Be much more encouraging and supportive towards yourself to give yourself a fair chance in life and stay strong, even when you're faced with challenges or criticism from others. When you start to believe in yourself and in your potential to grow and develop, that kind of positive attitude will bring out the very best in you so that you can draw on all of your strengths and resources!
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The message behind so many movies, books and traditional tales is that it's vital to believe in yourself. You can see this in the Wizard of Oz as Dorothy finds out the power to get home was within her the whole time.
You see it in the 'Rocky' movies, as Rocky Balboa slugs it out in the ring, fuelled only by his stubborn determination and self-belief. You can even see it in how Dumbo, the elephant, learns that he can fly without his magic feather because the magic was inside him all along. So many famous stories are about having faith in your own strengths and believing in your potential.
But in many of us, there's a hesitant, skeptical part of us who thinks, "Well, I know I probably should believe in myself more, but what if I'm deluding myself? What if I'm not actually good enough?" And, of course, indeed, people can sometimes be over-confident. For example, if you were to invest all your life savings in a tempting 'get rich quick scheme,' fully trusting in your ability to know a good thing when you see one, and then it turned out to be a scam, and you lost all your money, that's a situation where too much confidence could get you into trouble.
So if I spent this session advising you to completely ignore the skeptical, doubting side of yourself, I would be doing you a disservice. There are times in life when being cautious and skeptical can keep you safe from harm.
But when someone tries to be cautiously realistic about themselves, they're often likely to misjudge how far to take it because you can never be completely objective about yourself.
Your attitude towards yourself actually changes who you are and how well you perform. The psychologist Richard Wiseman found that people who believe they are generally lucky are statistically more likely to spot a banknote lying on the sidewalk put there by an experimenter. Their belief in their own' luckiness,' their expectation that things will often turn out well for them, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I'm reminded of another example of the power of expectation when I remember hearing about a study done in 1968 by Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal. He got together with an elementary school principal to devise an experiment to be carried out at the school. All of the students were given an IQ test, and then the teachers were privately told which students' IQs were in the top twenty percent of the year. They called these students the 'spurters' – the ones most likely to race ahead over the year. But in reality, the researchers had selected these students at random because the experiment wasn't about IQ scores at all; it was about how teachers' expectations can influence their students' academic success.
Lo and behold, at the end of the year, the randomly selected 'spurters' were all getting higher scores than the other students, as measured in independently marked tests. The teachers' expectations had objectively changed the students' abilities.
The same is true when it comes to your expectations about yourself. If you try to be cautiously realistic and skeptical about your ability to succeed, your caution may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if you have faith in yourself, you become more likely to succeed – you tip the odds in your favour.
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This script was created by Laura McGregor, some content was licensed from Hypnotic World and Uncommon Knowledge