self-fulfilling prophecy

Running. I have always said, and believed, I couldn’t run. I was too heavy and out of shape. Too lazy. Too accident prone. Too old. And because I said it, because I believed it, it was so. I’d quit. I’d give up on running, on myself, every. single. time. There was always some excuse – often a very good one! Sore knees, sick kids, husband seriously injured in an accident… But if you dig just beyond the surface of the excuse, you get to the real reason I’d quit: I never believed I could do it in the first place. The excuse was just proof to me of what I already believed. I had created, and was enslaved by, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a statement that becomes true because we already believe it to be so, so we act accordingly. I can’t run. I never stick to my diet. Losing weight is hard. If you believe it, you’re going to act like it’s true, and you’ll confirm your own expectations.

Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! Self-fulfilling prophecies come in the positive variety, too!

self-fulfiling prophecy

 I AM a runner. I CAN and WILL stick with this. I DO enjoy the challenge. It IS hard, but it’s getting easier. I am on week six of the Sisterhood’s virtual Couch to 5K. I have never, EVER, stuck with this program this long. What’s different this time? I believe I can do it. It’s really that simple. When I have those tough days, when I’m not sure how or when I’m going to fit a run in, I call on some of my Sisters to hold me accountable and to remind me that I don’t always have to be faster than last time, that conditions don’t have to be perfect, that this is worth the time to me. This is still a new belief for me, and I am thankful for those friends that are helping me to nurse it through its infancy.

I challenge you to turn your negative self-fulfilling prophecy into a positive one. Please share it with us in the comments. And if you need some help building that new belief, let us know that, too! We’d love to help you be an even more awesome YOU!


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  • LissaJoy

    You CAN do it! You are awesome!

    • Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Dude, I already knew THAT. Der. :)

  • scrapgal22

    I am on the same week in the Couch 2 5K program! I am so excited to do a 5K in a few weeks! Keep up the good work and I love your blog.

    • Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Thanks, Scrapgal :) I’ve got a 6k on March 3rd. I’m both terrified and excited, all at the same time!

  • AnnG

    I’m so freaking proud of you, Karena!! You are amazing!

    This year “I believe” I will meet my weight loss goals! I know when things get tough I will always have a hooker here to pick me up!!

    • Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Yes! We will always be here, Ann! Even when we’re all old(er) and gray(er)!

      I believe you can meet those weight loss goals, too! Keep your eye on the prize, Ann. You’ve made amazing changes – all along the way, but especially in the last year or so. Since you started the Komen walks, I’d say. You found a purpose and a focus. Use that to keep you on target!

  • Christy_TheSistherhood

    I am SO, SO SOOOOOOOOOOO proud of you, Karena. And you are so right. I learned very early on about visualization (hippy dippy grandma) and all that good stuff. I think it’s time to start applying it to my life. Stat.

  • Brian

    Try to keep it enjoyable but don’t try to trick yourself into believing that it’s ALWAYS enjoyable. Focus on it being worth it and you’ll never lose motivation. Remember what Cicero said, “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” No pun intended with word race, literal vs metaphoric but you get the point.

  • Deb

    I just came across this blog today. I was searching for homemade encilada sauce because I lost mine about a year ago and was tired of canned sauce. Then ended up on this page. What I’ve read so fsr is what I needed at this time in my life. U want ti say thank you for all the encoragement. Now let’s get on with a new life. A new beginning.