PSYCHOCYBERNETICS

The New sl et t er

October 2007

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work
By Maxwell Maltz, M.D. and Matthew Furey Without question, the essential key to human personality and behavior is the self-image. Even our achievements are limited by how we view ourselves. The self-image is the overall average of the various attitudes which we hold towards our capabilities in a multitude of areas. It is the “picture we have of ourselves.” Our self-image, therefore, is of utmost importance because we cannot be any more effective, more successful, better coordinated, more creative or more anything other than what our self-image says we are. It is the ceiling on the effectiveness with which we can use our true potential.

Behavior Dependent on Self-Image
Suppose we have a vertical line and calibrate it to represent bits/of knowledge (the brain contains about 3 trillion facts of information by age thirty). We place an arrow at the top representing ever-increasing knowledge. Next we select a selfimage in a certain area. This self-image is surrounded by an Effectiveness Range, the “E-Range.” Our performance is effective only within this range. This picture given to us by our subconscious tells us to a very fine degree just how we will perform. We can only act according to this picture. It is our comfort zone. Any performance outside this zone will produce tension. The only way we can change our performance is first to change the selfimage. It raises the ceiling on our effectiveness, enlarges the E-Range and allows us a greater use of our potential.

Better Self-Images Release Ability
In order to change your self-image it is not necessary to improve yourself. It can be revised merely by repainting the mind-picture you carry in your imagination-your own private opinion and concept of that self. The change that comes from the development of a new self-image can produce rather fantastic results. A person is usually more superior than he thinks he is. When he changes his self-image, he doesn’t necessarily improve his skills and gifts. He only puts to use the talents he already possesses.

Matthew Furey

Copyright, 2007, Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, Inc. • www.psycho-cybernetics.com

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No matter if they have been received from relatives. Website: www. But in the Dale Carnegie classes. He is fearful of speaking in public and avoids doing so virtually at all costs.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter Conversely. Even in small groups. the individual’s Effectiveness Range is not built out of reality. increasing or improving skills does not necessarily improve the self-image! Knowing more or being better does not automatically strengthen the self-image.psycho-cybernetics. and well as sources whom the editor deems trustworthy and reliable. the E-Range must grow and be congruent with the person’s goals and achievements. You have impact on your E-Range by altering your inner thoughts and feelings. When he makes his speech.psycho-cybernetics. he is reluctant to assert himself and express his ideas. not just positive thinking ABOUT the E-Range. • www. than by real capability. This is the idea behind the “pop-psych” seminars and trainings that periodically rise up in popularity and visibility.S. at work or in his church. can temporarily outperform their E-Range. it snaps back – and so does this person. 33647. Think of the person enrolled in the famous Dale Carnegie program. how you see and feel about yourself. Further. An E-Range expanded through legitimate self-discovery will not shrink back.com . it absolutely will not work. His self-image changes. He begins feeling that he is an effective communicator to groups. 2007. Maltz’s material owned by the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. All rights reserved under U. smaller size. walk on heated coals and the like. but when it is incompatible with the self-image. In other words. such as those where people climb mountains together. Tampa. Such a forced experience that then causes a person to re-examine his beliefs can prove to him that his beliefs have been unrealistically limiting. it is built out of perceptions. when tested.S. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. August 2007 belief that these ideas are true. As these ideas accumulate during life. he is forced – if you will – to learn some skills about speaking and to use those skills. Email: info@psycho-cybernetics. But the key word is: temporary. Some people. Source of Ideas Unimportant You must remember that it makes no difference how or by whom you have been programmed with the various ideas you now have. people laugh at his stories and applaud his efforts. or under extreme pressure. by fear. Entire contents Copyright 2006.com. As a result. 10339 Birdwatch Drive. While there is a certain amount of gimmickry in these things. The publisher assumes no liability for any loss resulting from the use of the information given herein. there is also a certain amount of truth in them because they lead people into testing their limits and limiting beliefs about what they can and cannot do. • Phone (813) 994-8267 • FAX (813) 994-4947 Matt Furey. your friends-even from yourself – you are presently behaving in a manner based upon the Psycho-Cybernetics – The Newsletter is published monthly by the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. The area of the possible. like a rubber band stretched out to its breaking point. through remarkable exercise of will and determination and hard work. Information published herein is taken from the vast archives of Dr. bend spoons with their mental energies. schooling. Inc.A. You cannot expand your E-Range purely through positive thinking or willpower. Vincent Lai – layout and design. perhaps even in his family. he begins to see himself as someone who CAN present ideas to a group and gain favorable acceptance. Editor. Inc. When Positive Thinking Will Not Work A fresh viewpoint has been discovered about the power of positive thinking which seems to answer why some people use it with success and yet others find it useless. in the sense that the person’s E-Range is more limited by belief. At some point. and International Copyright law. there must be positive growth of the selfimage. U. yet no guarantee is offered on behalf of them. much of what a person believes about himself proves to be untrue.. Inc. For continuing growth and lasting success. When individuals courageously test their capabilities. Florida. by standing up and speaking. in a supportive environment. most people never stop to look carefully and analytically at them. positive thinking does undoubtedly function. the concept here is that a self-image once improved by legitimate self-discovery cannot snap back or shrink back to its prior. In other words. and ask: is this true? What may have been true at age 15 is likely to no longer be true at age 51. When it is compatible with a person’s self-image. they often are surprised at what they can do.com 2 Copyright.

