Self-fulfilling Prophecies.

Self-fulfilling prophecies are something I learned about in college, when I was taking education classes. In a nutshell, a self-fulfilling prophecy is one where the subject tells themself something about either themselves or someone else: “X can’t do Y because reasons.” Their actions following that statement are either consciously or unconsciously tailored to make sure that X can’t do Y, which sets up the outcome of… surprise! X not being able to do Y.

For example, a teacher who sees a student who lives on the poor side of town, and who immediately decides that this child isn’t going to amount to anything. That teacher then focuses their attentions on other students, leaving this one to struggle.

If the next teacher down the lines just looks at the grades and the address, the cycle repeats. If they look at the child and what they’re really capable of, and give the child the support that they need? Things change.

Self-fulfilling prophecies aren’t just in school. Most of us do it to ourselves every day. They’re part of imposter syndrome — you tell yourself you’re never going to be a success, so why bother promoting or pushing or hustling… and then nothing happens with your new release.

Self-fulfilling prophecy. See also, setting yourself up for failure.

Here’s the thing, though. You can stop doing that. You can stop being your own worst enemy. It isn’t easy, but you can do it.

When you’re talking to yourself, and putting yourself down, you first have to be able to recognize that you’re doing it. Once you can recognize it, you’re halfway there. Once you know you’re doing it? Then you can listen to what you’re saying and ask yourself, “Would I say this with my outside voice to someone else? A friend? Someone I love?”

Probably not, right? Well, what would you say to them?

Say that to yourself.

Creative people are our own worst enemies, for whatever reason. But we shouldn’t be. We should be our own best cheerleaders. We have to stand for ourselves. We have to know that we are that damned good, and that we are going to be fantastic at everything that we put our hands and our minds to doing. Because we are extraordinary.

Easy, right?

No, of course not. It’s not easy.

But nothing worth doing ever is.  Just remember — you can do hard things. Creation isn’t easy, but we do that regularly.

We can do this, too.


Apparently, this is my week for waxing lyrical. Here’s hoping it carries over onto the page.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

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