I am writing this as I a wrap up a vacation in Miami where I got to spend time with two girls who could not be more different from each other. This reminded me of a recurring concept that I originally learned in business school. That is the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Girl one was into her late thirties while girl two was an undergrad student in her early twenties. The three of us spent our last night partying it up at a club with a Latin flavor and a younger crowd.
In this setting, if you knew nothing else about these two women, you would expect girl one to be completely out of place. She may conjure up images of a lonely woman, looking for companionship in the wrong place. On the other hand, you would expect girl two to fit right in. Yet reality was the exact opposite.
You see, girl one was confident, very social and had a positive outlook on everything and everyone around her. So much that I almost started to question her sanity. Girl two on the other hand was introverted, shy and very self-conscious; she kept going on about how out of place she felt.
So in the club, girl one was dancing up a storm, chatting it up and laughing with everyone around her, and drawing the attention of men. Girl two wall-flowered and went largely unnoticed, except by me, who after too many attempts to loosen her up was left with the impression that she was kind of socially awkward. I know what you’re wondering, so to answer your question: their looks were comparable.
So the girl who by socially accepted norms, should have been the odd one out, was the life of the party that everyone wanted to be around simply because she believed herself to be so and acted in accordance with it. Meanwhile, the girl who should have fit right in but believed herself to be the odd one out ended up being exactly that. Self-fulfilling prophecy.
I know, this article sounds like it’s written for women but the gender here really doesn’t matter as the lesson is universal. If as a guy, you think that you are too old, don’t belong, or that the environment is not your scene, you will continue to prove yourself right as long as you act in accordance with that belief. After my two companions departed, I was left in Miami alone. I felt a little awkward going around by myself. Particularly when it came to night life. But I challenged myself to go out and be social anyway. After all, I was not about to waste my vacation to feelings of self-consciousness. And you know what? People were friendly and I had no trouble making friends. Of all the people I met, only one girl asked if I was alone and upon hearing that I was, her only comment was that she wished that she had the confidence to travel solo too.