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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, coaching, effective communication and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free food and good movies.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

How you can be better than Nostradamus: all you need is a positive self-fulfilling prophecy

Have you already had one of those days?

You wake up, you take a shower, you dress up and have breakfast and then you go to work, knowing that a hard day is waiting for you.
Knowing that some unpleasant tasks need to be done. Knowing that you will have a dreadful meeting. Knowing that a difficult conversation can't be avoided. Knowing that you will experience stress, anger and maybe some kind of defeat.

You talk to youself, in your head, and in an inner monologue you repeat again and again, silently and yet really loud: "Today is going to be a hard day!" or anything like that.

I know for sure that I sometimes had some of those days in the past and I wasn't happy nor relaxed while going to work then. I already was defensive and anxious when walking through the door and those days were really exhausting.

[Ready to play with the assumptions
about your day, just like you would do
with a magic ball toy?]

In such situations the experts talk about self-fulfilling prophecy:

if you think that you are going to have a difficult day, you can be sure that you will have it.
Without knowing it, you will unconsciously sabotage your day. By being nervous, worried or "hopeless", you will react in the wrong way, overreact to situations or just mess up. 

Self-fulfilling prophecy indeed is a very powerful tool. And it can not only be used in a negative way, as most people do, but also in a very positive way. 
What about telling yourself during those days: "Today is going to be a long day and I will enjoy it! I will make it!"?

How about going to work tomorrow while believing that you can achieve what you want?
Believing that you will not only "overcome" the day, but also add some value to it?
Believing that you can face the consequences of each situation, meeting, problem and behavior, and still having confidence in yourself and in your skills? 

Just give it a try.
Maybe it will not work every single time, above all the first times, but succeeding at it even just half of the times would already mean experiencing only half of the bad days you were going to experience anyway, so why not?

And let me know in the comments how it feels, going to work during one of those days smiling and feeling great about yourself and your self-efficacy? 

Tags: Self-fulfilling prophecy, Positive thinking, Self-sabotage, Self-efficacy

What to read next:
Why happiness is... the most important muscle in everybody's body and how to train it

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