Thought Starters

What’s up with Fred Flintstone’s self-fulfilling prophesy of success?

Fred Flintstone was, for a time, a role model to a lot of young minds.

When I was a young lad in public school I had the convenience of being able to come home for lunch and I remember rushing home and wolfing down my lunch just so I could catch the daily episode of The Flintstones before heading back for my afternoon classes.

For those that remember the antics of Fred Flintstone you will certainly relate to the humour more now as an adult than you would have as a child.

Fred was always getting himself into situations that were well beyond his natural ability but somehow he always seemed to fare well. He never really came up short, did he?

As a kid I likely missed some of the finer points of the situational humour in those shows and after watching a few episodes recently it struck me how Fred and Barney always took incredible risks without the slightest consideration for their own experience; sheriff for a day, leaders of a rock band, school bus drivers or taking over a business for a day to name a few. Nothing seemed to be off limits.

All from a couple of guys that worked breaking rocks in a quarry.

Here’s a clip from one of my favourite episodes.

What do you need to know to conduct a business meeting?

Apparently nothing and there are only 3 things you need to say:

  • Whose baby is that?
  • What your angle?
  • I’ll buy that!

What do Fred Flintstone’s antics have to do with achieving success, really?

At work, in the past few months, we have been developing a strategy for an alternate line of business. We are looking at taking the precept of Corporate Interior Design to a new level beyond the pure esthetic to the analytics of business process and its effect on the functionality of physical space. The idea itself is not new, in fact, many large scale firms offer this type of consulting service, however, our ideas on approach are a little different and are focussed on a market sector largely overlooked by some of the giants of the industry.

So, what has been holding us back from launching forward?

Is it because we don’t have the direct experience to deliver the services?

Our team is intelligent. We have vast experience with the execution of design services and precedent work, case studies and research is out there for the taking. We are professionals. We can execute and have proven it time and time again.

Can we succeed without direct experience?

Do we fake it until we make it?

Well, we may look at Fred Flintstone and think there’s no way that we are going to get ourselves into situations like he consistently puts himself into. The risk to our reputation is far too great to take such considerable leaps of faith.

Or, alternately, we may think about the one single most important factor involved in achieving anything in life.


Can we do it?

Is it not akin to Fred’s self-fulfilling prophesy of success?

If you believe it is possible can it become possible?

It’s worth a try is it not? The actions you take are directly proportional to the attitude you have and vice versa. You choose. Positive or negative. If you believe it is possible then it will become possible. You will make it so.

Either way.

So, would you fake it until you make it?

I never really believed this attitude to be a viable option until I started blogging.

In the course of starting a blog I have had to learn some things about blogging that, as a newcomer, were only be possible by reading, testing and refining rinsing and repeating. I have had to share my fears, aspirations, thoughts, ideas and I have had to work very hard to build engagement all in a world that I know little about.

So, do you have it all figured out yet Dopping?

Hardly but I am getting there and over time this thing will grow as long as I continue to work at it, learn from my peers and the leadership in the industry and not limit my thinking in any way.

Does that relate in any way to the risks you take starting a new venture?

Heading toward the unknown? Hell, the unknown is exhilarating.

Did you have the experience to make it work out of the gate?

Years of experience builds confidence but the risk to change how things are done takes confidence in your ability to use your experience in ways to achieve something you have never done before.


Ok, repeat after me: If I believe I can and I believe that I have the ability to make it happen then I stand a better chance of actually getting somewhere.

It’s just like a self-fulfilling prophesy.

It builds confidence and it’s cyclical.

I can do this and I will.

Can’t can take a ride on a one-way train to get-lost-ville along with self-doubt, self-pity and ego. So long, good riddance, bye, bye now.

Am I going to tell you I know everything? Not a chance!

I am going to show you that I can use my ability to approach my work in a unique and innovative manner?

Yes and with that attitude I will be successful.

It is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Thanks for showing me the way Fred. You are one good {cave} man.





Over to you: Is faking it until you make it a dangerous method? Let’s hear what you have to say about the idea of the self-fulfilling prophesy of success.

