How can you avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Self-fulfilling prophecies work at a subconscious level and can be hard to overcome. However, you can take the following steps to avoid their negative impact:

  • Become aware of self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, identify patterns of thoughts and actions. The first step is to realize that harboring negative thoughts prevents us from putting our best foot forward.
  • Reframe your language. Avoid using absolute words or statements like “never” or “I can’t,” and try to replace them with neutral or positive phrases (e.g., “I’ll do my best”).
  • Work towards a growth mindset. Start cultivating the belief that your abilities, talents, and knowledge are not fixed and can be improved over time.