“The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth.” – Dr Maxwell Maltz
Motivational and self-help experts in personal development, including Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy have based their techniques on this book.
The author Dr Maxwell Maltz was a world-renowned plastic surgeon who discovered that once he altered his patients’ appearances through plastic surgery, some people’s lives changed, while others “didn’t”.
He deduced that their self-image—not what they saw in the mirror but the images they had of themselves in their MINDS was what made the difference.
The following outlines the 10 fundamental lessons for defining and achieving your goals while building a positive self-image.
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 and 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 it should be no different.
Here’s the phases of the success mechanism that allow your self-image to grow as tall as you want to be.
Sense of Direction, your goals
Understanding of your needs and others
Self-Acceptance, you are somebody regardless of your mistakes
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, 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. 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.
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.
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.
Focus on the problem prior to sleep and know the solution will be provided. Repeat this until you always 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.
Repetitive past feelings also need to be released and this is done by living fully in the present. Begin your days with a few minutes of silence every day as you sit with yourself and observe. It can be vital to learn how to unlock your mental health with the power of yoga.
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.
Do a mental exercise that consists of bringing your success from all past experiences into the present moment. Then create a clear picture on how you wish to see yourself and focus on that daily.
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 not dependent on circumstances, people, or things.
Expand on your happiness with love for yourself and others. As your self-image increases, you will find a greater love within yourself which feeds your inner state of joy.
8. Releasing Emotional Scaring
By facing your fears safely in your imagination you will free yourself from them. 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.
Here’s the aspects of the failure mechanism which scar your self image. With awareness you can learn how to avoid future scarring of your self-image by making a conscious effort to release these.
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.
Then you will see your self-image grow and expand.
9. Manage Stress Through Imagination
Change every crisis into an opportunity, by shifting how you think about it. It will then 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.
10. Attention and Focus
You can change your luck by refusing to allow your negative feelings impact your self-image. 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 then 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. Combine thought with creative performance and action as you train yourself to remain present with everything you do.
These are the 10 concepts that are fundamental for reaching self-fulfillment and success as a human being. For more depth on these concepts read Psycho-Cybernetics- Updated and Expanded by Dr Maxwell Maltz.
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. Everything starts within and anything is changeable.
Tell us: Have you ever considered how much your self-image plays a role in your life?