The Power of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

clouds and one rainbow

Stuck in a rut? Still worried about the recession? Well, I hate to say it, but you know you’re doing it to yourself, right?

Self-fulfilling prophecies are very powerful. Now I’m not saying that the skies are always filled with warm sunshine and pretty rainbows. I am, however, saying that you can choose to see them that way if you want.

Does this all sound easy to say for a guy who was born and raised in Los Angeles where it’s “shorts weather” most of the time? Well it is, but not because of the physical weather around me. It all has to do with my perspective on how I choose to view the world. I’m not ignorant to the global financial crisis we all experienced in 2009. I’m not even in denial about how much hard work it’s going to take to dig ourselves out of the mess we’re all in. I just believe in myself and know at the bottom of my heart that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Two years ago, I decided I was on the downhill slide of being overweight and physically unfit. No argument about how I got that way – too much holiday cheer, not enough time at the gym, too many late nights working and definitely not enough sleep! For the better part of a year, I told myself, “It’s OK. It’s just a busy time at work.” But then I said, “This is ridiculous! I’m not even 40, and I refuse to spend the rest of my life like this…” Well, now I’m in the best shape of my life. Really! I weigh about 20 pounds less than 2 years ago, I ran a 5K for the first time of my life on Thanksgiving Day, and I’m now training to run 4 more races this year – including the coveted 10K “Mud Run” at Camp Pendleton in June.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t expect to be in the best shape of my life when I decided to focus on personal health. I didn’t even know that was possible. What I did know is that “trying to lose another 5 pounds” wasn’t the right approach for getting into shape. Instead, I focused on living a healthier and more fulfilled life by getting into shape. Being in the best shape of my life was just a welcome surprise that came as a result of focusing on the positive results of my near-term efforts.

Another key area of focus for me this past year has been sales. For those of you who are in sales, you probably recognize the name Chet Holmes and have read his book entitled the “Ultimate Sales Machine”. There are lots of people in this world who wish they were better salespeople or wish their customers would stop saying no to them. Both of those sentiments are true for me too. I just stopped letting them be my primary focus (dare I say the stories I told myself to justify my lack of sales in a down economy). Instead, I told myself that I was the “Ultimate Sales Machine” and focused my energy on making that happen – by reading great sales resources, by reinventing some of our consulting offerings, and by being more confident with my go-to-market strategy. Now I may not be the “Ultimate Sales Machine” based on Chet Holmes’ standards, but I sure feel better about myself and the results that I am producing these days than I did before I shifted my perspective.

And I could go on and on… Just about every facet of my life has a self-fulfilling prophecy – one that is motivating and inspiring and produces phenomenal results or one that doesn’t serve me very well at all. You must be confident in yourself and move from “I think I can” to “I KNOW I will”! Treat your desired results as if they are inevitable outcomes, and you will be much more likely to achieve what you want in life without exerting wasteful energy focusing on the things you don’t want to do.

So what are your self-fulfilling prophecies? And how are they working for you?

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