals for this year? Do you expect to be successful, or do you expect to fall short?



Expecting dreams and goals to come true is an old concept. In Greek times, a sculptor named Pygmalion crafted an ivory statue of his image of the perfect woman. He fell in love with the statue. Greek god Aphrodite took pity on Pygmalion and brought the statue to life.



The concept of expecting dreams to come to life is often called the Pgymalion effect. This notion is found in multiple cultures and modern stories. 



It's not only your personal expectations, but the expectations of others. There was a study conducted by Rosenthal and Jacobsen, where Rosenthal predicted that if teachers were given information that certain students are brighter than others, they may unconsciously behave in ways that facilitate and promote the students' success. Not only were the "certain students" successful, some improved as much as twice that of other students in the class.



Do you expect yourself to be successful?



Do the people around you expect you to be successful?



Do you expect the people that surround you to be successful?









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