or negative feelings that make us restless and prevent us from falling asleep. Inferiority feelings do not usually arise from actual experience. we arrive at the erroneous assumption that we don’t measure up. When we evaluate our achievements by these criteria. we feel second-rate and unhappy. and spirit in proper tone and condition. Fortunes have been made by pharmaceutical companies who manufacture pills that are supposed to induce sleep. You are merely you. a professor passed out a written test to his class. nor can they attain yours. Inferiority complexes. Now. Period. Inc. telling them that the normal time of completion was fifteen minutes. the test required about an hour to finish. which can intrude upon our lives. even the most brilliant students became upset. then asked me if I wanted one. • www. In reality. So it is an inch-by-inch cycle. And so on. A continuing feeling of inferiority soon deteriorates into an inferiority complex which causes a decline in the way a person performs. The new self-image tells the E-Range to be bigger. The plain reality is: You are not superior to another person. believing they were inadequate or mentally deficient. The new discoveries alter the self-image. he finds himself speaking out. Higher performance and changed behavior result. These eight hours for sleep are nature’s way of keeping the mind. You can never possibly attain their standards. about the word “forced. are developed from the feelings of inferiority that originate because we judge our performance and measure our abilities against someone else’s and not against our own. to improve upon themselves. we will always feel like a runner-up. when we reached New York. But after fifteen minutes. And this usually leads to choosing to test another limit. It is interesting to realize how this situation can be artificially created in a psychological test. Copyright. self-discovery occurs. and by not bolting from the room. To a major portion of these people. but from our own judgments and interpretations of events and experiences. body. Feelings of inferiority and superiority are conflicting feelings. and Are You Easily Hurt? There are three eight-hour periods in a day.” I said he was forced to speak. but I’ve learned not to let them intrude upon my eight hours set aside for sleep.psycho-cybernetics. eight hours for diversion. I told him I never had occasion to use them because I fall asleep naturally. He told me he had been worrying about his next film. Eight hours for work. so that problems can be faced the following day. by enrolling in the class. We all have worries and problems. But he chose to be forced. In the early morning. By far the greatest reasons for insomnia are tension. and eight hours for sleep. When you can unquestionably accept this truth as a fact and apply it in your daily life. Some kind of mean level of performance is set up. He hadn’t slept at all despite the pill. On the plane was a friend of mine. The greatest competitors compete against themselves. When those limits are tested. Inferiority Feelings of inferiority are experienced to some degree by almost 95 percent of the world’s population. Consequently. I boarded a plane to New York. Don’t compare yourself and your performance with another person’s accomplishments. then the test subjects are persuaded that they are below this average. a film producer. To illustrate this theory. these feelings are a severe disadvantage in the attainment of fulfillment and satisfaction in life. my friend woke me up. Yet sleep is one of our great concerns in these frenetic times. At work and elsewhere. His behavior reflects that. You are not inferior to another person. When this happens. anxiety. He took a sleeping pill. your feelings of inferiority will evaporate.com 3 . by showing up for the class. 2007. I remember a time after I had lectured on PsychoCybernetics and Creative Living at the First Church of Religious Science in San Francisco. He must first courageously choose to put himself in a situation where he must test his limiting beliefs. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter His E-Range expands.

