The Importance of Self-Image in Making a Change.

Sign on fence which says 'Tme for change'.

Do we all know someone, who no matter how hard they try, can’t seem to make a change in their life?  Even though they want to make changes, it just doesn’t seem to happen for them.

Had you ever thought that it’s how they view themselves which is the problem?

One of the fifteen or so (not even kidding!) books I have on the go at the moment, is a book called The New Psycho-Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz,  It was published in 1960, and so far it is absolutely brilliant.  I’m pretty sure it will carry on being brilliant, too.

One of the things he talks about right at the beginning is this (this is a direct quote): “But you cannot escape it.  You will always act and perform – and experience appropriate results – in accordance with what you imagine to be true about yourself and you environment.  This is a basic and fundamental law of mind.  It is the way we are built.”

Here’s an example:

I know a couple who are in their sixties, and who, through their own choices, have ended up in a situation where they do not have enough to live on, and are living with their adult daughter.

They don’t like living with their adult daughter, their son-in-law, and his son.  Understandably.  Everyone wants their independence, and doesn’t like to be reliant on others in order to be able to survive.

But, here’s the thing.  They are trying every avenue they know, in order to be able to have a place of their own, and it just isn’t working out.

First, they found a job with accommodation.  But obviously the house was tied to the job, and the job was a nightmare, so shortly after they moved out of their daughter’s and into the accommodation, they were packing back up and moving back to their daughter.  They have looked at retirement housing, and even found a place they thought would suit them.  But nothing came of it; it didn’t work out.


Purely and simply because of their self-image.  They are acting in accordance with what they believe to be true about themselves and their environment.

Even though they are desperate to have their own place, and are running here, there and everywhere trying to find somewhere suitable, it is just not happening for them.  And this is because in their heart of hearts they believe they will never be able to find a place and make it on their own.  In their innermost being, they fear that they are stuck in a dependent state for ever.  They really believe this about themselves.  And so, no matter what they try in their desperation, it isn’t working, because what they know in their heart is that they are stuck where they are.

The last place they went to see looked great.  But they failed to chase it up, and it doesn’t look as though that is happening for them either now.  Why did they fail to chase it up?  Because what they really believe about themselves and their environment, is that while they don’t want to be there, in reality they are stuck.  And according to Maxwell Maltz, they are bound to act in a way that is according to their actual self-belief.

It’s self-sabotage of the highest order.

Do you know anyone like this?  Someone who tries to get ahead, and may even succeed for a while, and then something happens and they are back to square one again.  Why?  Probably because what they actually believe is that no matter what they try, they just can’t succeed; just can’t get ahead.  And they fear that they’ll be stuck the way they are forever.  And that is how it pans out.

If any of us want to change our outward circumstances, we have to change what is going on inside of us.  We have to change our self-image.  Without an internal change, the external will never change.  Or it may for a while, but then things will gravitate back to where they were originally, and we’ll find we have to start all over again.

So how about it?  I’m sure we all have areas in our lives where self-image is affecting our results.  I have one area which is glaringly obvious to me, and I now know how to change it.  (The really cool thing is that I always end up preaching to myself when I write).

You know, it takes courage to re-program ourselves; to feel that we even deserve to think differently about ourselves.   It takes real guts to make the changes and become a different person as a result, never to think about ourselves in the same way again; to throw off childhood issues and programming.

But we can do it!  And we have to, if we want to see changes in our lives, because without that internal shift, the external circumstances will never change.

And I for one don’t want to stand still in life.  I want to be improving, heading onwards and upwards all the time.

See you tomorrow!