How to get control of your Mind and your self-image

Dr. Maxwell Maltz
Dr. Maxwell Maltz

We all remember the war in Afghanistan and the photos taken showing the smart missiles homing in on and destroying their targets. Systems that are programmed to carry out specific tasks like those missiles are called control systems. Psycho cybernetics is the science of control systems that are applied to the mind.

The basic principle of psycho cybernetics is that we each go through life under the control of an internal automatic guidance system our self image. By following some simple steps, we can take conscious control of our self image and program them to help us successfully attain our life goals.


History of Psycho-Cybernetics

Dr.Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon, developed psycho cybernetics more than 50 years ago. He noticed that after successful surgery for severe facial disfigurements, some patients continued to feel and behave as if they were still deformed. Dr. Maltz realized that self-image was more important to a patient’s success in life than the surgery. Dr. Maltz went on to draw a more general conclusion in his 1960 book Psycho cybernetics, which said that if people could change their self-image voluntarily, they would be able to lead fuller, more satisfying lives.

The experiences of thousands of people that have followed this advice have demonstrated the practical value of this insight, and its truth has been validated by increasing research by experimental psychologists.

Research has confirmed that the mind functions in two distinct modes
The left side of the brain directs conscious logical and verbal thinking. The right side is associated with unconscious creative thought processes. Psycho-Cybernetics succeeds because it shows us specific ways to use the conscious mind to change negative images that are in the unconscious mind and that hamper success.

Your Internal Guidance System
Everyone has a built in computer an unconscious internal guidance system that aims behavior towards the fulfillment of goals. But sometimes the computer program has bug that prevent success. These bugs are often planted during childhood, leaving the individual with a self image programmed for failure.

Example: Sam was an intelligent outgoing young man with excellent sales skills. But his real estate career was going nowhere because every time someone asked him about interest rates or mortgage data, he would freeze. Although Sam had done ok in math in school, his father and four brothers were all math whizzes, so by comparison he felt inadequate and his family had reinforced his distaste for math by emphasizing his people skills.

As an adult, Sam’s faulty self-image as a math incompetent-unrelated to his true capabilities prevented his success in a job that required fairly simple math skills. As shown, psych-cybernetics helped Sam overcome this faulty childhood conditioning.

Change your Self-Image

Psycho-Cybernetics provides a simple five-step method to take control of your self-image and reprogram it for success. Once you are aware of your negative self-image, you can change it by challenging the bad habits that supported it and creating a new, positive self-image that helps you set and achieve worthwhile goals. The method is summarized by the word. CRAFT an acronym for the five steps: Cancel, Replace, Affirm, Focus and Train.

Five Steps to Success

CANCEL – Cancel the false negative image of yourself. Your belief in that image is nothing more than a bad habit you have learned, and like any habit it can be changed if you decide to change it.

Example: Every time Sam found himself thinking, I am really hopeless at math, he said the word cancel to himself.
It is important to say the word CANCEL, not just think it. Your determination to uproot the false idea about yourself is reinforced when you both say and hear it, just as asking yourself to yourself, where did I put those car keys? Actually helps you find them.

REPLACE – Replace the negative image with a success oriented, positive picture. If you consciously direct your imagination to think of yourself as a competent, successful person, the message will get through to your unconscious belief system.

Example: Sam told himself several times a day, I’m very good at my job, and part of it involves dealing with numbers, and was sure to repeat this immediately after he said the word CANCEL.

AFFIRM – Affirm your new self image to yourself repeatedly. Your guidance system will tend to slip back into its old negative pattern unless you repeatedly reprogram it positively. Just think how hard it would be to adjust your routine following the change over from daylight savings time to regular time if you didn’t reset all the clocks in the house.

Example: Sam wrote out his self-affirming new belief on two cards. He taped one to his bathroom mirror and kept one on his desk at work. That way she would be sure to keep reminding himself of his new self-image.

FOCUS – Focus on an image of your success. This isn’t just idle daydreaming. Your unconscious mind works via pictures, so providing it with convincing pictures of your own success is the best way to reprogram it.

Example: Sam spent 10 minutes everyday picturing himself as a successful broker who impresses her clients with his expert knowledge of mortgages financing and similar matters.

The power of this technique was shown dramatically when two groups of basketball players practiced shooting free throws for 20 days. One group practiced on the court, the other only in their minds, but each group showed equal improvement.

TRAIN – Train yourself for your new, successful role. This step is not changing your self-image; it is changing reality from failure to success. But unless you have reinforced your new self-image via the other steps, success won’t follow.

Example: – Sam brushed up on mortgages with his old real estate course text books, prepared himself for likely questions from potential home buyers and practiced answering the queries he had always avoided, and his career took off.

It may take a while before you are comfortable as a success at something you always thought you couldn’t do. But if you act as if it were true, it will become true surprisingly soon.

Changing something that has long been part of you is not easy. But the success of psycho-cybernetics shows that you can do it if you decide you really want to succeed and are prepared to follow a few simple rules.

You can begin your journey of self improvement by reading Psycho Cybernetics DOWNLOAD PDF HEREpsycho-cybernetics and by purchasing The “30 Days of Discipline” by Victor Pride.

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