Self-fulfilling prophecy refers to the socio-psychological phenomenon of someone “predicting” or expecting something, and this “prediction” or expectation comes true simply because one believes it will- their resulting behaviors align to fulfill those beliefs. This suggests peoples’ beliefs influence their actions. I see this all the time as a teacher and mom. I expect my students and children to do well, so, for the most part, they do- or at least they are motivated to try.
Author JRenee Heimerman’s desire for personal improvement started at an early age. During middle school, she began to struggle with depression, so she started searching for ways to make life more enjoyable. She discovered that material things and possessions only provided temporary happiness.
After having children, JRenee continued to struggle with depression, so she dove into the self-help world by reading books, going through counseling, and attending workshops. She learned that her inner thoughts were creating her outer world, and that in order to find true lasting happiness, she needed to have compassion, understanding, and love for herself. Through hard work and learned skills, she finally realized how to maintain a happy lifestyle.
You are never too young to start positive talk and as parents, teachers, grandparents- anyone who cares for or spends time with children, it is up to us to teach children that skill. I am very hard on myself. I am probably harder on myself than anyone else and that’s just not okay. Every day, I replay my mistakes in my mind. I berate myself for the things I’ve done wrong and the choices I’ve made- the things I’ve said that I shouldn’t have said and the things I’ve done that I shouldn’t have. What if we gave ourselves some grace? What if we focused on the things we’ve done RIGHT? How much happier would we all be if we practiced positive self talk?
JRenee has published 2 children’s books that help develop this strategy.
In The ABCs of Rose, Rose is teased at school and feels bad about herself. To help Rose see herself more accurately and positively, Rose’s mom makes up a fun game called The ABCs of Rose using the concept of “I AM.” After my son and I read this book, we played the game too and I could immediately see Wyatt’s attitude change positively. He was reminded of all of the things that are awesome about himself and became more confident. Imagine if we did this every week or even every day!
Words are powerful, and what you say after the words “I AM” will influence your mood and affect how you behave.
Tommy’s ABCs is her second book- Tommy is mad at himself because he didn’t play basketball well in gym class.
His mom wants to show him that his worth is not tied to his athletic abilities, so she teaches him the ABC game. They go through each letter of the alphabet and find positive words that describe Tommy.
By the end of the book, Tommy realized that just because he makes mistakes or has a bad day, that doesn’t make him a bad person.
An Interview with Renee:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In middle school, but I never pursued it because it didn’t seem to be a legitimate career path.
Where did your pen name JRenee come from?
I’ve combined my first name initial with my middle name. I’m Janet Renee.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book took me about an hour. It just flowed out of me. The second book took a little more time but off/on for about a week and it was ready for editing. I’ve been working on my third book, as well as a journal, off/on for several months and it’s still not ready.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I started struggling with depression at a young age and never really understood why I felt the way I did. I pull those experiences and the lessons I’ve learned to conquer it, into my stories. I desire to help all readers, no matter the age.
When did you write your first book ?
In 2008 I released a 12 week guide to help people who struggle with depression. That was before it was so easy to self-publish so it was only offered through my personal website. After a year or so, I abandoned the idea and let my website expire. I am currently re-writing it and investigating the best offering options. It will be geared to all ages.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I am a catastrophe insurance adjuster. I travel the country working in areas where a large amount of damage has occurred. I take time to explore these new areas and make new friends along the way. I like to experience adventure so I always look for fun things to do.
What does your family think of your writing?
My children are grown and I am single, so no one lives with me and is inconvenienced by my writing mess, boxes of books or marketing materials. My extended family has been supportive but I think my daughter is my biggest fan.
Which of your books is your favorite?
I would have to say my favorite is “The ABCs of Rose”. I love Rose. She and her mom are both based on me. Rose struggles with a poor self-image because of teasing from kids at school and represents what I was as a child. The mom teaches a process I learned that helps your self-confidence soar, so she represents the middle aged me.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers?
Write about things you know or experiences you’ve had. I believe that if you are authentic, it comes through as more personal.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I originally wanted to be an accountant, a wife and mom. I worked in accounting and discovered it was too boring for me. My life as a mom has been the most rewarding and is my greatest accomplishment.
What is some advice you would give your younger self?
Love yourself more. Make better decisions. Pay attention to the red flags and be true to yourself.
Tell us something interesting or surprising about yourself that many people don’t know.
I was in a Miss Tennessee pageant when I was 20. I am not the pageant type so most people are surprised to hear that.
What’s next for you?
Children’s book #3 I Have Knobby Knees, finalizing a journal that almost ready for release, re-releasing my 12 week program for those who struggle with depression and offering eBooks and meditations through self-help sites and apps.
“What we think in our minds will eventually become what we believe. This is why it is so important that we start saying positive things about ourselves many times each and every day.” -www.yourlifeyourvoice.org