April 27, 2008

SELF IMAGE – The Key to Success

Posted in Philosophy, Psychology, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:29 am by randallbutisingh

SELF IMAGE – The Key to Success

“We must have courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risk, and to act. Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness”.
“Our self image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become. Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on”.
“The “self-image” is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior”.

Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975) author of Psycho Cybernetics – 1960.


Maxwell Maltz`was a plastic surgeon, who wrote this book at the age of 61 near the end of his medical career. He noted that after helping thousands of patients that many were never satisfied with their self-image. He proposed the idea that fixing the outward image without accepting or fixing the inward self is self-defeating. He believed that fixing the self image was of paramount importance.

Today, his ideas are accepted. The quotes and ideas of Maxwell Maltz have been reworked by psychologists, business consultants and self improvement specialists. The mantra today is:“You can become whatever you want to be… Just visualize it and live it … and the visualization will become a reality”.

In 1968, when the Phycho- Cybernetics paperback came out, I was at University, and it was one of the books in Psychology. However, this book was different as it did not consider personality as a fixed entity. It proposed that changing ones self perception through conscious reprogramming of the mind would change the outcomes in one’s life. At that time such ideas were not mainstream – sounded like brain washing to many – thus the apprehension.

We know now that a person can be transformed by being aware that there are self imposed limits to full actualization of personality and potential. This awareness of the conscious and unconscious “programming” from our environments -. Childhood traumas, family values, culture, prejudice, and similar inputs can be the deciding factors that decide success or failure in life.

The possibility is that positive values of confidence and success can be transmitted across generations through involvement in the processes and the support of extended families and their perceived successes. However, if one is born in a negative environment it is quite possible that the negative programming would ensure the continuation of the negative values and low self-esteem.

One of the amazing aspects of the “American Dream” is the belief that anyone can be a success if one has an idea and a vision to make it a reality. Even in defeat, the businessman tries again and again until success is achieved. It is believed that the “immigrant”, who comes with nothing, who breaks away from his old society and constraints, now has “FREEDOM” – a breaking away from the chains of his past- and now can move ahead to achieve his fullest potential.

Change the self image will change behavior will change personality and thus change the outcome.

— Cyril Bryan – cybryan@gmail.com



  1. Tim Guy said,

    Excellent post. This seems to be one of the hardest things for people to grasp. I like to see it as an inner environment, a mental image of the world we percieve and our palce in it. The more work you do on the inner world to be content and at peace the better everything works in the outer environment, the real world at large.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. John L. Brown said,

    The self is a construct, the product of conditioning and consensus reality. It is only through transcending this unreal self-image that genuine understanding can be achieved. Merely changing that which is false and unreal is fraught with confusion and frustration. Such suggested method; changing the self-image, may work well enough at certain “levels”, conditions, and situations, but can never lead to genuine understanding and awakening. True insight is the result of recognizing the fact that most of what we believe and understand is conditioned, perhaps, especially the so called self or self image. This recognition must be coupled with deep reflection, meditation, and concentrated effort. There is no exact prescription. Untangling the web of conditioning varies with each individual. I would suggest that absolute sincerity is key. Decorating the cells, or otherwise, altering the cells of conditioning, (self-image), does not lead to freedom. Freedom from conditioning reveals, allows one to perceive the genuine and inherent connection all of us share. Is this post mere opinion? You must discover this for yourself. Simply reading and intellectually responding to what is written may not lead to understanding. Discovering, fulling understanding a truth often requires much effort and sincerity. The goal is direct insight, which conditioned thought clearly disallows. Thank you for allow me to participate.

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