get a better and more adequate self-image so that they will not feel threatened by every chance remark or innocent act. small bumps and bruises. They are “hurt” by things they conceive as threats to their ego or self-esteem. Whenever we think of troubles.com . but we still can make a habit of it when.” August 2007 jealous at the drop of a hat. ARE YOU EASILY HURT? Many people are “hurt” terribly by tiny pinpricks or what we call social “slights. It wouldn’t be comfortable for the physical body to be covered over completely with a hard shell like a turtle’s. a healthy strong ego. so that they will simply ignore petty cuts and minor ego threats. But the human body does have a layer of outer skin for the purpose of protecting us from invasion of bacteria. a little man does. We all need a certain amount of emotional toughness and ego security to protect us from real and fancied ego threats. during the eight hours of diversion. It is a well-known psychological fact that people who become offended easiest have the lowest self-esteem. or feel terrified at the crises faced by the hero or heroine? Will you feel wonderful waves of love and compassion-or surges of resentment? All these feelings will pulse through you-and more. But since we live with our imagination every day. we are not prepared for sleep. does not feel itself threatened by every innocent remark. looking at the curtain which hides the blank screen. Inc. What will this picture do for you? How will it affect you? What impact will it have on your life? Will you feel moved-perhaps even to tears? Will you laugh at a comedy. They need to become thicker-skinned. To relax is not easy these days. A big strong man does not feel threatened by a small danger.” I’m sure you know someone in your family. who doubts his own capabilities and has a poor opinion of himself who becomes Your Self-Image Can Give You A Starring Role on Life’s Stage Imagine that you are seated in a theatre. In the same way. and see a geyser letting off steam. Of course this is an imaginary room. It is the person who feels undeserving. “He sleeps well who knows not that he sleeps ill. Remember the words of Publius Syrus. 2007. and you won’t need a pill. • www. It is the person who secretly doubts his own worth and feels insecure within himself who sees threats to his ego where there are none. For the picture you will see is about the most fascinating person in the world-yourself. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. They have only the thin.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter Relaxation is the best preparation for sleep. but not so thick or hard that it interferes with all feeling. your circle of friends who is so thin-skinned and “sensitive” that others must be continually on guard lest offense be taken at some innocent word or act. to break the electric circuit of distress even for a second. They need to build their self-esteem.psycho-cybernetics. That skin is thick enough and tough enough to offer protection against small wounds. who exaggerates and overestimates the damage from real threats. we should take advantage of this imaginary room where we relax. Making a habit of this is making a habit of sleep. Even real “digs” and “cuts” that inflict painful injury to the ego of the person with low self-esteem do not make a dent in the ego of the person who thinks well of himself. your office. 4 Copyright. because sleep is deep relaxation in itself. to let go of tensions for the moment. and pinpricks. but sooner or later it will work. we take five minutes off and walk into the room of our mind. look out the window. sensitive inner skin. Fancied emotional thrusts that pass unnoticed by a person with wholesome self-esteem slice these people up terribly. with plenty of self-esteem. We would be denied the pleasure of all sensual feeling. whether we realize it or not. When we prepare ourselves for sleep we must not let troubles interfere. It may take time. This is a symbol for us to release a geyser. Many people have no covering over their ego. Try my prescription. emotionally tougher. as you wait for the feature movie to begin.

