Reading time: 10 min
Takeaways: If you’ve had failed attempts at losing weight, changing nutrition habits or exercise, it is a result of your own perceptions and boundaries that you put on yourself.First discovered and written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz in the book Psycho-Cybernetics, we all have an inner mental image of ourselves. Referred to as the self-image, it is the boundary and limit we place on ourselves and on our performance in anything that we do. We cannot out-perform our self-image in any aspect of our daily living. Using our imaginative faculty we can visualize, write and use positive daily affirmations to induce faith in our abilities to achieve anything. Every successful and great inventor, actor, writer, speaker, billionaire, millionaire, athlete, artist and musician etc. uses imagination to achieve anything they’ve set out to accomplish. Using the steps in this article you can learn and implement the universal formula that works for everyone searching for success.
Does the idea of losing weight cross your mind? Do you think about losing the spare tire around your waist or the jiggle beneath your arms? When getting dressed do you think about exercising more? Or eating better?
I believe at some point we all feel that way and eventually we become so dissatisfied we decide we are going to make a lasting change. We tell ourselves now is the time to start. The shame and guilt have built up and we decide to change for good. We may seek a friend or hire a trainer to keep us accountable and provide guidance along the way.
So there we are, making the changes and things are going great. We’re going to the gym and sticking to making better food choices. With better exercise and nutrition we feel like a new person. We’ve lost a few pounds, feeling positive, clothes are looser and energy is better. Nagging back or shoulder pain is less. Colleagues and associates are complimenting us on the progress and change. Then, all of a sudden something comes up and we have a hiccup in our diet. We blame an event, circumstance or someone that seems to get in your way. Possibly it was your boss, spouse or children driving you to eat something you shouldn’t have. Or you decide on a night out with friends and you literally watch yourself sabotaging all your hard work. A workout is missed and the next thing you know you’ve missed a week. Your diet slips further and you’re back to eating the take-out breakfast sandwich and going out for lunch while on the road. Possibly, the cookie or wine at night. The number on the scale is higher and you slide right back to where you were, more frustrated than when you started, potentially looking for another solution to your problem.
If you can relate to this behaviour then the rest of this article has the potential to change your life. Why does this happen? Why do we change but ultimately come right back to our set point. Every person experiences this at some time. In this article I’m going to tell you why and what you can do to create permanent and lasting effects in your results. These ideas are based on a fascinating book, Psycho-Cybernetic, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. In his book he discusses the mind and how we relate to ourselves through an inner image that we hold of ourselves. Regarded as the Self-Image, it is the unseen part of our personality, yet it determines everything we think we are capable of achieving. Understanding that we have a self-image and the potential to change it to whatever we want, yields limitless potential for ourselves.
Our SELF-IMAGE is the boundary that we have of ourselves in every aspect of our lives. It is our perception of our self and what we think we are capable of doing or not doing. It is our perception based on our past successes and failures. It is also the result of our environmental conditioning and is most often the result of the people we associate with the most. After all, we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with. Think of who your five people are and compare your results with theirs. Self-image is referred to being hidden because we don’t see it with our physical senses. We see it only with our minds eye. However, through our present results, like our reflection in a mirror, we can see an exact reflection of our self-image. Take a look at your current results in all aspects of your life. How is your health? What is your fitness like? What is your income like? Are you a happy person? Do you become upset easily? What is the relationship with your spouse like? What is the relationship with your family like ? What type of people do you associate with? The answers to these questions are a direct reflection of your self-image and how you see yourself. They are the effect of your thinking and ruling state of mind.
A good example of a person’s self-image and fitness is the degree of success you feel deep within when beginning in an exercise and nutrition program. I have found that in my 10 years of training clients that the most successful clients who pursue and reach their initial fitness goals continue moving on to new and bigger goals. They also have a very different attitude than clients who don’t reach their goals. These people who reach their goals have a very positive mental attitude towards their success. Successful clients take instruction well and follow through with positive action no matter how difficult or laborious it may seem. These people have a positive self-image and can see themselves as winning. If you are able to see yourself with what you desire in your minds eye, you will eventually achieve it in reality. It always works. Through constant spaced repetition of keeping the goal in mind you have embarked on is a part of the initial steps in creating a new self-image. The new self-image of yourself as a winner, is what separates success from failure. With persistence and consistency of implanting the new image, your mind induces the power of Faith. We will cover in the next section steps to developing and implanting a new self-image and how you can permanently change your results in virtually any part of your life.
