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A New Technique for Using Your Subconscious Power

By Maxwell Maltz
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

Psycho-Cybernetics (1960) is about human self-image, how it’s crafted and how it can drastically affect your happiness and success. These blinks describe how to use machine principles to feed your mind the right data and steer yourself toward a fulfilling life.

Key idea 1 of 9

We act according to the image we create of ourselves.

Each person has a self-image – a mental blueprint that describes the kind of person she is. This all-important conception of self contains the beliefs she holds about herself based on past experiences, successes and failures.

Such perceptions are crucial since people act like the person they believe themselves to be. If you think of yourself as a failure, you’ll quite likely fail. Conversely, if you consider yourself successful, you’ll find ways to succeed.

But why are these life-determining self-images formed in the first place?

Well, it’s usually for a logical reason. A person might consider herself a failure because she had a bad year in school after her parents got divorced. While some people can easily recover from such an event and be back on the honor roll in no time, others find themselves trapped in a self-image that tells them they’re the kind of student who gets Fs. In this way, whether good or bad, the formation of a self-image is crucial to everything that follows in a person’s life.

Here’s another example: the author knew a man who suffered from his ‘ugly’ looks; he felt his nose was too large and that his ears stuck out. He suffered because he felt other people were judging him for his peculiar looks.

In reality, however, people weren’t judging him for his appearance. Rather, it was his own negative self-image that made him cripplingly insecure and miserable. In this case, his perception that others were spiteful toward him made him spiteful back. However, this was a loop that could be broken if he turned his negative self-image around.

We’ll learn more about these loops in the next blink.

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