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The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Talks and affirmations have a great effect on people. What about holistic sessions with coaches then? Aren’t you here to know about that? 

The concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy is an important one for coaches. It simply states that our expectations can shape and influence the outcome of any situation.  

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

This article will be an introduction to how this phenomenon works in practice so that coaches can feel more confident in and understand the process on a deeper level.

What is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief or expectation that influences our behavior and ultimately leads to its confirmation. This means that when we hold a certain belief about a situation. It can shape our actions to make the belief come true, even if it was originally untrue or uncertain.

Self-fulfilling prophecies can have significant impacts in many areas of life. From education to employment, and even personal relationships. They can reinforce stereotypes and biases, limit our potential, and lead to missed opportunities.

However, it is important to recognize and challenge our beliefs and assumptions to avoid falling into self-fulfilling prophecies. By being open-minded and considering alternative possibilities, we can overcome negative self-fulfilling prophecies and create more positive outcomes.

How the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Works

The self-fulfilling prophecy works through a cycle of beliefs, actions, and outcomes. It starts with a belief or expectation about a particular situation, which can be positive or negative. This belief then shapes our behavior, influencing the way we act and respond in that situation.

Our actions, in turn, can create an outcome that confirms our original belief, even if it was initially unfounded or inaccurate. For example, if someone believes they are not good at public speaking, they may avoid speaking opportunities. This will reinforce their belief and prevents them from improving their skills.

On the other hand, a positive self-fulfilling prophecy can also occur, where a belief in our abilities can lead to increased confidence and improved performance.

The self-fulfilling prophecy can be influenced by factors such as cultural stereotypes, expectations from others, and past experiences. It can also affect our relationships and interactions with others, as our beliefs about them can shape the way we treat them.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Types of self-fulfilling prophecy

There are two main types of self-fulfilling prophecy: self-imposed and others-imposed.


Self-imposed prophecy refers to the beliefs and expectations that we hold about ourselves, which can influence our behavior and lead to their confirmation. This can happen when we hold negative beliefs about our abilities or worth, which can result in self-sabotaging behaviors and missed opportunities. 

But a positive outlook, with positive affirmations and attainable expectations, can do wonders too. This depends on how you want to or do believe in yourself. A coach can guide you through such positive routes of self-affirmations.


Others-imposed prophecy, on the other hand, refers to the beliefs and expectations that others hold about us. This can happen when others hold negative beliefs or stereotypes about us, which can influence the way they treat us and limit our opportunities. 

While surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people, this can be overcome easily. A coach who listens and understands you is a good companion to have.

Examples of self-fulfilling prophecy

This model of self-analysis and recovery from its negative effects of it can be best understood through examples.

A negative example of self-fulfilling self-imposed prophecy is when someone believes they are not good at a particular task, such as public speaking. This person, therefore, avoids opportunities to practice or improve their skills. As a result, they may continue to struggle with public speaking, reinforcing their belief and limiting their potential.

A positive example of a self-fulfilling self-imposed prophecy is when someone believes they can achieve a particular goal, such as getting a promotion. So they take proactive steps to improve their skills and performance. As a result, they may increase their chances of getting the promotion, confirming their belief and achieving their goal.

Another negative example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, this time an other-imposed one, is when a teacher believes that a student is not intelligent. Hence gives them less attention and opportunities to learn. As a result, the student may perform poorly in class, reinforcing the teacher’s belief and limiting the student’s potential.

A positive example of a self-fulfilling other-imposed prophecy is when a coach believes that a person can win at an event, let’s say, a championship. This, in turn, inspires and motivates the client to work hard and improve their skills. As a result, the person may perform well and win the championship, confirming the coach’s belief and achieving their goal.


One of the most important topics for coaches to learn about is the self-fulfilling prophecy; its influence on our thoughts, beliefs, and resulting behaviors. Awareness of the self-fulfilling prophecy can help us challenge negative beliefs and take actions that lead to positive outcomes. By recognizing and addressing our biases and assumptions, we can avoid limiting ourselves and others and create a more positive future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can coaches use self-fulfilling prophecy?

Yes, coaches can use self-fulfilling prophecy to inspire and motivate their clients to achieve their goals. By believing in their client’s abilities and communicating that belief to them, coaches can influence their behavior and lead to positive outcomes. 
This can involve setting achievable high expectations, providing positive feedback and encouragement, and creating a supportive client culture. Coaches who positively use self-fulfilling prophecy can help their clients develop confidence, improve their skills, and achieve success. 
However, coaches need to avoid using negative self-fulfilling prophecies, such as focusing on weaknesses or underestimating their client’s abilities, which can have the opposite effect.

Is self-fulfilling prophecy good or bad?

The self-fulfilling prophecy can have both positive and negative effects, depending on the beliefs and expectations involved. Positive self-fulfilling prophecies can increase confidence, improve performance, and achieve goals. 
While negative self-fulfilling prophecies can reinforce limiting beliefs, prevent growth and development, and lead to negative outcomes. The key is to become aware of our beliefs and expectations and ensure they align with our goals and potential. By challenging negative beliefs and cultivating positive ones, we can harness the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy to create a more fulfilling and successful life.


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