The 12 Lessons of Psycho-Cybernetics
Your self-image is one of the most important aspects for living a joyful life. Maxwell Maltz wrote an excellent book called Psycho-Cybernetics back in 1960, as previously discussed in 21 Days to Form a Habit. Dr Maltz observed the impact of a strong self-image and how it pertains to achieving goals and success. Have you ever considered how much your self-image plays a role in your life? What thoughts come to mind when you think of you view yourself? Realize that nothing is static and anything can be changed. The following outlines the 12 core lessons of “Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life”, by defining and achieving your goals and building a positive self-image.
We are engineered as goal seeking mechanisms. We are built that way. When we have no personal goal which we are interested in and which “means something” to us, we are apt to “go around in circles”, feel “lost” and find life itself “aimless” and “purposeless”. We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conqueror and goals to achieve. People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile. ~Maxwell Maltz
1) Your Self-Image
Your self-image, how you see and feel about yourself, can be changed at any time regardless of your age. This begins with developing awareness around your thoughts. It’s a process of retraining (and expanding) your mind. As you do this, refuse to focus on (or mention) any negative statement about yourself. It’s the negative statements that continue to belittle your self-image. While doing this, turn your back on the failures of the past. Then concentrate on your previous successes as you bring them into the present moment. At first this requires a conscious effort but in time becomes a mental habit. This aids with replacing the negative thoughts with a newer thoughts that lead to a greater self-image.
2) Success Mechanism
You have a success mechanism within you that will steer your mind to a productive goal if you allow it. Think back when you were a child learning a new task. Did you recall how many times you tried before succeeding? You continued to repeat and practice until you were able to do the thing you sought out to do. As an adult its no different. It’s like having a small recorder in your brain that continues to repeat what you play, so you must become conscious of what you are playing. This requires daily observation. A daily practice of silence will greatly benefit you in this process. Once you are aware of what you are playing about yourself you can make the effort to change it. Your subconscious mind does what it is directed to do, and always knows, it only needs to be directed in a way that brings you success and happiness.
3) Your Imagination
You are the product of your imagination and you can use it either constructively, or destructively. If you think well of yourself and have that confidence in yourself you will succeed. If you think in negative terms you will fail – unless you change your self-image. Everything depends upon your concept of yourself. Often this is impacted by past experiences, teachers, parents or other figures in your life. This continues to chip away at your confidence and triggers self doubt. However, this can all be changed. You start the process by focusing only on your successes while shifting your perception around the fears of failure. Understand that a mistake doesn’t make a failure, for success is learning how to rise above failure. An important note here is that it is the opinion of yourself that counts, nothing else. Knowing this, you can learn how to use your imagination constructively to change your self-image, by visualizing yourself as you desire to be on a continual basis.
4) Creative Thought and Action
Change your mind to think and act creatively. You learn to reach your goal by exercising your success mechanism daily and refusing to be sidetracked by negative feelings. One will eventually cloud out the other. You enhance this by focusing only on your accomplishments of the past while remaining in the present. In doing this you are no longer sidetracked by negative feelings or past stories. Keep your environment pure. If the situation in present defies a solution, then sleep ON it – not WITH it. In doing that you commit your success mechanism to work subconsciously while you sleep. You initiate this by sleeping on the matter at hand, knowing the solution will be provided. It’s a process of setting the intention prior to sleep and then letting it go. Play with this process until it becomes clear and you will create mental solution oriented programs that automatically work for you while you sleep, allowing you to wake with the solutions.
5) The Art of Relaxation
Learn how to relax your mind and your body by connecting to yourself. When the mind is in a relaxed state its more receptive. This makes it easier to program success in your subconscious mind just like you would program a computer. To begin the process of relaxation you start with forgiveness, that is forgiveness of yourself and others. Then see yourself as a person of great confidence, independent of circumstances or things. Cease to compare yourself to others. Only compare you to you, that is your present self to your past self and you will see your growth and progress which feeds your confidence. It is equally important to release all chronic frustration. Everyone has frustration during the day, but chronic frustration is due to the problems of yesterday that you continue and carry with you like a pack of weights on your back. These repetitive past feelings need to be released and this is done by living fully in the present moment. Begin your days with a few minutes of silence every day as you sit with yourself and observe. This will help you process and release the painful emotions of the past for healing, which greatly helps relax the body and mind for dissolving anxiety.
