Confidence + Great Expectations = Amazing Outcomes.
While the idea that “you get what you expect” factors heavily into the popularized New Age theories like The Law Of Attraction, I am always interested to see if there are examples of these ideas that hold water in other forums.
Turns out- not only is it likely that you get a lot of what you expect, you also tend to get a lot of what people around you expect from you!
It has been shown that when teachers expect their students to succeed, their academic performance improves.
The experiment: Across six grades (1st through 6th) the researchers told teachers that a subset of their students was about to “bloom” based on their scores on a previous test, and gave them the names of these students. That is, during the next school year this group of students could be expected to make huge gains in intellectual growth. The twist? Like any good researchers would do, Rosenthal and Jacobson had randomly assigned students to this “bloom” condition, which meant that these students were no different than any of the other students in their class, with one important exception—their teachers expected them to get much smarter during that school year.
What did they find at the end of the year? Had the bloomers blossomed? Indeed, after retesting students’ IQs, they found that those in the “ready to bloom” experimental conditions gained more IQ points on average, relative to those in the control conditions. The researchers found that most of these gains happened to students in the earlier grades (first and second). In the figure shown below, you can see that in those earlier grades, students in the experimental group were making much larger gains in IQ than those in the control groups. (whole article is HERE)
Here’s a compelling reason why it is a great thing to expect the best from other people. And to surround yourself with supportive people who expect the best from you!
The Pygmalion Effect is a studied way of assessing performance in business, and I believe this translates into all of life. If you expect more from an employee you tend to get more. Perhaps this applies to all things?! It is far more nuanced than that, however, and quite cool. In a summary from Josh Kaufman’s book “The Personal MBA” the Pygmalion Effect is explained.
- The Pygmalion Effect explains that people tend to perform up to the level that others expect of them.
- This effect explains why our relationships are usually self-fulfilling prophecies. Once you set expectations for somebody, that person will tend to live up to that expectation, whether it’s good or bad.
- The Pygmalion Effect doesn’t justify having unrealistic expectations of other people. Expecting miracles is a recipe for frustration on both ends.
- The paradox of the Pygmalion Effect is that having high expectations of people will produce better results, but it’s also more likely you’ll be disappointed. If you’re assessing someone, remember to judge as objectively as possible.” (you can find more HERE)
Also, confidence in outcomes factors heavily in what you will create. In the New York Times article ” If At First You Don’t Succeed, Believe Harder” Rosabeth Moss Kanter, an expert on the subject of confidence, especially as it pertains to business success , was interviewed:
“Ms. Kanter, who is a consultant and Harvard Business School professor when she’s not writing books – “Confidence” is her 16th – parses the idea even further. She believes that self-confidence is less important than confidence that things will work out, and that the most lasting form of confidence is often not self-generated, but nurtured by others. She posits that sports teams win because coaches instill a belief that they will, and that children succeed when parents and schools create an environment that encourages them to do their best.
“Confidence is contagious, but so is failure,” she said. “Even the Yankees will lose if you persuade them that they will.””
All of this- along with countless studies- suggests:
If you are surrounded by people who expect you to fail, you may want to re-think your circles.
If you expect yourself to fail or falter, you are leaning yourself toward that outcome of failure.
If you immerse yourself in building confidence, you will create new outcomes.
All of this is amazing!
Are you expecting to be disappointed in some way? Do you have expectations you need to re-adjust? Is it time to start making moves toward confidence and building a life that reflects that confidence?
HERE’s a bit of feng shui for confidence to help you start shifting toward more humble swagger. After all, none of us have all the answers, or any control, but we do all have the ability to believe more and more of the best in ourselves and in the people around us. xoxo Dana
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