The Power of our Self-image and How to Enhance it for a Fulfilling Life

I have been reading a book that I first read over 40 years ago. The book is called, Psychcybernetics, which was written by Maxwell Maltz in 1960. This book contained major breakthrough information at the time it was published and it continues to sell through word of mouth. Used copies are still available for two or three dollars.

What is so significant about this book? Dr. Maltz was a Plastic Surgeon who improved the physical appearance of thousands of people, especially those with deformities. Some of these people experienced major personality transformations following surgery. Others felt no different about themselves, even though photos revealed major improvements. Why? Because their self-image did not change. For example, some people who felt ugly before surgery still considered themselves unattractive after major improvements were made to their appearance. Dr. Maltz realized that our self-image or the picture of how we see ourselves is extremely important.

The bad news is that our self-image defines and limits what we will achieve in life. We cannot consistently outperform what we believe to be true about ourselves. Our self-image determines our degree of happiness and fulfillment, success in relationships, and our career accomplishments and satisfaction. It also impacts our physical, emotional, and mental health.

The good news is we can change and improve our self-image. Dr. Maltz concluded that 90{fb65e7e27c282a02fa0a36039dc4c9383b3a38d5a4237f8adb1f7680a9920255} of the population could use at least some improvement of their self-image. His book provides practical exercises for improving one’s self-image and for managing our inner critic. As our self-image improves, so does our self-confidence and self-esteem, which are important for any type of success in life. A strong and healthy picture of ourselves helps us to overcome many self-imposed limitations and beliefs.

Our inner critic is a major obstacle to experiencing a successful and fulfilling life. All of us hear the voice of this critic at times. It takes the form of inner dialog and negative self-talk. This is the voice that says, ” You can’t do it” or “You are not worthy of achieving your dreams”.

As we strengthen and improve our self-image, we also diminish the power of our inner critic. This helps us to overcome our resistance (which is often at a sub-conscious level) to achieving our dreams. As our self-worth increases our limiting beliefs are changed into positive beliefs. We start believing in our worthiness and great potential.

What is something practical that we can do to enhance our self-image? Dr. Maltz advised people to go into the theater of their mind each day and play mental movies. Visualize yourself sitting in a theater looking at a large white screen. Then see yourself on the screen acting and feeling like the person you want to be. Also replay movies of yourself experiencing past successes. Our self-image is influenced more by pictures than words.

We become what we consistently contemplate upon. By frequently reliving your success experiences you reinforce an image of yourself as a successful person. Also, when you play mental movies of yourself acting as the person you want to become, you begin to see yourself in that way. We behave like the person we believe ourselves to be. When you enhance your self-image, your life improves from inside-out. This is one of the great secrets for finding happiness and fulfillment.

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson