In our last +1, we talked about Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics. We took a quick look at servo-mechanisms (like missiles) that have a target and then constantly adjust course until they hit the target.
But we didn’t talk about the fact that, before Maltz wrote his classic book, he was a world-renowned plastic surgeon who discovered that, while some people’s lives changed dramatically after he altered their appearance through plastic surgery, some people’s lives didn’t change at all.
He believed that the primary factor that differentiated these groups was their self-image — not what they saw in the mirror but the images they had of themselves in their MINDS.
As such, Maltz tells us that the most important thing we need to do is work on how we we see ourselves. We need to work on our self-image. Specifically, he says: “A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.”
Which reminds me of our gold-medal winning mental toughness coach Lanny Bassham. In With Winning in Mind, he tells us that we’ll never consistently outperform a poor self-image and that “Changing a Self-Image that is keeping you from reaching your goals may be the most important skill you will ever learn.”
(Quick pop quiz: How’s YOUR self-image? Is it helping or hindering you in reaching your goals?)
How do we Optimize our self-image?
Here’s Maltz’s take: “Imagine how you would feel if you were already the sort of personality you want to be. If you have been shy and timid, see yourself moving among people with ease and poise — and feeling good because of it. If you have been fearful and anxious in certain situations — see yourself acting calmly and deliberately, acting with confidence and courage — and feeling expansive and confident because you are.”
Let’s combine that Optimized self-image visualization with massive ACTION via Richard Wiseman’s brilliant, scientifically-proven ideas from The As If Principle. Wiseman teaches us how to “Create a New You.”
How? Well, he tells us to imagine the best version of ourselves and then to ACT LIKE THAT VERSION OF YOU all day every day.
He says: “It might be helpful to think of your old personality as being on vacation for two weeks, so you have an opportunity to act like a different person. It is important, however, that you play out your new role twenty-four hours a day, even when you’re alone. The As If principle will cause you to feel like a new person, and the new you will soon become part of your actual identity.”
Your self-image matters.
Today’s +1. How do you see yourself? As the most radiantly alive, creative, courageous and awesome version of yourself? Or as something a little less spectacular?
Let’s VISUALIZE ourselves at our absolute best and then ACT like that version of ourselves.
All day every day.
The old you? They’re on a permanent vacation. 🤓