imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Self-fulfilling prophecies

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a positive or negative expectation about people, circumstances or events that causes itself to become true because a person believes it will come true.  We can literally cause some things to come true just because we believe it.  Self-fulfilling prophecies are often false and can influence people in a negative way.

If a self-fulfilling prophecy is a positive expectation, it can help us reach our goals.  However, if it is a negative expectation, it can stop us from reaching our goals.

For example, a child is struggling in school and his goal is to become a doctor someday.   His parents want him to reach his goals so they encourage him and tell him to study hard.  They are very supportive and make sure he gets all the help he needs to improve his grades.   They proudly tell everyone that someday their son will be a doctor.  Their child will try to make this prediction come true because he believes it about himself.  His self-fulfilling prophecy of achieving his potential may possibly come true.

Now, let’s look at the same situation in a different way.  The same child is struggling in school and his goal is to become a doctor.  His parents never went to college and they don’t believe their son has the capability of becoming a doctor.   They tell him that he is too stupid to become a doctor and they continually discourage him.  They tell people that their son thinks he will become a doctor and then laugh about it.  Their child will likely try to make this prediction come true because he believes that he won’t be successful.  He will probably get a minimum wage paid job and be frustrated with his life, thus fulfilling his self-fulfilling prophecy of being a loser.

Self-fulfilling prophecies can be self-defeating if we are expecting something bad to happen.  If we believe we can’t do something, we won’t even try even if we do have the capability.  If we believe that everyone is going to hurt us, we will allow them to hurt us even if they don’t intend to.  If we believe we are clumsy, stupid or useless we will fulfill this prophecy and respond to people and situations with the wrong perspective.  We may very well be capable of achieving something great, but if we are told that we are a failure, we might not even try.

Have you ever gone for a job interview and already told yourself that you won’t get the job?  Have you ever gone to a party and already told yourself that nobody will talk to you?  Have you ever written a test and already told yourself that you wouldn’t get a good grade?   Have you ever woken up and just knew it was going to be a bad day?  You are probably fulfilling someone’s false prophecy about you.

Parents and other adults often say things that will dampen our enthusiasm or stop us from doing what we enjoy doing with negative words.  We have to build confidence in ourselves and not allow others to influence us in a negative way.  We should never allow the expectations of others to defeat us in any way.

I saw an instance a few weeks ago that could result in a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.   A young child was playing a game with plastic bowling pins and balls.  He was throwing the ball and also throwing the pins, which is quite normal for his age.  There was nothing bad about what he was doing, just a very active boy learning how use his arms.   However, his grandmother started telling him that he was going to be a bully.  I immediately wondered where she got that idea because he was playing alone and to be a bully you have to engaged with another person.  Now, I might have re-directed his energy and showed him how to use the pins properly, but I certainly wouldn’t have called him a bully.   If this expectation of her grandson is continually reinforced, the child may very well become a bully because he will believe that it is what is expected of him.  We should never label a child with a negative label.

Are you fulfilling the expectations of others?  Are you helping create someone else’s self-fulfilling prophecy?  Make sure it is a positive one!

 

 

 

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What are you thankful for today?

We all have things to be thankful for, but too often we are so focused on our problems that we can’t even see anything to be thankful for.

Life can be very difficult at times but there is no point dwelling on our problems and staying stuck in negative thinking.  If we look at our problems with a positive perspective, it will be much easier to deal with them.

It doesn’t matter what kind of situation we are in.  We can focus on the good things or the bad things.  That is our choice.  Focusing on the bad things will just bring us pain and unhappiness.  Focusing on the good things can bring us peace and happiness.  Sometimes it can be hard to see the good through the bad but it is possible if we try hard to create a new habit of positive thinking.

Start looking for the good instead of the bad and be thankful for all the good things in your life.   Here are some ideas:

  • be thankful that you have family and friends
  • be thankful that you have a house to live in and food to eat
  • be thankful that you have a job, even if you don’t like it
  • be thankful that you have clean water to drink
  • be thankful that you have a car to drive or a bus to take
  • be thankful that you have some money in your pocket
  • be thankful that you have ears to hear and eyes to see
  • be thankful that you have arms and legs that work
  • add your own ideas – there is so much to be thankful for
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What are you depositing in your bank account?

It’s payday for a lot of people and this means a trip to the bank.  Get that cheque cashed and off to spend some money! Of course with direct deposit, telephone and on-line banking, debit and credit cards, many of us never have to step inside a bank.  All of this can be very convenient but it makes it very easy to spend money without giving any thought to making a deposit into a savings account and leaving it there to grow.

If we keep taking money out of the bank and never make any deposits, there will soon be nothing left and we can become bankrupt.  We can start with a large amount that looks really comforting but it won’t last long if money keeps going out and nothing comes in.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this concept, yet many people don’t pay any attention to their bank balance until they get into serious financial trouble.

It is the same concept for our personal emotional bank account.  Everyday, we deposit emotions into our emotional bank account and this can either fill us up or empty us.  If we deposit positive, healthy emotions like love, acceptance, appreciation and kindness it makes us feel secure and confident.  When we deposit negative, unhealthy emotions into our bank account, it makes us feel insecure and we have little confidence.

We can have a good day and fill our emotional bank account so full that it overflows on other people and helps fill their emotional bank account.  Then the next day we feel miserable and make a huge withdrawal, putting ourselves below empty again.

It is important that we fill ourselves every day with positive emotions, on purpose.  Life can be difficult but we can still face the day with a positive attitude and not let all the small things get us down.  If we always look for the bad in every situation, we will find it, but we can usually find something good if we look hard enough.

