This is a book review of the book “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz. Skip to “Practical” and “Recommendation” for my advice on the book.

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Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who came in contact with many people who were not only physically scarred but also emotionally (trough the dis-empowering beliefs they held in their mind)

Therefore he started to research the connection between the self-image and belief systems. His research and findings have been documented in his books. (Amongst which is Psycho-Cybernetics)


Psycho cybernetics goes into great depth to discover the effect our mind has on our life. He talks about concepts like visualization, self-image, belief systems, corrective feedback, aging and many more.

“Your brain serves you, not the other way around”


“If this thought is constructive we’ll have it, if not, we’ll discard it”


Self Image

The self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. It defines what you can and cannot do. Expand your self image and you expand the area of the possible. (the same is true for your perception of reality)

“You act and feel not according to what things are really like but of the image your mind holds of what things are like”

The past does not equal the future

“I am who I choose to be”

(imagine yourself as you’d like to be)

Stop identifying and condemning yourself for mistakes/failures. You are not your mistakes.

A typewriter doesn’t become worthless after making an error


  • Perception (self-suggestion vs. auto-suggestion)
  • References (visualization, experience)
  • Time (summation of references)


The human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one imagined vividly and in detail. (practice basketball vs visualizing basketball = same progress)

We have skills and talents that are disabled by our belief-systems (visualize yourself doing GREAT (reference) at something new and you will do GREAT

Success Instinct

Humans reach goals through success-instinct (= goal + desire + action & corrective feedback) Like a torpedo getting closer to its target our mind “fires and forgets” until it reaches its target trough self-corrective feedback.

“When we set out to find a new idea /answer we must assume that the answer exists already.”

Humans are able to find extrasensory information (connect the dots)

Therefore our mind will automatically suggest the answer to the problems we focus on by closing the gap between current situation and desired situation. This is a servo-mechanism which continuously works in our favor. So focus on feeding it the desired information

Life Force

It is not retiring from a job that kills men, it is retiring from life. (people who fall into a “existential vacuum” after they retire, age very rapidly because they don’t know what to do.

Life force: Use it or lose it.

Life force is the energy that propels us towards our goals. Create the need for more life and your body will supply it. Faith, courage, goals, purpose, interest, optimism; GROWTH.


  • Visualize your best self, daily; How do you want to be, feel and act?
  • Visualize how you want (new) events to go like
  • Visualize yourself as the controlling energy inside your heart-chamber (higher consciousness), that is the “real” you. Your body is the vessel/machinewhichis controlled by your “spirit”
    • Creates shift in perspective
    • Distantciation of problems/worries
    • Retreat for relaxation
  • Write down your disempowering beliefs and identify what pain they cause in your life (pain/pleasure principle on beliefs)
  • Concrete relaxation (legs/arm/head is made of concrete), happy room in heart (relaxation chamber visualization)
  • Changing beliefs
    • Self-suggest empowering beliefs
    • Create references trough visualization and experience
  • Changing emotions;
    • Language
    • Focus (Negative mental emotions are changed by controlling your mental imagery. “When you’re playing music you don’t like, change the record”)
    • Physical
  • Ultimate 21-day challenge;
    • I will be as cheerful as possible
    • Friendly
    • Less critical, more tolerant
    • Act as if success is inevitable
    • I already am the person I want to be
    • Practice smiling at least 3x/day
    • Regardless of what happens I will act as calmly and intelligently as possible
    • I will ignore completely and close my mind to any and all negative thought patterns in my head which I can do nothing to change
  • Socialdisinhibitors (excessive carefulness leads to inhibition and anxiety)
    • Don’t wonder in advance what might happen
    • Don’t plan but act
    • Stop criticizing yourself
    • Speak louder than normal
    • Let people know you like them
    • Physical relaxation (“Let the bell ring”, it’s not you, don’t answer)
    • Make a quiet room/happy room in your head and retreat in your room everyday (relaxation/meditation)
  • Never disengage from life. Disengagement out of life creates aging (retirement from work vs. retirement from life) Keep growing creates the need for more life.



I recommend you to also read my post on Reprogramming Your Brain

Tags : booksinspirationMaxwell Maltzpsycho-cyberneticsreadingrecommendationreview

The author SimonSomlai


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1 Comment

  1. Great review! And a brilliant summary with the practical steps. I just finished reading this book, it’s excellent. I agree with visualizing and the other points. The amount of things I’ve been able to visualize that have come into my experience are amazing. I think changing your emotions and the way you feel are a major part of the process, one where people get stuck the most. Thanks for taking the time to write this! I wish you all the best :)

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