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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Proverbs 23: 7 - "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is."

The batter hits the ball high in the air towards right field. It arcs majestically against the sky. It is going right towards Sammy. Everybody in the park knows that he's going to drop it. Sammy knows that he's going to drop it. He drops it.

This scene has been replayed time and time again on fields around the world. It doesn't have to be a fielder; it sometime is a batter you know is going to strike out. It doesn't even have to be baseball. It can be anything.

It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. I wasn't familiar with this term until I took a psychology class in university. Basically it means that what you believe will usually happen.

If you believe you are going to flunk a test, you probably will. If you think the meal you are making for your new in-laws will be a disaster, it probably will. If you think you will be in a car accident, better call your insurance agent. In all these cases, your visualizing the worst-case scenario will greatly increase the possibility of them actually happening.

There are people in the world who sew the seeds of the self-fulfilling prophecy. They are the people who put their fears on you. For example, their fears that something might happen to you make you uneasy and possibly help the unfortunate event happen. They are usually the first ones to say, "I told you so."

So what do you do? First, look at history. There were plenty of people who said humans would never fly, let alone walk on the moon. You have the choice to believe those thoughts. Also, you can replace those thoughts with positive ones. You don't have to believe the nay-sayers. If self-fulfilling prophecy works with negative thoughts, it can also work with positive ones.

George Bernard Shaw said, "You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?' "What message are you playing in your mind?

When I started playing softball, I was like Sammy. I was hoping the batter wouldn't hit the ball to me. Eventually those thoughts were replaced with positive ones and I was begging for the batter to hit it to me. Can you guess which thoughts allowed me to enjoy the game the most and perform the best?

When the game was on the line, Michael Jordan wanted the ball. He already saw the ball going in before he shot.

Pete Rose, who holds the record for the most hits in baseball, was asked how many times in a game he thought he was going to get a hit. He answer was, "Every time." Did he get a hit every time? No, but his belief that he would greatly increased his success.

It's the same with life. Put positive, happy thoughts in your mind and you will tend to be happy. If you are constantly worrying that something MIGHT happen, you will not lead a full life and probably not reach your potential. What does worrying do most of the time anyway? It usually prevents you from doing your best in a situation.

It comes down to the simple saying. If you think you can, you may be right. If you think you can't, you are almost certainly right. Put another way, success comes in cans!

John Stevens

John Stevens is a freelance writer in St. Marys, Ontario. You can read more of his writing at his blog at http://johnnyvfanclub.blogspot.com or send John an email to: john.stevens@rogers.com 


Visualisation is the process of focusing your concentration on an image of what you want and seeing it as already having manifested. It is a ritual of going in into the inner recesses of your mind, and with the power of the subconscious mind, causing the manifestation of the desired object, instance or circumstance.

Visualize and Affirm Your Desired Outcomes:
A Step-by-Step Guide By Jack Canfield

You have within you an awesome power that most of us have never been taught to use. Elite athletes use it and peak performers in all fields are now starting to use it, particularly in business. That power is called visualization. The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams. Visualization of your goals and desires accomplishes four very important things.

1. It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.

2. It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.

3. It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.

4. It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.

Visualization is really quite simple. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.

Mental Rehearsal
Athletes call this visualization process "mental rehearsal," and they have been using it since the 1960s when we learned about it from the Russians. All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed. Go through the following three steps:

1. Imagine sitting in a movie theatre, the lights dim, and then the movie starts. It is a movie of you doing perfectly whatever it is that you want to do better. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around. Add in any sounds you would be hearing — traffic, music, other people talking, cheering. And finally, recreate in your body any feelings you think you would be experiencing as you engage in this activity.

2. Get out of your chair, walk up to the screen, open a door in the screen and enter into the movie. Now experience the whole thing again from inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes. This is called an "embodied image" rather than a "distant image." It will deepen the impact of the experience. Again, see everything in vivid detail, hear the sounds you would hear, and feel the feelings you would feel.

3. Finally, walk back out of the screen that is still showing the picture of you performing perfectly, return to your seat in the theatre, reach out and grab the screen and shrink it down to the size of a cracker. Then, bring this miniature screen up to your mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Imagine that each tiny piece — just like a hologram — contains the full picture of you performing well. Imagine all these little screens traveling down into your stomach and out through the bloodstream into every cell of your body. Then imagine that every cell of your body is lit up with a movie of you performing perfectly. It's like one of those appliance store windows where 50 televisions are all tuned to the same channel.

When you have finished this process — it should take less than five minutes — you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life.

Create Goal Pictures
Another powerful technique is to create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your camera down to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture. With today's technology, you could probably make an even more convincing image using your computer.

Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal
We recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on. When we were writing the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book, we took a copy of the New York Times best seller list, scanned it into our computer, and using the same font as the newspaper, typed Chicken Soup for the Soul into the number one position in the "Paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous" category. We printed several copies and hung them up around the office. Less than two years later, our book was the number one book in that category and stayed there for over a year!

Index Cards
We practice a similar discipline every day. We each have a list of about 30-40 goals we are currently working on. We write each goal on a 3x5 index card and keep those cards near our bed and take them with us when we travel. Each morning and each night we go through the stack of cards, one at a time, read the card, close our eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open our eyes and repeat the process with the next card.

Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization
An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here's an example of an affirmation:
I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.

Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.

Expect Results
Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your affirmations, you can achieve amazing results. Visualization and affirmations allow you to change your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the most important person in your life — YOU! They allow you to harness the 18 billion brain cells in your brain and get them all working in a singular and purposeful direction.

Your subconscious will become engaged in a process that transforms you forever. The process is invisible and doesn't take a long time. It just happens over time, as long as you put in the time to visualize and affirm, surround yourself with positive people, read uplifting books and listen to audio programs that flood your mind with positive, life-affirming messages.

Repeat your affirmations every morning and night for a month and they will become an automatic part of your thinking — they will become woven into the very fabric of your being.

© 2006 Jack Canfield


Our brain cannot distinguish between real or imagined images. This is the key to the power of visualization.

Today, even more, as we move into the next conceptual, creative age, tools such as visualization, meditation, relaxation and contemplation all aid us to develop our emotional and spiritual intelligence.

These skills are now, more than ever, the means to realising our potential, our unique way of making a difference in this world. They enable us to discern our purpose and give our life meaning, both individually and on an organisational level.

Traditionally these techniques continue to be the basis of prayer and all of them lead us to discover our deeper inner truth - the Divine,  our connectedness to ourselves, others and our environment and enable us to live with a real calmness, love, respect and compassion for everyone we interact with in our daily lives.

"Deepening our connection with ourselves actually increases the productivity level that team members can achieve. This is the human resources missing link." Sean McCormack, 2006, Spirituality in the Workplace

When desiring a richer experience of life, it is imperative that we take time out every day to practice these techniques. The wisdom of the ancients and our own spirit is calling us to transform our lives, our workplaces, our relationships, our families, our communities and our world.

How will you ensure you are living your life's purpose and making the greatest difference?

Enjoy the exploration of these tools.

Keep shining!

Christine Anderson