Friday, September 16, 2011

What is Psycho-Cybernetics?


Psycho-Cybernetics might sound complicated, but it is based on the simple principle of substituting negative thinking with encouraging and strengthening thoughts to build confidence. To sum up Psycho-Cybernetics in one sentence:
“How you think makes ALL the difference.”
Psycho-Cybernetics was started by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz.

What does Pscycho-Cybernetics mean?

The term psycho refers to the mind and cybernetics refers to a self regulating feedback system (e.g like a thermostat). Psycho-Cybernetics explains the mechanisms used to create a positive self image.

How to Change
Dr Maltz was a plastic surgeon. He noticed some of his patients after surgery suffered from low self-esteem. These patients had emotional scars from their past, leading to an inaccurate self-image. The old self image they had would sabotage their attempt to change. Dr. Maltz saw the unhappy behaviour as the result of negative self feedback. The negative feedback came from focusing on an old memory, rather then focusing on the corrective action.

The solution was to create an accurate and positive view of themselves.

He theorised that everyone has an Automatic-Success Mechanism, a natural ability to achieve goals. Generally when people lack confidence it is caused by paying too much attention to the past. To activate the automatic-success mechanism the person would vividly visualise a successful future and encouraging future.

For example, when a guided missile is fired, it will correct its course by focusing on the target. People can also correct their behaviour by focusing on their goals, and not looking for solutions in their past.

Dr. Maltz found he could improve a persons confidence by helping the individual create a positive and accurate mental image of themselves. The process is referred to as theatre of the mind, or synthetic experience. In an example of how it works, Dr. Maltz had three teams of basketball players, train in three different ways:

  1. One team practices making free throws.
  2. The second team doesn't practice.
  3. The third team sits on a bench and mentally practices making free throws.

When the three teams are tested, the team that practiced out-scored the team that didn't practice. However, the team that mentally practiced performs nearly as well as the team that actually practiced.

Setting Goals
To program your Automatic Success Mechanism, set your goals in a clear, precise and detailed manner. Have a sense of direction. You don't need to know how to get there - you just have to be clear about your intended destination.

Related Links
Interview with Dr. Maxwell Maltz(Psycho Cybernetics) - youtube video
The Seven Books That Changed My Life - Part 4 of 7 - youtube video