Self fulfilling Prophecies

How often has something happened to you and you thought to yourself I knew that would happen to me. Why does this occur?

I believe in self fulfilling prophecies. This is when we fear something will happen to us and through our fear we end up creating the situation in which it does.

This thought first occurred to me many years ago in the early nineties working for a company that seemed to be yearly making people redundant. What I noticed was that it was the people that went around expecting to be made redundant that did so. Now you may be thinking that they could just see the obvious but the difference between them and others that escaped the redundancies is that the others looked to position themselves in the company where they were doing essential roles. It was at the time of the death of the drawing office, all design work was moved the computers, CAD( computer aided design), a whole raft of skilled draughtsmen no longer needed. those that survived were those that made the move to computers, the rest milled around haplessly awaiting their inevitable doom.

Self fulfilling prophecies occur all around us( and don’t think we’re excluded from them), The person that cannot pass exams or afraid of ending up living alone and continually ends up in poor relationships that don’t last.

What happens with self-fulfilling prophecies is that we fixate of the thing we fear. take being afraid of ending up living alone. if we fixate on that fear we become desperate to find someone to be with to the point that anyone is better than no-one, leading to relationships with people that are incompatible or are themselves not able to hold a relationship and things break down. or if they are the right person we can try to hold on too tightly and end up driving them away. In both instances we end up proving our greatest fears. If we believe we will fail an exam, our anxiety over it will interfere with our revising and when it comes to the exam our fears can chase all our knowledge away and leave us crumbling wrecks. These prophecies are not easy to see in ourselves, we need to step outside the situation we are in and get an outside perspective. because it is when we see what we are doing, we can then turn things around. self fulfilling prophecies are not only negative they can be positive too. if we truly believe we can pass the exam, that we are good enough, we will engage positively in the activity of passing the exam, doing whats required the studying and go into that exam prepared an confident, with all likelihood of success. If you are truly confident in yourself as a person, confident in who you are, people will see that confidence in you and be attracted to it. this is not a mantra to say to yourself, to me if you need a mantra, you don’t truly believe. self fulfilling prophecies come from our core beliefs we have about ourselves . It is through understanding ourselves, our core values and beliefs that we can then reevaluate and modify those beliefs we hold in error and our prophecies will change to the ones we desire.

4 thoughts on “Self fulfilling Prophecies

  1. Thanks Steve, this is really insightful and beautifully written.

    I’ve definitely done this several times in my former career. When I look back on a redundancy in the early 1990s (a magazine I was working on closed down) I realise I was so shaken that I started looking for signs in my subsequent jobs. It made work more nerve wracking and bad things did then tend to happen. When I received negative feedback I’d be devastated – like a hole opened in the floor. It took me years to understand that this wasn’t a proportionate response. Eventually I left that line of work and the break seems to have been big enough to interrupt the pattern. Wish I’d done it years ago. I wonder if we sometimes feel we have to claw back our failures and prove ourselves, when a completely fresh start would be a more clever response.

    I did go to therapists at different times – some forms of therapy seemed to keep me stuck where I was, going over problems. I found hypnotherapy helpful because it emphasised positive sensations and imagination and self worth. Mindfulness work was brilliant at helping me to re-evaluate my priorities in life. You are so right when you stress the importance of stepping back and getting a fresh perspective on the situation. It can be a life’s work!

    1. Hi Sally, thanks for the comments. We tend to head in the direction we are looking, so if we are worrying about something such as what is happening at work our focus takes us towards our fears. Motorcyclists will tell you that riding a bike you steer to where you look, if there is a rock in the road, if you look at it you will probably hit it, you have to look at the gap. A good motorcyclist looks through corners to where they aim to be.

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