How to Avoid Negative Self Fulfilling Prophecies
At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog post that talked about the “power of visualization.” It was written with a positive outlook and talked about how you can bring things into your life that you dream about by visualizing them first.
Now that the world is turning upside down, I thought I’d write about the dark side of visualization. Don’t worry, if you need positivity in your life, you always have the old post to go back to HERE.
But this post isn’t about doom and gloom, it’s simply helping you realize the power of your mind. The mind can help you do amazing things by helping you see them first.
Walt Disney had a motto, “First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.” He used his mind to develop ideas and create things people had never seen before. The power of visualization Walt Disney had and his company continues to exhibit, created a world of fantasy every time you enter their parks, watch their movies, or go on their cruise ships.
Just as the mind can create amazing things and bring them to life, it can manifest negative thoughts into real life as well.
It’s paramount that we stand guard at the gates of our mind to make sure we are ONLY manifesting the unlikely positive, and ignoring the unlikely negative altogether.
Put yourself in this situation. It’s Monday, March 16th, 2020 and you walk into a crowded grocery store. You see someone you know and strike up a conversation. You say one of two things.
1: “I’m probably going to get coronavirus and I’m deathly afraid of even being here right now, but know I can’t hide in fear and desperately need to wipe my butt tomorrow.”
OR you say…
2: “I’m excited to have some time off work. I’m going to be a millionaire by starting my own _____ company.” (that blank isn’t an expletive, just whatever kind of company you want to start).
The first statement is clearly more negative than the second. Definitely negative if you don’t get that roll of toilet paper you so desperately need.
But think about how socially acceptable these statements are when compared.
Why is it ok to hear statement #1 and be in total agreement without questioning the validity or likelihood of that statement? Often it seems negativity gets a free pass. It surely does in the news where actual facts are few and far between.
Yet statement #2 gets laughed at. And more so than #1, it’s becoming true all the time. With every great panic and depression, we’ve had new companies and entrepreneurs rise from the ashes and create amazing companies. Hardships are often the catalysts for great things to be created.
There’s so much more to gain by believing in the unlikely positive vs. the unlikely negative. Don’t spend your mental energy on doomsday scenarios. Use your energy to see, when everyone else is covering their eyes.
If you and your family are under some kind of quarantine or social distancing there’s a good likelihood that you’re spending more time with your thoughts. It’s crucial you spend time with the positive ones. How can you turn what’s currently going on into something positive?
It’s been so cool to see our athletes get outside this past weekend and strengthen their immune systems by taking in that vitamin D from the sun and breathe deeply from the fresh air.
What’s not so cool is watching end of the world outbreak movies on Netflix eating junk food. We can joke that those negative movies don’t really affect our mind and we know “it’s just a movie”, but the fact is, everything affects you.
I’m reminded of the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox. If you’re not a baseball fan, I will catch you up quickly. The Red Sox were one strike away from winning their first World Series title since 1918, twice. They lost Game 6 and Game 7 in dramatic fashions, further giving life to the “Curse of the Bambino” superstition that they wouldn’t ever win a World Series since selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. A superstition that held true for 86 years until 2004.
If you know what happened in Game 6 of that series you would say the Red Sox were cursed. The Mets won that game on an easy ground ball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs at first base.
Was it a curse or was it a negative self-fulfilling prophecy?
12 days before that fateful error at first base, Bill Buckner is on an interview saying, “the dreams are that you’re going to have a great series and win, and the nightmares are that you’re going to let the winning run score on a groundball through your legs.” He laughs, thinking the statement is no big deal.
Buckner made the “unlikely negative” real by vocalizing it to the press. Had he ignored that thought and focused on only saying positive things, he could have changed the course of that game, his life, and the Red Sox organization.
What could seem like small, innocent statements usually are…until they’re not. Just don’t bother with negative statements. Even if no one hears you, you still hear you.
Let’s make unlikely, positive shit happen.
If you’re a baseball fan, or just want to fact check this story, check out this entertaining Sportscenter story on Buckner. You can hear the quote from him one minute into this video.
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