About this Author: Ralph Dopping (199 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday:


The fake it to you make it has sort of a mal-intended connotation. But I think the idea very similar to believing and acting in a manner that represents that success we endeavor to be. If anyone is a situation where they feel like they just don't know where or how to begin the best remedy is to just start doing.  Great post and thanks for sharing "Bam Bam" <- sorry couldn't help it :)

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

Hi Ralph,


Teddy Roosevelt comes to mind. “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

I believe in that line wholeheartedly.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

The only way to get experience is to do things you don't have experience with yet. And that is the difference between entrepreneurs / business owners and many others -- they are willing to put themselves out there and fail, multiple times even, because that is usually the path to success.


And I still want a dinosaur to crush rocks with!


Ah yes, even in 1st grade I could walk home for lunch and not even check out at the office; definitely a much simpler time. I don't think Fred was on, but it was cool to come home and have lunch.


Eliminate 'I think; I'll try; maybe;' with 'I will' and 'I can.' You have the tools so just combine it with the confidence and burn the boats.


As someone with delusions of writer I am completely familiar with the "Fake It Until You Make It" model. Prior to Jan 2, 2010, I thought that writing was something one only did when they were bring punished by their evil 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Johnson. I've written every day since. Who knew it could be fun?


Having now written 4 novels and 1 non-fiction, I have learned a few things. One, there is value in ignorance. One has a perspective that isn't clouded by normal orthodoxy. I've not been through a college where professors filled my head with "unwritten" rules of writing. 1) You must NEVER use an adverb or you will be severely beaten about the head and shoulders. 2) You must rewrite your work 100 times, because if you do it right in less, you'll make the professor look bad and they will fail you.  3) Traditional publishing means you're cool, indie sucks.


So, I continue to fake it, secure in the knowledge that I'm happy and doing something I love.

Latest blog post: Rap and Violin

rdopping moderator

Hey  @AndreaNaomi777 thanks for gracing this place and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate each and every message left here simply because you are sharing a little of yourself with us here and that is rare in this world.


I really love Yoda. The idea of Yoda gets used in sarcastic jest often and i am surprised no one pointed it out here yet. The statement "There is no try. There is only do." fits perfectly here. Anyway, that's how I interpret what you are saying here. Bam Bam indeed. Cheers, miss!

rdopping moderator

 @thejoshuawilner Josh, so sorry for taking 3 days to respond here. This has been a busy week as the first back to work. Frankly, I have no excuse other than laziness as i have been knackered in the evenings. So much so social has taken a back seat.


Love the Teddy Roosevelt saying. It works. So, I may simply heed the advice and also follow the other leader of outr times: Larry the Cable Guy who says "Git er done!" Real work ethic there too.

rdopping moderator

Thanks for the comment  @timbo1973  You know, I learned a few things writing this post.

1. Self-analysis makes me uncomfortable.

2. Self-analysis does not elevate the comment stream but gets more tweets than expected.


I agree. Do and experience go hand in hand. I enjoy it too. Probably too much. Whenever we venture down a new road it's a risk so why should any of this be any different. It's not costing much other than my time. Big risk there, huh?


Good luck with those projects and drop a line when they are "done". Cheers Tim!

rdopping moderator

 @Adam | Customer Experience Thanks for the words of encouragement. I suppose I am quickly finding out who I am in this venture. Maybe too calculating. Scared stiff are two words that come to mind but will not stop me from moving forward. I want to say I am all piss and vinegar and wish I could take a laissez fair attitude toward risk but that would be a lie. Not much for kidding anyone let alone myself.


Thanks for dropping by and sharing. Appreciated.

rdopping moderator

 @bdorman264 ....burning the boats. Big blaze in the harbour tonight. Thanks for dropping in.


You know, it is a quandary because it is very easy to do what you know and stepping outside of your comfort zone is one of the toughest things I have had to do and will continue to be. One day at a time.

rdopping moderator

 @ExtremelyAvg There is a real world example of the tenet right there. As do I except the difference being I have not written 4 novels. Simply, 110 blog posts and the first good bunch of them should really not have seen the light of day.  Writing is fun though and I enjoy it in my bliss. Will I continue? Hard to say.


Hey, I really enjoyed reading your last post and vid of Terrell. I do hope he gains some traction for himself. How about sharing your novels?


 @rdopping But stepping out of that zone is how you grow and learn, right? 

rdopping moderator

@bdorman264 Right.