The Psychology Behind the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Does It Really Exist?

3 min read

The Psychology Behind the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Does It Really Exist?
Self-fulfilling prophecies. Positive affirmations. Reframing the negative. Manifestation. The world abounds with gurus and influencers who speak of the power of words in changing your own life.
The wellness industry has exploded with how we can overcome anything with positive self-talk. If you speak the words, and you truly believe the words, then they will come true. Now, the more cynical among us will write this off as nonsense. If I try and manifest, really hard, and repeat it every day, will I really be rewarded with that superyacht I am dreaming of? Of course, the realist in you has to say that’s highly unlikely.
But self-fulfilling prophecies really do exist. The power of words can do some magical things to the brain. Psychologists have been studying these sorts of practices and there is proof in the science that shows you do have the power to make your dreams come true - with the right framework to get things moving, of course.

Positive Thinking Can Be Powerful 

When we focus on what we want to achieve, it is those very emotions that are ignited by the goals we achieve that pave the way to success. Think of a simple pastime activity like playing at one of the online casinos listed on NoDeposit365.com, while having a winning mindset may not necessarily guarantee a win, having a negative one certainly won’t help.
In a field experiment in Science, a study with students performing writing assignments on self-affirming value showed that minority students who may have a psychological threat of being negatively stereotyped in school were able to improve their GPA. The results were even more pronounced among lower-scoring African Americans.
This study is an affirmation in itself of the power of positive thinking. By working on exercises to overcome self-doubt, even before doing the work, the students, as a whole, were able to perform better.

Affirmations in Assisting Self-Control

Do you ever wonder how your co-worker manages to go to the gym every day before work, spend time with his extended family, and work on multiple outside work projects? Do you ever wonder how your partner is happy to just have one drink? How come just a dog barking can send your neighbour into a fit of rage? Some people appear to naturally have more self-control than others.
However, another study, from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that with each act of self-control, we deplete an inner source, and that eventually runs out - leading to a break in self-controlling behaviours. It even links to another study showing that acts of self-control deplete our glucose levels, so having a quick sugary treat can help keep your composure!
Now, while this might all seem like doom and gloom on the surface, or that it may lead to a serious sugar addiction, we’re getting to the interesting part that self-affirmations can play. In the study, experiments suggested that self-affirmations, when performed after multiple acts requiring self-control, lead participants to have greater self-control in future exercises.
This is a good thing to keep in mind if you are trying to pick up a new habit or break an old one. Rather than just grinning and bearing it, by practicing self-affirmations often it makes keeping (or quitting) those habits easier for you.

 Affirmations in Lowering Defensiveness

As humans, we all inherently have to balance protecting our internal emotional state and living as authentically as possible. Typically, people who are more in that state of defensiveness, to protect their internal emotions, will experience more stress as they are in a heightened perceived threat state. This may be due to complex traumas or PTSD or simply day to day life. This heightened state has all sorts of negative effects on the body, both physically and mentally. By learning to live more authentically, without those perceived threats, health increases.
Again, research has shown that writing about our important values has the ability to decrease those defensiveness levels in regards to self-threatening information. Emotions such as love and connection increased during the exercise.

Take a Dive In

It’s never too late to come around to a new practice, even if you have had your reservations about its effectiveness. You don’t have to follow a particular style, person, or guide, to be able to benefit from positive affirmations and reframing negative situations. Journaling, and in particular, guided exercises, can be an amazing way to start soothing the soul, helping you hit new achievements, loving yourself more and the people around you, and leading a more fulfilling life.
While we’re all on a solo journey, there’s no harm in picking up some good psychological tools to help you gain a better quality of life. And the best part is? It’s all free, and it’s all from within.