envisions. or see the mind. and the way other people react to you. to enhance the appreciation of the unique individual that you are. From these factors.” It can’t be held up.” you ask. right now. you are the producer. and the actor. we will use the powerful tool of mental picturing to redefine your concept of yourself. And the self-image is a reality. director. even though no one has ever seen it. When an autopsy is done on a corpse. It’s all inside you. successes and failures. I said you act as if the picture were true. my picture of myself as a weakling. self-image. you build up a picture of yourself which you believe is true. Will the story have a happy ending? Is it full of happiness and success or sorrow and failure? The story line is already there and the discerning eye can tell the direction in which the story will go. which thinks. and from others which we shall discuss later. feel. it is true. you can change the story as it unfolds. grows happy. as a victim. And for your whole lifetime. you are the director. an image which is your most important tool for good or for ill. for all intents and purposes. there is a brain. You can be the hero and conquer the villain. which we can see. but most important. a physical thing. especially in early childhood. It all depends on what you do with an image you carry inside you. The mind has just as much reality as the brain – even if we can’t touch.psycho-cybernetics. But the mind. “Then.” But inarguably it IS there. the director. or see it because success is real-and failure is real. The picture may be false-and in many cases IS falsebut the important fact here is that you act just as if it were true. But one realization can comfort you. But is it? Since this picture. Why is the self-image so important? As I explained in my previous book Psycho-Cybernetics. • www.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter In this theatre. actor or actress. hero and the villain. the person to whom everything happens is true. This instant. It is not a physical “thing. fears. you are the actor starring in this picture. You can make this a success story. hopes. the self-image is your own conception of the sort of person you are. which invents molehills – and mountains. We will work together to change this mental picture of yourself. and held or put in a plastic bag. It just takes a new insight. that can be taken out Copyright. humiliations.com 5 . can change and has been changed in millions of cases. What comfort is there in telling me that?” There is a wonderful comfort in one fact. The exciting story unfolding upon this inner screen is one which is invented every second of your life-yesterday. Now. what do we mean by the self-image? Is there such a thing? We know there is a mind. Over and over. You watch the image upon that screen and you invent the image upon that screen – right now. by following time-proved methods which are so easy and so close to each of us that it’s no wonder we’ve overlooked them. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation.” You see. embodied in two little words. 2007. a chronicle of boredom. tomorrow. All you have to learn is how to change that picture by investing a little more time and energy in it. happy life. there is no cause for despair. remembers. I don’t mean a brain. and triumphs.“as if. Making a Motion Picture-of Yourself Now. I will help you to use your self-image to develop the picture you’ve always wanted to see – a picture of YOU surmounting difficulties and driving on to a successful. Understand this: You are the writer. There is no such “mind. Inc. which is in the mind and heart of each of us. It is a product of past experiences. feel. Since you are the dramatist. becomes sad. writer. even if we can’t touch. And you can make this a heartwarming story which will enrich the lives of all who know you-rather than a drab mechanical tale. And so. “in that case. It all depends on you-and your self-image.