6) The Power of Beliefs
Your beliefs can either be true or false, but if you believe them you will act that part. Beliefs become habits and habits are nothing more than self-hypnosis. So it’s important to learn how to de-hyptonize yourself from those negative beliefs. Begin this process by focusing ONLY on your success while remaining in the present moment. This is a mental exercise that consists of bringing your successes from past experiences into the present moment. Then create a clear picture on how you wish to see yourself and focus on that daily. Imagine how you feel with the end result in mind and embrace that feeling. As you continue you will find your opinion of yourself change as your self-image expands and your confidence increases.
7) Quest for Happiness
Happiness is a habit, and its just as easy to be happy as it is to be unhappy. It is simply a cycle of thoughts that increases through love and self-acceptance. This begins with the understanding that happiness belongs to you. Happiness is an inward state of being that is independent upon circumstances, people, or things. Look at your life and see where you’re placing conditions on your happiness and release any attachment. Make it a conscious effort to focus on your successes while incorporating self-compliments. Expand on your happiness with love for yourself and others. Repeat these mental exercises daily until they become mental habits. As your self-image increases you will find a greater love within yourself which feeds your inner state of joy.
8) Success Mechanism Phases
Here are the phases of the success mechanism that allow your self-image to grow as tall as you want to be. Branched out from the word success, return to each of these aspects as often as possible, as you get a clear picture on what these mean to you.
Sense of Direction, your goals
Understanding of your needs and others
Self-Acceptance, you are somebody regardless of your mistakes
9) Self-Image Failure Mechanism
Here are the aspects of the failure mechanism which scar your self image. Through this awareness you can learn how to avoid future scarring of your self-image by making a conscious effort to release those self-sabotaging patterns.
10) Releasing Emotional Scaring
Remember that you are to big to be threatened. By facing your fears safely in your imagination you will free yourself from them. Learn how to become self-reliant as it will help you coach yourself through the process. Take the time to focus on your mind and body as you relax into your being. Learn to let go of the past, releasing all emotional scaring so you no longer carry the old baggage with you into the present. Make it a conscious effort to apply these techniques daily under a relaxed state of mind, until you feel free from the past scars. In this, you will vastly see your self-image grow and expand.
11) Managing Stress
Learn how to stand up to stress through effective use of your imagination. You do this by changing every crisis into an opportunity, by shifting how you think about it as you change your approach and action. What you focus on expands. By shifting your focus you can learn how to transform the stress into motivation. Your mind will guide you if you allow it and this is greatly enhanced through meditation and visualization. A few minutes of silence every day will amplify your power and abilities in this process.
12) Attention and Focus
You can change your luck by refusing to allow your negative feelings impact your self-image. You do this by concentrating on the confidence of the past as you bring that into the present moment whenever a negative feeling arises. You embrace and release the negative feelings, while changing your point of focus. In doing this the old mental habits transform into positive mental habits that work for you. You become a success when you learn to be yourself. Select realistic goals to reach fulfillment and exercise your creative success mechanism daily to achieve them. Make a list if helps you keep on track. Combine your thoughts with creative performance and action, while incorporating presence with everything you do.
These are the 12 fundamental points of Psycho-Cybernetics for reaching self-fulfillment and success as a human being. For more details check out the book “Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life”. Remember, it is the opinion of yourself that matters. You can’t be a friend to others unless you are a friend to yourself first. It all starts with you. The same applies to love and success, and all of this stems from programming in your subconscious mind. Everything starts within and anything is changeable.
“The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth.”
— Maxwell Maltz
Until next time,
Originally posted: May 2014
Revised: Oct 2017