Instead of looking at life with a negative perspective, work hard to develop a positive perspective and make deposits not withdrawals!  Then watch your happiness level grow:)

 

 

Every day we need to keep depositing healthy emotions in our own emotional bank account and also into the emotional bank account of others so we can help each other feel confident and keep our esteem strong.

Have  you made a deposit today?  Was it love?  What about appreciation?  A kind word?  A thoughtful deed?  Keep making those deposits and watch the benefits grow!

 

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Looking for the right mate?

Have you found the right mate?  You know, the one who treats you the way you expect.  The one who brings home flowers and always remembers your birthday.  The one who showers you with attention and compliments you often.

Well, this kind of mate is hard to find.  When we are dating, we often put our best food forward and treat other people with kindness and respect.  We want them to see our good points and usually work very hard to impress them.  Then we get married and expect life to be great with this wonderful person that we have fallen in love with.

As the months and years go by, things change.   Work, kids, household chores, finances and other things start getting in the middle of our relationship and we stop treating each other the way we used to.  The love that drew us together is lost in the busyness of life.  Communication breaks down and when we do have a conversation, it ends up in an argument. Other things take priority and we start to wonder what we ever saw in this person.   We decide that the marriage is just not working out and start thinking about separation or divorce.  We even start looking around for ‘the right mate’.

Before a relationship even gets to this point, we should pay attention to the warning signs that something is wrong and try to determine what changes need to be made.  Instead of giving up and blaming your spouse for not living up to your expectations, look at how BOTH of you are acting.

  • What is your spouse doing that is different?
  • What are you doing that is different?
  • What are your expectations of each other?
  • Do you blame your spouse for all your problems or do you take responsibility for your own actions?
  • Are you working TOGETHER to make the marriage work or are you working independently looking for things that only make you happy?

Many problems in marriages are the result of unrealistic expectations.  We determine what we want the other person to do and when they don’t meet these expectations, we feel unloved and unappreciated.    Our selfish nature takes control and tells us that we don’t deserve to be treated this way.

If you want success in a marriage, it doesn’t necessarily come from finding the perfect mate.   You can look for your entire life and you will never find a perfect person.   We don’t have to find the right mate, we have to work hard to be the right mate.  If you leave your mate looking for someone who is better, you are wasting your time because there will be something wrong with everyone you meet.   We all have imperfections and flaws and when we love someone, we can learn to accept them.    We are all different and this is what makes life interesting and exciting.

If your spouse is abusive, then you should consider the situation carefully and make the appropriate choices.  However, if you are not communicating or spending a lot of time fighting or avoiding each other, then try to work on your problems TOGETHER.  You already know what you are dealing with and if you give up and find someone else, you’ll just have a new set of problems to deal with.

Marriage isn’t easy but many people give up way to easily on a relationship that could have worked out if both parties had just tried to meet each others needs instead of trying to find their own happiness.

So instead of looking for the right mate, ask yourself – Am I the right mate?

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Take a trip to the garbage dump

If you have ever been to the garbage dump, you will know that it is a stinky, messy place that isn’t very pleasant.  I’ve had the pleasure (not) of going many times after doing a major cleanup for a client that has been hoarding stuff for years.  It’s definitely not one of my favourite places to visit, but sometimes it is necessary.

So why would I suggest that you take a trip to the garbage dump?  Well you don’t really have to physically go there, just look up some pictures and contemplate what you are looking at.  Really concentrate on the piles of garbage in front of you.  They came from people’s houses.  Many of the things in these piles were once prized possessions or special memories.   They included:

  • Furniture to sit on
  • Knickknacks to look at
  • Toys to play with
  • Tools to work with
  • Clothing to wear
  • Books and magazines to read
  • Appliances, electronics and numerous other things that we just couldn’t do without

We spend a lot of our time building up possessions that someday will end up rotting in the ground.  The sad thing is that many people prize their possessions more than the people around them.  Focusing on accumulating stuff often creates problems in relationships, financial struggles and having future regrets.  The more we have, the more we want and we are never happy.

Think about what is important in your life.  Do you really want to spend your hard-earned money on unimportant stuff that will eventually disappear?  Invest your time in building good relationships and save some money for your future.  If you really need to spend some money, donate to a worthy cause so it will be invested in someone’s future!

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What kind of example do you present to your children?

Happy Family Laughing in BedDid you realize that your children are watching everything you do and listening to everything you say?   Whenever they are within hearing range, they hear our words and they watch our actions.  Children look up to their parents and want to be just like them.  They look up to their parents for instruction and believe that they are the example they should follow.   Their young minds are trying to digest tons of information while discovering what is going on in the world around them.

It is really important that parents are presenting a good example to their children.  If parents have bad habits, children will often pick them up.  If parents use negative self-talk, children will learn how to speak negatively about themselves and others.  If parents are easily angered, children will have little patience.   If parents obsess about their looks, children will become very self-conscious about their self-image and have little esteem.

When children have positive role models they will become responsible, caring adults.  This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect parents because there are no perfect parents.  We all make mistakes and we need to show our kids that it is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and keep growing.  The key is to try our best to be the kind of parent that we want our kids to become.

  • If we want our kids to be responsible, we have to be an example of responsibility.
  • If we want our kids to be loving, we have to be an example of love.
  • If we want our kids to be kind, we have to be an example of kindness.
  • If we want our kids to be patient, we have to be an example of patience.
  • If we want our kids to be a person of integrity, we have to be an example of integrity.

What kind of example are you presenting to your children?

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