One of the great secrets and shortcuts to success is through visualization. Whether you realize that you visualize or not, you have been doing so your entire life. Think of your home, your car, your next vacation or your income level. They have all been images in your mind at some point. We all think in images. Think of your first car and an image of your first car appears. Think of your kitchen and an image of it appears on the screen of your mind. In order for you to achieve success in your fitness and health you must follow the exact same process. I have used visualization in my fitness competitions, workout sessions, relationships and in business and sales. Our facilities physical location and exact equipment layout is what I once visualized months before I even knew of Fit Culture Inc.’s location. It was exactly what I pictured in my mind. Our imagination is one of the most fascinating tools that we have, which can be used to achieve anything we want. Seeing yourself with the good you desire is the first major step in achieving anything.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has used visualization to become the world’s most famous bodybuilder, Hollywood’s highest paid action movie star and the Governor of California all in a matter of 30 years. He uses the same process to achieve all of his major goals especially when odds are against him. Visualization is one of the great secrets to success. In order to do something we must first see a very clear picture ourselves doing whatever it is we want. The Wright brother used this for the plane, Thomas Edison used it for the light bulb and Alexander Graham Bell used it to invent the phone. The more frequently we implant the image in our sub-conscious mind the clearer the picture. Just like the seed of a plant the idea begins to grow and if we place the idea in a fertile environment and nurture it, it has no choice but to grow and move closer into physical form.
For most people conscious daily visualization isn’t a habit. Therefore it is best to commit to making it a habit. The first step in doing this is setting up a specific time of day everyday where you completely relax and block out any distractions. Then, as you feel totally relaxed, let yourself visualize, fantasize or dream of your perfect health, fitness and body that you want. I have found building the image is sometimes difficult, especially when we feel like it would be extremely difficult to achieve. This is where the process of writing comes in. Writing causes thinking, thinking creates an image and by building the image we create emotions. The mental images, combined with emotion, are the catalyst for action and behavioural change. This is where most people fail. Although it is our result that we want to change we first need to address the cause of the unwanted result. The unwanted result begins in our Self-Image.
I designate up to 1 hour every morning to this practice and have been doing so for the past 8 months. It has developed into a strong habit where not a day goes by where I don’t complete my daily ritual. Writing out affirmations and desires places your mind into a better mood and positive energy. In other words, you’re putting your mind into a higher vibration or frequency. Whenever you imagine yourself having, doing or being whatever it is that you desire you are actually on the same level or frequency that the particular good is on. It works the same way with big and small ideas. The only difference is time. Nobody can accurately guess how long it will take to achieve a goal. The reason being, that we as humans invented time and when you’re discussing things at a higher level, time does not exist. The next strategy to achieving your goal is through constant spaced repetition of using a goal card.
A great strategy for implanting the image of your goal in the treasury of your sub-conscious mind is writing it down on a card and keeping it loose in your pocket or purse on a regular basis. Reading it whenever possible strengthens the image in your mind and doing so has a profound effect on the sub-conscious mind. When ideas become fixed they are called habits. Habits take root in the sub-conscious mind and when that happens activities and actions immediately change our results. Behaviour changes become natural and our habits would be difficult even if we wanted to. I strongly believe that once you develop a habit (whether positive or negative) the ease and simplicity of the task is astronomical. I have been carrying the same goal card in my pocket for almost an entire year and it goes with me everywhere I go. I have found that if you write a lie on a card and read it often enough you start to believe it. When I founded Fit Culture Inc. I was convinced making custom goal cards for our clients would be great way for them to strengthen their goals in their sub-conscious mind. Write down a goal so big that you don’t know how you would reach it. Read your card every day as often as possible for 90 days and see how it works for you. I’ve heard a mentor of mine, Bob Proctor, say many times, “the important thing to remember is you don’t have to worry about how you will achieve the goal. You only need to know that you will achieve the goal.”
The best part about this is your results will become effortless and in a relatively short period of time you will see some massive change. I have experienced major changes using these techniques, from daily reading to studying psychology and how the mind works. I would never have had the confidence of starting my own business or the confidence to live my life the way I envision it. I realize that it has worked in developing my knowledge and success as a trainer and improving all aspects of my life, my happiness, health and prosperity.