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Lesson two: Understanding The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Unhealthy Beliefs Part 1

When you examine your beliefs both healthy and unhealthy, you will see that positive beliefs enhance your life and contribute to habits that enable you to evolve, and that unhealthy beliefs have a cyclical effect that leaves you feeling stuck. Of course, if you keep operating with the same underlying beliefs regardless of what you outwardly project, you will not only keep winding up with similar problems, but you will not be aware of the subtle and not so subtle habits that support your beliefs.

In lessons 2-4, I’m going to cover how this happens and why, as well as the importance of getting conscious so that you can break this pattern – it’s time to take command and decide what you want to continue believing and doing.

Baffling as it can seem at times, we all act in line with our beliefs, which is why it’s important to identify any underlying beliefs about our worthiness and capabilities. If we didn’t act in line with our beliefs, we’d have to change them.

What you think is what you do, is what affects your choices, is what affects your experiences in a cyclical effect that can have you feeling as if you’re on a merry-go-round – this is not only the relationship insanity and unhealthy habits in action, but you also inadvertently creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy. This is where you subconsciously and consciously use your beliefs to predict what is likely to happen.

So if you have a belief based on the premise that your worth or you being responsible for other people’s behaviour is causing unfavourable outcomes, this isn’t an accurate version of events but you will have nonetheless adjusted your behaviour and thinking to accommodate this belief so that you could ‘fit in’ and protect you.

In turn, you will predict what you think is likely to happen. So if you imagine that you think that you’re not “good enough” and that when somebody crosses your boundaries, it’s because of your worth, you behave and think like someone who is a hop, skip and a jump away from being screwed over. Plus each time you experience conflict, criticism, and disappointment, you will not only feel rejected and even abandoned, but you will also believe that you experienced these because you weren’t “good enough”. You will then look for more ways to be ‘pleasing’ to limit the incidences of these negative outcomes, while all the while, the way you feel about you and your experiences, reinforces the original idea that you’re not “good enough”, because of course, you cannot control other people’s thinking and behaviour, and yet you keep trying to, while blaming your worth for not having more success at it. Phew!

You act in accordance with and make your choices based on your beliefs, which is then reflected in what results. You confirm that what you believe is true.

This isn’t necessarily because what you believe is true in the wider sense, but because in the context of your beliefs and the situations you engage in, the people you mix with, and the choices that you make, your beliefs appear to be true. With a different set of choices, beliefs, behaviours, attitudes, and minimising your baggage, your ‘truth’ would be a whole lot different.

The scary thing about beliefs and the self-fulfilling prophecy that results from basically corroborating your outlook, is that it can be based on just one example, which causes a domino effect.

You could decide that something happened for a particular reason (your belief) and then just automatically default to this reasoning, even when it turns out that the events are not even remotely similar. You keep supporting the lie that is the belief, even though it hurts.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is created by seeking validation. You have been unwittingly, and yes sometimes actively, looking for confirmation that something is true.

If you examine your unhealthy beliefs (negative and/or unrealistic) you will find that you have gravitated to people who give you the opportunity to believe, even though at the same time, you’ll also try to get these people to validate the opposite about you. Because, on some level, you know that the belief is unhealthy and hope that it’s not true and that something will happen to prove you otherwise. 
Unfortunately by choosing people who reflect the negative beliefs, they are more often than not, incapable of validating the opposite about you and challenging the belief, so you end up getting what you think is confirmation that the belief is true and decide that you are incapable of certain things, which affects your self-image, which affects your choices.

What have you been seeking validation about?

What type of people have you tried to get to validate this about you? For instance, when I believed that I was unlovable and unworthy due to my absent Mr Unavailable father, I kept going out with Mr Unavailables in an effort to ‘prove myself wrong’. Of course, they were unavailable, not because of me but their familiar behaviour was interpreted as ‘my fault’. It was like, Here we go again! Think about where you’ve had similar moments – what did you conclude about you?

 

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