Have you ever wondered whether it’s a stroke of luck, hard work or external factors that shape and influence your results? While some or all of the above may play a part, one of the greatest determinants of your results is your expectations. What you believe, think about and focus on is paramount in you achieving your goals. Furthermore, your expectations can influence the outcomes of other people, as you will read below. Let’s start with diving into the power of your expectations in relation to your results, performances and outcomes. First, it’s appropriate to share this famous quote by Henry Ford:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,”
Your thoughts, beliefs and overall expectations shape your results in life
The important point here is, your life is shaped by what you are thinking about, what you believe and where your focus. Your words are important. Furthermore, many of your beliefs are redundant, unseen, yet are still playing out in your life Shifting the old and building unshakeable belief in yourself and your capabilities is key. I am sure you can think of a time when your expectations influenced your results? As an example in my life, many years ago, I trained and competed in the Australian Ironman Championships. My goal was to race well and qualify for the Hawaiian Ironman, the ‘Olympics’ in the sport of ultra distance triathlons.
Every day, as well as training and having the support of my coach and the camaraderie of a team, I visualised my outcome of crossing the finish line. Furthermore, I visualised a time that indicated I raced fast enough to get me to Hawaii. Every day as I trained and visualised, I also repeated my mantra.“Every day I am getting fitter and closer to my goal of qualifying for Hawaii.” This built my belief and expectation of racing well and achieving my outcome.
You can skyrocket your results simply with building high expectations
When race day came, despite some challenging moments, the moment I crossed the finish line I had an innate sense of knowing that I had achieved my goal. Moreover, I felt it in every cell of my body. Later, at the results ceremony, I discovered that I had qualified for Hawaii. I expected to get there and I did. This magical moment cemented the power of expectations for me forever. Furthermore, to this day, I always set specific expectations for the outcome of my goals, short term and long term. Now, this may not work 100% of the time, however, I know that I have done my best. And when you do your best, you are more satisfied with yourself and less subject to comparing yourself or suffering imposter syndrome.
Imagine what might happen when you practice building your belief and focus on your desired outcome? You literally draw the future towards you and into your neurology and are more likely to achieve what you want.
Expect the best always
Whether you win or not, when you expect the best, and you do your best, you cannot be too disappointed. Moreover, many of the principles of Huna philosophy support this. Take the principal of Pono. Effectiveness is the measure of truth. This principle teaches you to pursue your goals in the most effective way possible. You may have to change what you are doing to establish good systems and strategies to get better results. However, it also teaches you to practice a positive attitude, and expect the best results. And, of course, this supports your belief in yourself.
Other people’s expectations also influence results
Now it’s time to share a famous example of how other people’s expectations can influence outcomes by looking at a classic research experiment done by Rosenthal and Jacobsen in 1968. The results show that teacher expectations influence student performance. Positive expectations influence performance positively, and negative expectations influence performance negatively.
“When we expect certain behaviours of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behaviour more likely to occur.” – Rosenthal and Babad, 1985
In the original research, the focus centred on an elementary school. First, students were asked to take an intelligence pre-test. Next, Rosenthal and Jacobsen informed the teachers of the names of twenty percent of the students in the school who were showing “unusual potential for intellectual growth.” Additionally, they suggested that these students would bloom academically within the year. However, what the teachers were not told, is that the students were selected randomly with no connection to the initial test.
The research led to the phrase, the Pygmalion Effect, which is all about expectations
Eight months later, Rosenthal and Jacobson tested the students again, discovering that the randomly selected students who teachers thought would bloom scored significantly higher. They termed this the Pygmalion effect. Simply put, the Pygmalion Effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area. Its name comes from the story of Pygmalion, a mythical Greek sculptor.
Conversely, if a teacher believes the topic is hard and advises this to their students, or they indicate to a student they may find the subject hard, they are less likely to perform well. An important point for all teachers, parents, educators and business leaders who have staff.
Your expectations matter both yourself and others
In conclusion, your expectations matter. Not just in your results, achieving great outcomes, and having superior mindset skills, but in the results of others. Much of what you want is living in the space of what you don’t have yet. Remember, you are ultimately only limited by your past choices, thoughts and beliefs.
Start to shift your focus, expect the best and believe you can. This aligns with with one of the most interesting premises of quantum theory. This theory states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality. Moreover, why the simple phrase, ‘You get what you expect,’ is so incredibly powerful and meaningful.
Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality. Ralph Marston
Start to expect the best, and like magic, you may indeed start to get the best!
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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