There is a very effective way to improve your self-image: training and using your subconscious as if it were a muscle. This is the premise of “Psycho-Cybernetics”, written by the surgeon Maxwell Maltz.
For him, the key to access the subconscious mechanism is the self-image, a figure formed in our mind that has the power to lead us to success or failure. The good news is that we can consciously change our self-image.
For some people, it may be easier, for others, more challenging. What is certain is that, once you reconfigure the way you see yourself, you will be able to express yourself spontaneously and have a fulfilling life.
Do you want to know more? So, keep reading this summary!
The 1st edition was first published in 1960 under the original title “Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living out of Life”, when the author Maxwell Maltz was already a plastic surgeon with decades of experience.
This workbook has become a reference for renowned authors and behavioral coaches, such as Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, and Brian Tracy, and has gained several new editions and reprints over the decades.
Published in 18 languages, it is estimated that the total number of copies sold is around 30 million copies.
The edition “Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded” was published in 2015 and has 336 pages.
Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975) was an American plastic surgeon and author of several self-help and fiction books. He began his career in the 1920s after completing his doctorate in medicine and studying advanced cosmetic surgery techniques in Germany.
Throughout his life, he wrote plays, novels, technical books in his area of expertise, and even an autobiography. Despite having a brilliant career as both a physician and a writer, it was with “Psycho-Cybernetics” that Maxwell Maltz was immortalized as one of the most influential self-help authors of all time.
The book “Psycho-Cybernetics” is for people who suffer and miss great opportunities every day due to insecurity and shyness and want to develop a more proactive personality.
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The author Maxwell Maltz starts the book “Psycho-Cybernetics” explaining that self-image is our idea of the kind of person we are. It is the foundation of our whole personality, our behaviors, and even the circumstances around us.
The author highlights two important aspects to better understand it:
The way to a fulfilling life is to find a self-image with which it is possible and appropriate to live, trustworthy, shameless, and that can be expressed, rather than hidden.
As an exercise, practice and try new habits of thought, imagination, memorization, and action. All this with two objectives:
People have an instinct for success that is much more complex than animal instinct. According to the book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, creative imagination allows us to choose our goals and create new things.
There are five basic principles by which the servomechanism operates and that a person must memorize if they want to create a successful self-image:
As explained by the author Maxwell Maltz in the book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, creative imagination permeates every human action. It is imagination that forms the bounding image of the field of action of the creative mechanism.
We don’t act according to what things really are, but according to the images we have of these things.
The author proposes an exercise: for 30 minutes, imagine that your action in a given situation is impeccably appropriate, as close as possible to the ideal, without setting goals.
When you experience the imagined situation, the system will retrieve this data and replicate the response to the context.
If we accept an idea from an external source and believe it to be entirely true, that idea has the same effect on us as hypnosis, even though it has no factual basis.
The author Maxwell Maltz recommends daily 30-minute relaxation sessions. You should sit or lie down comfortably, become aware of each body part, and eliminate any effort or resistance.
Then, after five minutes, you should stop paying attention to your muscles and follow the relaxation spiral to complete emptiness.
For the author Maxwell Maltz, the unconscious is the automatic mechanism itself, an impersonal machine that has no will of its own, only acts according to the information and objectives provided.
Conscious thinking, in turn, is the control button of this machine. Through it, you can change the pattern of automatic replies.
In the book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, it is explained that the duty of rational thought is to:
Fight irrationality with rationality. Confront your remorse with your conscience determined to root them out and reject them completely. Question your beliefs and see if they are based on facts or just misinterpretations of the facts.
Happiness doesn’t require the absence of problems or difficulties. It is an attitude and a mental habit that strengthens with practice.
As an exercise, the author Maxwell Maltz recommends in his book, “Psycho-Cybernetics”, the practice of 8 attitudes every day:
Maxwell Maltz believes that one of the most effective ways to help other people succeed is by providing a graphic image of what a successful person looks like. A personality set for success is made up of 7 “ingredients”:
Immediately engage in a new project as soon as you achieve the previous purpose. The idea is always to have a target ahead to maintain motivation.
Always seek clear and truthful information about yourself, your problems, other people, and the situations you face. It doesn’t matter if that is what you want to hear or not, always look for the truth of the facts and don’t be influenced by your opinion, advises the author Maxwell Maltz.
Mistakes will happen. Be willing to risk committing them and dealing with the consequences. It’s a small price to pay to get what you want. Act with courage and determination even in ordinary situations. This will give you the courage you need to face bigger challenges.
According to the book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, to overcome low self-esteem, it’s necessary to stop carrying a mental image of a defeated and worthless person. Learn to appreciate your own worth.
The author Maxwell Maltz recommends that the individual use mistakes to learn and then forget about them. It is important to always remember successes to create a new winning streak, especially in the face of new challenges.
Accept yourself with all your imperfections and mistakes made along the way. Differentiate your essence from your behavior and love yourself without reservation.
Emotional scars are a form of defense against people who have hurt us in some way in the past, but they end up “trying” to protect us from everyone, even damaging our relationships.
For Maxwell Maltz, there are three ways to become immune to emotional wounds:
An inhibited personality makes the owner unable to fully express it. People with inhibited personalities carry the frustration of being unable to be themselves.
As it is affirmed in the book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, to cure inhibition, it is necessary to immediately change the course and practice disinhibition. This means running away from excessive caution, awareness, and concerns about the judgment of others.
Check the five exercises to remedy this problem suggested by the author Maxwell Maltz:
We must create situations where we can be successful, even in the smallest things. When success becomes a habit, we will be ready for greater achievements, says the author Maxwell Maltz.
Evoke an event from your past where you have experienced success. Bring that image back in vivid detail, observing everything that accompanied the success.
Imagine the desired result. Start with an assumption and shape that success until you have a mental image.
Feelings will begin to manifest as if the goal has already been reached. It’s like developing fear and anxiety, just the other way around.
In “The Secret”, Rhonda Byrne argues that everything is energy. Energy vibrates as you think and feel. The tip is to let go of that part of your past that doesn’t suit your present and your future. To be aware of the present is to become aware of the power of your thoughts and the state of your feelings.
Caio Carneiro, author of the book “Seja foda!”, says that success is 99% made of failure. Moreover, if you consider failure as the opposite of success, you won’t build anything productive, since every failure is just a step on the ladder of your success.
Finally, in the book “Geração de Valor”, Flávio Augusto says that winning thoughts are more likely to generate positive results. Whereas, trivial thoughts generate only trivial results.
Are you ready to be a happier and more fulfilled person? Tell us what you think about the lessons of Maxwell Maltz in the comments, your opinion is very important!
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