How To Upgrade Your Self Image

 

How To Upgrade Your Self Image

Did Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon, realize he'd discovered the success mechanism that numerous motivational coaches and personal development specialists follow to this day when he published Psycho-Cybernetics in the 1960s?

Because it is one of the contemporary self-help book classics and perhaps the first to explain the ‘thought creates reality' idea in a scientifically acceptable fashion, every serious personal improvement enthusiast has heard of Psycho-Cybernetics.

If you're not familiar with Maltz's teachings, this article will provide you with the foundations as well as a quick psycho-cybernetics overview, so you'll be able to nod wisely along the next time you're debating them over drinks at the bar with your positive thinking buddies.

Self-image is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image, and you change the personality and the behavior.

-Dr. Maxwell Maltz

What Is Psycho-Cybernetics?

The prefix ‘psycho' comes from the Greek word ‘psyko,' which means ‘mental' or ‘of the mind.'

Cybernetics has Greek origins as well, and while I don't have the letters on my keyboard to type it out, it effectively meant'steersman.'

As a result, Psycho-Cybernetics may be thought of as a method of navigating the mind.

Cybernetics (also known as Control Theory) is the study of principles controlling goal-directed systems that self-regulate via feedback — but let's be honest, it sounds a little dull.

Although Cybernetic Theory may be applied to a variety of fields, Psychocybernetics is primarily defined as a type of "self-image psychology" in Maltz's landmark bestseller.

Cosmetic Surgery And Self Image: Maxwell Maltz

Our self-image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become.

- Maxwell Maltz

Dr. Maxwell Maltz may not have come from a traditional personal development background, but in his work as a cosmetic surgeon, he noticed that, despite successful ‘correction' of a perceived imperfection, patients' false beliefs would often prevent them from healing emotional scars that existed prior to surgery.

In other words, they wouldn't be happy following their surgery. Their external look altered, but their fundamental cause remained the same: their negative self-image, beliefs, sentiments, and attitudes.

This interested Maltz as it became clear that a patient's mental blueprint was far more significant than any physical "imperfection" in establishing self-worth.

As he pondered the cause, his study led him to the field of cybernetics, which had not yet been applied to humans, and he hypothesized that human experience may be comparable to machine programming.

What if the mental interpretation of the former could be adjusted to impact the latter somewhere between experience and reality?

Could you develop a good self-image by interrupting bad habits and beliefs via mental repetition and dealing with the subconscious mind? Is it possible to get rid of the necessity for surgery?

The Subconscious Creative Mechanism And Heat Seeking Missiles

As a heat-seeking missile, consider your psycho-cybernetics system. The missile is made up of a propulsion system and a sensor that creates a feedback loop to determine if the present course is accurate. The propulsion system will modify the course and continue if the course is not accurate.

Our bodies also contain a built-in system. We also have a plethora of sensors that analyze data in order to control the body. This information is derived not only from our senses, but also from our self-image, various beliefs, and mental images. Both our internal and exterior situations suffer from dissonance if either of them does not accurately portray reality.

Dr. Maltz immediately understood that the subconscious is a creative course-correcting mechanism. Our subconscious exists to accomplish the aim of establishing its own correctness.

Your self-perception sets a limit on what you can do and the amount of achievement you can reach. Our self-image is hidden from our conscious brains, which is the problem.

Worse, changing your natural psycho-cybernetics system is tough since it is built on your previous experiences, accomplishments, failures, emotional hurts, psychological trauma, and so on.

After all, how can you alter something that you want to change by changing something you'd like to change?!

Maltz discovered that the answer is in your imagination and disrupting your internal feedback loop.

Even Though you Are Not a Machine, Are You Able To Be Reprogrammed?

Humans have long likened the human body's functioning to cutting-edge technology. Today, we often compare the brain to a computer, but in the 1960s, machines were all the rage.

Despite the fact that you are not a computer, Dr. Maltz saw parallels between human experiences and machine programming. Both need some type of input and a reaction to that input in order to produce some sort of output.

In a word, Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics is about understanding how the brain works in these machine/mind terms.

The thrilling aspect is that we have the unique capacity to reprogram ourselves by experiencing imagined experiences as if they were real.

Anyone who has seen a competent stage hypnotist knows that the mind can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality on a physiological level.

