We’ve heard it before, but deep down do we believe that he have the capability to be successful? To be the person we want to be. Physically, mentally, socially?
It’s an odd sort of question, but if the answer is no the likelihood of you being successful at any of your goals is slim to nil.
We’re going to start today’s lesson with an overview of the Pygmalion Effect. The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an increase in performance.
In 1968 Rosenthal and Jacobsen tested this theory out on elementary students. At the beginning of the year each student took intelligence pre-tests.
Rosenthal and Jacobsen then informed the teachers of the 20% of students who demonstrated “unusual potential for intellectual growth”. The problem was, they just pulled a random assortment of names.
At the end of 8 months the results were tremendous. When the students were tested they discovered the randomly selected students who teachers “thought had high capacity for intellectual capability” scored significantly higher.
The reason? If you think someone is capable of accomplishing much or reaching a higher potential, you’re more inclined to do simple things. Drills, read from notes, and to give simple assignments asking for simple answers.
“Reasons lead to conclusions. Emotion leads to action.”
Pretty philosophical today, right? Here’s the thing, until we can tie our goals to our emotions we’ll have a hard time making them consistent.
Edward Deci is the author of The Self Determination Theory. In his book he bases our reactions on three psychological needs – autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Autonomy is our need to direct our own life paths. Throughout the challenge we’ve given you options. From classes, to team mentors, even to utilizing any coaching or mentor needs you may have on a weekly basis. We gave you the options, but you were able to choose where you wanted to be.
That helps with buy in. Never pigeon hole yourself into one scenario. Give yourself options. Evaluate the outcomes on your desired goal and respond with the decision that best suits you at that given time.
Competence is our ability to feel efficient while navigating an environment. Think of resolutioners who dive into fitness. Two a days at the gym, oatmeal for breakfast, smoothie for lunch, and a picture of a salad at dinner. Just kidding on that last part…we hope.
Do you think they’ll be successful? Of course not! They’ve committed beyond their comfort level. Beyond their competence level.
Choose an appropriate starting point, become comfortable, then move forward. Our strategy in the health continuum is the same strategy we employ for competency.
Relatedness is our need for close relationships. We’ve given you teams and hopefully an accountability buddy to boot, but the point is we like you people. A lot. And we want to make sure that you feel welcome and a part of our community.
Prepare yourself for autonomy. Place yourself in scenarios where you have control of your destiny. Give yourself options and think backwards from your goal.
Start at your current competency level and gradually build. Learn new skills, new habits. But nothing too quickly. Take your time to explore.
Build relationships. We know it can be hard when you’re in a new situation or a new environment. Reach out and say hello. Some people may have smelly feet or larger pit stains than I’d..they’d like to admit, but we’re all pretty friendly.
Most importantly, establish high expectations. Just like the Pygmalion Effect, you fulfill the destiny you prophesize for yourself. You are an amazing being capable of doing so much. All you have to do is believe!