) “He is a quiet child-too quiet. Nothing makes us so worthy of friendship as developing ourselves. It can undermine his usefulness to society by preventing him from getting the job for which he qualifies. so will other people. But the core of your capacity for friendship is in your thinking about yourself. You can go out of your way to be useful to other people. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. “Without confidence there is no friendship. Others Will You can learn to be more considerate. in which the individuals love centers on himself. unable to wade into the rough and tumble savored by a boy among boys. or learn to live with it. There are other constructive moves you can make to win friendships.psycho-cybernetics. much less by giving them an opportunity to display their defects.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter August 2007 How To Really Win Friends And Influence People In the best-selling How to Win Friends and Influence People. all the “techniques” in the world cannot help you make friends and sustain friendships. Inhibiting his free expression.” (New York Times Magazine.” wrote the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. he limits his contacts with other people.” These are positive ideas. “We come to tolerate. but by assuming the active role ourselves and giving others positive reasons for tolerating and loving us. “The experience can be humbling. If You Like Yourself. I don’t mean the narcissistic form of infantile self-admiration. Life can teach. By who? By their own self-images.” Unfortunately. others will usually share your feeling. Or he may abandon effort to establish contact with the rest of the world. driving them into shells. 2007. Instead he stands wistfully on the sidelines. True. out of fear. 1960.” Carnegie himself states: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. you can volunteer to share your material possessions. But many people can NOT apply any of this sound advice. Nothing wins friends so much as an unselfish concern on our part. (Simon & Schuster 1936) Dale Carnegie quotes. “Left to his own devices he may outgrow his shyness. a statement of Henry Ford’s. enduring friendships depends on the strength of your self-image. it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.com . however. In Personality and Successful Living. By liking yourself. Shyness can come between a man and the woman he needs. June 19. You can’t really like yourself unless you like others. Many people are actually prevented and PROHIBITED from utilizing any of this good advice. Your ability to form sincere. to understand and to love people not by waiting for them to serve us. there are many shy people in this world. with approval. If you do not have a healthy self-image. It can place an intelligent. this is a fine quality. The writers know their suggestions are worthwhile. Martin Tolchin’s description is poignant in “The Roots of Shyness. to the exclusion of others. 1945) James A. “If there is any one secret of success. If you short-change yourself. He lacks the ‘bellyful of fire’ that the late William Bryon Mowery thought all small boys had-or should have. If you like yourself. and confidence has its beginning in one’s attitude toward himself! Why Be Shy? The shy person often finds it difficult to make friends. (Bruce Publishing Co. You can master a variety of social skills. Inc. but it can also frighten people. 6 Copyright. our resources. • www. our personality by a program of friendliness and usefulness to others. accomplished person in the position of a social beggar who is thrown conversational crumbs at functions he cannot evade. chances are you’ll do the same thing to other people. and too well-behaved. this will help. Magner’s approach is similar. If you despise yourself.

you can learn to be more outgoing. oh. groaning inwardly. • www. you must have the courage to burst through your shell. laughing people.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter If you are shy. They think of this as a success. half an hour later. He’s 35. He’s also a librarian. here comes that question again. “What do you do?” “Oh. Let’s try out our mental picturing apparatus again. which are more likely to pay off in terms of cold cashpresent or future. Other people select friends and make efforts to cement these “friendships” in an attempt to make others think them popular.” A girl comes over to him and smiles. wondering nervously what he should talk about. feeling uneasy because you won’t know many of the people.) Scene 2: It’s the same party. “Hello. Then you see Ted who was invited by Cora. but brotherly love. Before you’re ready for real friendship. Their only concern is that their ally be a superficially acceptable commodity. The hostess greets him and he shuffles into the living room which is crowded with talking. however. Their reasoning is that if people see them always in the company of this person or that. whom he knows casually in the library where he works.psycho-cybernetics. 2007. on apparently friendly terms. They don’t really care. He must strengthen his self-image before he is ready for the warm givingness that constitutes friendship.” There is nothing beautiful or ennobling about these selfish alliances.” His shoulders slump and he avoids her gaze as he answers her. The Meaning of Friendship A word of warning: There is much friendship these days that is political and insincere. a person with enough status in the community to enhance their own social prestige. Some people use “friendship” for vocational advantage. It is. He returns her greeting. and relax in the playhouse of your mind. once again. is lonely. mainly a question of changing your false truth about yourself-because shyness is a technique for hiding from people. though it really isn’t. He’s also in his thirties. Scene 1: Picture yourself going to a party. (Here is a sure blueprint for failure. Obviously. precious things in life. forcing himself to ask hers and feeling all fingers and thumbs as he wonders what to do with his hands. This honest. they use them with the same degree of concern that one would feel in washing dishes or polishing the family car. Indeed. they will come clamoring after you. they then discard their old pals and begin hunting for new alliances. in a compassionate way. “What’s your name?” Ted introduces himself. “I’ll have to tell her I’m nothing but a librarian.com 7 . no genuine value comes from these forms of “friendship. Sit down. they will be considered socially acceptable. it’s a clannish gathering. and I am writing about an entirely different type of relationship. has worked as librarian for almost ten years. looking for a bargain. selecting and shedding friends with rapidity and without real feeling. figuring out in advance which friend will help them advance their career. not only will they seek your company. you won’t have to go out and look for friends. and it is this warm brotherlysisterly relatedness that I hope I can help you achieve. giving kind of friendship is one of the most Copyright. This man’s basic quality is a self-hatred that tramples all his intelligence and his potential for creative expression.” he thinks. one in which the main ingredient is not expediency. John arrives and greets his hostess. but make their choices after a careful survey of the economic advantages involved. As they achieve promotions and rise into a new social status. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. These people do not differentiate between one person and another. Imagine that you knock timidly on the door. about the people they use for their social prestige. make yourself comfortable in a quiet place. Inc. They shop for friends as they would for an automobile. Making People Seek Your Company If people really like you.

