We all have a control mechanism in our mind that dictates how we see ourselves and affects all of our interactions with the outside world. This is known as our self image. In 1960, Dr. Maxwell Malz published a landmark book called ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ which described this phenomenon. Based on his experience in plastic surgery Dr. Malz pointed out that we hold two images of ourselves - the outer physical image we can see in the mirror and the internal mental image of ourselves which we can’t see directly but which has profound impact on our lives.
Our self image is initially built through heredity and childhood experiences. It can be modified in adult life but only with intentional prolonged effort. A person who has a true understanding of who they are, is able to like themselves, and possesses self-confidence will have a good self image. But an individual who does not understand themselves, who is strongly self-critical and feels inferior will have a poor self image.
What we must realize is that at the center of our consciousness is a perfect image. It has been said that all mankind was created in God’s image. But that image has been buried under false beliefs, faulty paradigms and other cognitive virus codes. The more we can move toward that center of perfection and uncover our true greatness the better our self image will be and the more we will see positive results in our life.
The reason why our self image is so important is that it can literally control how our life unfolds. The self image acts like an inner cybernetic mechanism that works in a way similar to to a thermostat that controls temperature in a building. If the temperature in the building gets too low the thermostat senses that condition and triggers the heater and fans to activate to return the environment to it’s set level. In the same way if we experience results in our life that are out of the ordinary, our self image works to return us to the same place that we began. It keeps our outer conditions consistent and never lets us stray too far from what we are used to experiencing.
In order to make any change in our results we much address our self image. The critical point to understand is that the only person that has the ability to modify your self image is our own selves. It is your responsibility alone, and once you understand how it works you will be able to take control of it.
Start by asking yourself the question “What do I want to be like?”. Begin to look for models of behavior and character traits in persons that resonate with how you would like your image to resemble. They could be real-life people or maybe you’ll be inspired by fictional characters in movies or TV. Identify the attributes and and traits you admire in them and find media sources that you can observe closely their behavior.
Then write out a description of what you want your image to be like and incorporate the characteristics you want to develop in yourself. Be as specific and vivid as possible in your written description. Deliberately meditate on this image. Get totally relaxed and imagine it on the screen of your mind. Do this often - at least once a day. Then as you go about your daily activities keep this image in mind and ‘act as if’ this was truly your real image. It may seem artificial at first but soon you will implant this image in your subconscious mind and it will be your new normal.