Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Self-fulfilling prophecy

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction or statement about ourselves that may or may not be true, but causes us to behave as if the prediction or statement were actually true.

When I was a kid, I struggled with math. It didn’t take me long to go from not understanding certain algebraic concepts to believing that I wasn’t good at math. That’s what I told myself, and I believed it. And because I believed that I wasn’t good at math, I behaved as if it were true, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe if I had worked a little harder or longer, I would have been able to understand algebra. But I didn't give myself the opportunity to improve. I gave up because I believed I couldn't do it.

What is the little voice in your head telling you? Are you sending yourself positive messages, or negative ones? Are you taking a small setback and letting it turn you into someone who is afraid to proceed because the outcome may not be as great as you think? Or do you give yourself the message that you can do more than you think you can?

Don’t let the negative thoughts in your head determine your reality. We all have disappointments and failures. Look at them for what they are: opportunities to improve.

Write soon,



  1. Mary, I too gave upon algebra. I'm much better with letters than numbers.

    My classroom motto is, Never say I can't. Say I can try.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful and inspiring post, Mary.

  3. Linda, I understand geometry, but algebra is difficult. Thanks, Donna, it's something we talk about in speech class, but applies to writers equally!