It's clear that a strongly held belief can have real-world physical effects, whether it's making a mammoth of a man incapable of lifting a tiny little weight; causing anesthesia and allowing the skin to be pierced by needles without bleeding, or even causing the skin to blister through the power of suggestion.

Even in controlled laboratory circumstances, people may employ “imagined vividly and in detail” experiences to influence results, as evidenced by several creative visualisation experiments.

Humans, unlike heat-seeking missiles, may not only course correct but also modify their intended destination due to our ability to imagine and the brain's inability to distinguish the difference.

In other words, you may improve your self-image and influence the creative process of your subconscious mind in the direction you want it to go.

Since then, the personal development business has been improving methods to accomplish so.

What Can You Do To Change Your Self-Identity?

Now, if you really want to get to the bottom of this, I recommend reading Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics, but here's a quick rundown:

Your beliefs must appear constant in order to upgrade to a more empowered self-identity. This is why positive affirmations are rarely effective on their own. You're saying things to yourself that contradict your current self-identity.

So identify your beliefs, analyze which ones are resourceful, delete the ones that aren't, and replace them with new ones that are. Isn't it simple? But how do you go about doing it?

Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.

-Maxwell Maltz

Existing Beliefs Should Be Recognized

Bringing your basic beliefs to conscious awareness might sometimes be enough to shake you out of them. Examine your negative sentiments and undesired actions and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What belief motivates you to do this action?
  • Why do I think this is the case?
  • Is my belief supported by evidence? Or is it a guess or a misleading conclusion?
  • Is there any evidence to support such a belief?
  • Is it possible that I'm incorrect about this?
  • Would I reach the same conclusion if I were in a comparable circumstance with someone else?
  • Why should I keep acting and feeling as if this were true when I have no reason to believe it?
Examining this question in depth can assist you in bringing your subconscious self-image to the forefront of your awareness.

Installing New Beliefs

Repetition, a positive feedback loop, and adding emotion are the most effective strategies to form new beliefs.

Because of neuroplasticity (the brain's capacity to reorganize itself), repetition is still the greatest approach to carve out new grooves in your neural pathways as an adult. You may speed up the process by utilizing specific brainwave states and incorporating emotion:

The First Step Is To Relax Your Body.

You must first release tension from your body in order for your mind to embrace Steps Two and Three.

If you've ever watched a hypnotist perform on stage, you'll notice that they begin by dimming the lights and inviting the audience to relax their body. Their objective is to induce a suggestible condition in their participants' thoughts, making them more receptive to their suggestions.

The nervous system receives a signal from the body when it is tense to reject incoming information. When you let go of stress, on the other hand, you become more open and receptive to believe information from others, or in this case, your own thoughts.

There are a variety of techniques to achieve this condition, but Maltz specifies the following:

  • Close your eyes for a moment.
  • Visualize yourself stretched out on a bed in your mind's eye.
  • As though your legs were formed of concrete, draw an image of them.
  • See how these massive concrete legs have sunk deep into the mattress due to their enormous weight?
  • Consider your arms and hands as if they were made of concrete. They're also rather heavy, and they're sinking into the mattress.
  • Repeat with your arms, neck, and the rest of your body.

Step Two: Imagine Solving Your Problem

Choose one issue with which you've been having difficulty.

Imagine waking up the next day to find that your battle is done and that you've accomplished a result, a wonderful outcome that exceeded your expectations. You have no idea how it happened, but it did.

Now, pay attention to the smallest details to make this mental experience as vivid as possible. The more realistic the experience is, the more likely your mind will believe it is genuine.

Step Three: Integrate Your Feeling Of Achievement

Consider a succession of little victories you've lately had. It doesn't matter how large the accomplishments are, according to Dr. Maltz.

It may be any goal you've set and achieved. You set the aim to get out of bed at 5 a.m. this morning, and you succeeded. All that counts is that the recollection causes you to have a positive, cheerful, and feel-good experience right now.

Once you've built up a sense of accomplishment, transfer it to the self you envisioned in Step Two.

When you link the sense of accomplishment with an imagined experience, your nervous system is trained to believe that you are capable of that experience.

You're effectively setting a higher bar for yourself and seeing yourself as the sort of person who thrives in this new high-achieving atmosphere.

Congratulations. You've just improved your self-esteem.

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