(People seek out this man because his self-image is healthy.com . Liking himself. Many people talk at people. but he’s looking forward to the evening. If he is touchy in certain areas. Inc. If you resort to such domineering tactics. as accurately as you can reconstruct it.” John says. as bees around honey. he is able to appreciate others. Don’t try to alter this fact. you can’t possibly be a friend to others. If you downgrade 8 Copyright. you can try to avoid stepping on his toes. People crave good company. Be a friend to yourself. “How nice you look!” he says to the hostess. If he is a worthwhile friend.) August 2007 yourself. He laughs as she blushes and shakes hands with Peter and Frank. Too often this world is a cutthroat place in which people think of their own needs-and then stop thinking! Go out of your way to be considerate and you’ll be a valued friend.psycho-cybernetics. but pity is not a strong foundation for friendship. Imagine you’re the other person. It is a serious mistake to try to force another person to conform to your preconceived ideas. especially when they’re being genuine. both of whom he knows at work. When you feel like being generous. not a friend. at the other man. It is a basic need. When you are with a casual acquaintance and you feel like talking. This is the next step. • www. you can still admire other people. but your respect will be tainted with envy. They may be sympathetic toward your problems. or unstable if you’re nervous and want the other person to like you. Try to meet others’ needs. People come over to chat with him. What do you do?” He finds some of the people at the party interesting to talk to. yet with a friendly smile. “I’ve always loved good books. 2. they deliver lectures and the other fellow is just an ear. without being narcissistic. Never do this to a friend. The other fellow is not you. watch for overcritical thoughts and stamp them out. You can also understand his responses better. They sense this and cluster around him. He’s eager to meet Cora socially and see her in a pretty dress. and enjoys the exchange of ideas. 3. Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. in his own individual way. They’re glad to see him and bring him over to meet other people.PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS—The Newsletter unmarried. and perhaps he could take her home later. Don’t tell yourself that you’re silly if you crack a joke. 4. he will be grateful for your kindness and will be giving to you in return. Others will sense the impurity of your friendship and will not respond positively to it. looking curiously. 5. talk with him! Your Self-Image Can Make You Likable You can learn a lesson from these dramas: a healthy selfimage can make you likable to other people. but they feel this need very deeply. This mental picturing will help you. meaning every word. At midnight. you can attempt to build up his own self-image. as you are. He sees himself as a nice guy and therefore does not have to feel self-conscious or apologetic. 2007. and his lack of pretension and arrogance. he takes Cora home. enjoying his easy friendliness. the food and drink. express yourself as uninhibitedly as is proper for the situation. “What do you do?” one fellow asks. Perhaps they’ll dance and talk and flirt. accept him as he is and he’ll value you too. almost as essential as the need to appease one’s hunger with food. Look for the other person’s positive qualities and try to bring them out. If you try to image him in his total life situation. you can sense his needs and try to meet them as much as is within your ability and within the dimensions of your relationship. “I’m a librarian. you’ll likely have an enemy. People are different. if he’s worth his salt. Reach out to people. for they are enemies to friendship. If you’re not. Accept the other fellow’s individuality. Five Rules for Winning Friends Apply these concepts and you will never lack friends: 1. They may mask this desire because they’re afraid of rejection.

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