Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t  – you’re right.” What did he mean by that? There is something called self-fulfilling prophesies. That is when you believe something to be true about yourself or your circumstances concerning the future, and they come true. Research has shown this does happen! So, you may say, if what I believe is going to come true, then why fight it?


The part about self-fulfilling prophesies that people may forget is that the person themselves consciously or unconsciously dictates the outcome. Let me give you an example. Someone may believe they are destined to be alone for the rest of their life. So, in an effort to stay away from the pain of a break-up, they may (again, consciously or unconsciously) keep people at “arm’s length,” never allowing someone to get close enough to see the real them or be vulnerable to form a real relationship. Some may even be mean, sarcastic, or off-putting in some other way in an effort to not get hurt. So, they have decided their own fate, the fate they were sure would happen.


How does this relate to therapy? The cool thing about self-fulfilling prophesies is that you can decide what you tell yourself! You want to be successful in your career? Believe that it’s possible and I bet you’ll be more likely to do the things that will make that happen. This is just one example of how a self-fulfilling prophesy can be useful. What you tell yourself matters!

Steffani Wooley, MA, LPC-I