Higher expectations lead to higher performance which leads to success AND our beliefs affect our behaviours which, in turn, affects our outcomes/consequences.
Those are things that I have learnt from the Pygmalion Effect and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Oooh, Psychological stuff and whatnot.
Yes, yes, today you will be reading about how high expectations lead to success and how our believes/expectations lead us to the expected outcomes by walking you through two psychological concepts that were brought to us by an experiment conducted by the psychologist Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (The Pygmalion Effect), and William Isaac Thomas and Robert Merton (The Self-fulfilling Prophecy).
So, the story begins with Dr Rosenthal and Dr Jacobson carrying out a study of how teachers' expectations of certain students in regards to them having an intellectual bloom led them to actually have that intellectual bloom. Technically, the psychologists made students take an IQ at the beginning of the study and then proceeded to lie to the teachers by telling them that certain students, who were chosen at random, were going to improve intellectually.
At the end of the study, all students were again tested with the same IQ test used at the beginning of the and they all showed some intellectual improvement. However, those who were expected to have a huge intellectual growth actually did have that bloom and that led to this wonderful effect I am writing to you about.
But, how is that supposed to help you or me in improving our chances of success?
Well, although that study and the effect itself has been criticised - positively and negatively - by many people, it does hold some truth in regards to the belief that people are influenced by the expectations held upon them.
Lemme give you an example:
Let's say that I am leading an academic group and I have different tasks for each person. From my experience with group works, I know that it can be quite hectic to have everyone doing their part accordingly and it gets trickier when you are the one leading.
That said, I have certain expectations of the members of my group and there is this girl (we going to call her V) that I have seen to be a bit tardy in her academics and I believe that she will be hard to work with.
With that belief, whenever I interact with V, I talk and behave in a way that shows her that I don't quite believe that she will do her job accordingly, that she isn't really fit for the position, and that leads her to believe that maybe she really is just a burden in our group.
With that mindset, she looks at her work as if it was this huge task that requires a responsibility that she doesn't have, or was made to believe that she doesn't have, and that leads her to act in a way that clicks with her beliefs. She might come to me and asks for help in dealing with the work, after all, I gave her the vibe that she couldn't do it and, consequently, that will show me that I was right about her. She was not made for that role and I knew it all along.
Well, most likely not. Most likely. . .
I mean, who is to say that things wouldn't have turned around completely had I shown her that I believed that she could nail that task in her sleep?
Would things had turned out better had I believed that she could do better?
Maybe. Most likely. . .
It's kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Well, now that I think about it, they are kinda linked.
You see, a self-fulfilling prophecy is the sociopsychological phenomenon of someone predicting/expecting something, and this "prediction" or expectation coming true simply because the person believes it will, and that technically happens when the person's behaviours align to fulfil the belief.
So, it's like when you want to perform to a huge, or even small, crowd and you believe that you will completely suck, that everyone will laugh at you and you will be humiliated. With that belief, you go on-stage nervous and 'knowing' that you will suck and, there, you struggle to actually perform and start to make errors that end up in people actually laughing a bit, making you feel embarrassed and leading you to believe that you were right, after all. What you predicted happened.
Because you believed that you would suck, you did things that led to you sucking which then fulfilled your little prophecy.
So, yeah, the Pygmalion Effect and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy are kinda linked or have a bunch of similarities, and this is why I believe that by changing your mindset, your beliefs about yourself (and others), you are most likely paving a path to success.
It starts with what you believe and then goes on to those beliefs influencing how you behave or act towards yourself (or others) which, then allows you to see yourself/others in a different light, which then leads you/others to act or behave in accordance with those perceptions.
In other words, your predictions come true because you behave in a way that makes them come true.
You predict that you are going to nail that topic presentation so, you start to behave in a way that leads you to actually present well on that day. You become more confident in your ability to present well, so you study with the confidence that you are going to speak beautifully, you behave in a way that riles your heart to know that it will happen as you believe and when you get there, everyone looking at you attentively, you tell yourself that it will be fine because you know that you will nail it. And you do.
Because you believed that you were going to do well, you acted and behaved in a way that led you to do well.
So, this is the mindset shift I want us to work on:
Have higher and positive expectations of ourselves and our outcomes.
Yes, we should have higher and positive expectations of ourselves, those big ones that kinda scary us but we know, deep down, that we can meet them.
Believe and expect yourself to get that dream job and, if it is the will of God, it will - most likely - happen.
Believe in the great and high things you can become or do, and you will get there as long as you believe in what you are doing and God, of course, and put the work in because not much happens when you just believe and sit around waiting for things to just happen.
Believing that you will get the job without actually doing a thing to get the job is just a nonsensical.
You need to believe and live out that belief.
Just how I believe that Jesus Christ is my Saviour, I need to live out that belief. No longer live life as if I am waiting to be saved or waiting for my victory. No, through Christ, I am already victorious (that's my belief) and I should live like a victor.
So you expect yourself to get good at cooking or writing but actually do nothing to actually meet those expectations. You don't change how you see cooking or writing or, you don't even try doing those things and yet expect to see some major improvements?
Yeah, it doesn't work like that, honey.
You need to have higher and positive expectations of yourself and actually work to make them come true. Your beliefs/expectations need to actually influence your behaviour and actions - kinda meaning that you need to act in accordance with those beliefs to actually meet those expectations.
This reminds me more of my relationship and belief in Christ and His work in and after the Cross.
I believe in Him and in believing in Him, I am being changed - like, really though, so much has changed - in accordance with my belief and it is leading me to believe more in His promises, in His character and in my new identity in Him. It is strengthening our relationship.
When we believe in or expect something, it leads us to change how we act and behave and, in the case of what we have been discussing here, it leads us to achieve that expectation.
So, don't cower away from expecting and believing in big and beautiful things from yourself and your outcomes.
Yes, there are many factors that can influence your outcomes but, your beliefs are majors ones and ones that you can actually control.
And when it comes to expecting great outcomes, as Christians, our ultimate outcome it is infinitely great.
No matter how things go down in this life, as long as we stay close to God, abide in Him and His Word, we are guaranteed an outcome beyond our expectations and that is something to hold on to.
Here's something else for you to consider:
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