The Galatea Effect: The Secret of Success

· August 28, 2018

The Galatea effect is a cognitive factor that induces you to achieve results. It traces its roots from mythical figures Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion, the king of Crete, was looking for the ideal woman. Since he couldn’t find her, he made a sculpture with all the attributes he was looking for in a woman.

The sculpture epitomizes not only physical attributes but also values. The figure embodies beauty, tenderness, nobility, sensitivity, and many other virtues. It was so perfect that he fell madly in love with it. He called it “Galatea”.

“You can do little with faith alone, you can do nothing without it.”

-Samuel Butler-


Goddess Aphrodite was moved when she saw the love Pygmalion had for Galatea. She made the statue come to life. The king of Crete had now found his ideal wife and they lived happily ever after. Pygmalion’s strong desire made the statue come to life. That willpower to succeed is called the Galatea effect.

Defining the Galatea effect

The Galatea effect suggests that when we believe in our abilities to achieve a goal, the more likely we’ll be to achieve it. However, when we don’t believe in our capabilities, the more likely we’ll be to not achieve results. Our success depends on our conviction that we can achieve our goals.

Birds with a human face symbolizing the Galatea effect.

The Galatea effect doesn’t only affect our own self and our own belief to succeed, but it also influences others. If we’re convinced that we’re capable of achieving something, it creates an “illusion” in others and vice-versa. If we doubt our abilities, it’s likely that others will too.

We can say that a person is much more likely to succeed when their mind is working towards their goal. Many high-level athletes practice the Galatea effect. They visualize the desired result or score, especially before their competition.

Activate your Galatea effect like hands with gears working.

Activate the Galatea effect

The Galatea effect may or may not be beneficial for us. Ideally, we should use it to our advantage. Some self-help approaches stress the importance of visualizing where we are in relation to our goal. This approach is consistent with the Galatea effect as to how our thoughts influence our capability to achieve a certain objective.

Possibility, capacity, and merit are the means to activate the Galatea effect. Possibility means that the purpose must be realistic. Capacity is the ability to maximize skills. Merit is related to a positive attitude.

Steps to follow

Some goals are difficult, while others are impossible. First, make sure that your plans are possible. If you want to become invisible, but don’t have any foundation or hypothesis that may challenge the current laws of physics, this goal is impossible.

Ability involves identifying, recognizing, and promoting those skills that we possess that will eventually help us reach our goal. Anyone can touch the sky as long as they know how to get there. The second step is trusting your own capabilities. Don’t limit them, just have faith in them.

Like children competing in a car race, success is achievable when you believe..

Finally, self-concept and self-esteem are closely related to self-perception. Do you think you’re valuable enough to achieve fulfillment and happiness? Is there anything that makes you doubt yourself? Do you give up on great achievements before even trying simply because you don’t consider yourself a successful person?

Evaluate yourself and figure out who you are, what you can do, and what you deserve. If you don’t believe you can and deserve to achieve something, you probably won’t. That’s how the Galatea effect works.