Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that success is directly correlated to how we manage ourselves, especially our inner voice or self talk. To improve, I’ve sought out a number of books on the topic and have adjusted my routine by adding a morning reading session focused on personal development. One of the books I consistently come back to is Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. It has had such a significant impact that I figured I should pick up another book authored by him (or in this case inspired by him), which led me to Zero Resistance Selling.
A couple of things stand-out with regards to the book. First, it would appear that it is a book about sales, which it is. However, there is a lot of things you can take from the book and apply to your specific career and, more generally speaking, your life. Second, the book isn’t directly authored by Dr. Maltz but by a collection of five authors who apply his Psycho-Cybernetics teaching to the profession of sales. Regardless, the book still feels as though it is written in the voice of Dr. Maltz himself.
Given the book is focused towards sales, for this review, I’m going to choose a few passages that I found are applicable regardless of your occupation, no matter what it happens to be. These are just a sampling of the many notes that I highlighted while reading the book.
It is rather amazing to realize that you have, inside yourself, this thing we are calling the self-image that exerts almost total control over what you are able to do, and that this thing may be making decisions for you based on completely false beliefs. The self-image acting on false beliefs rather than true beliefs manufactures tremendous resistance. Resistance occurs when your body, mind, and soul are in conflict. It occurs when what you want to do is deemed “impossible” for you by your own self-image, and occurs when you try to override your self-image rather than properly reprogram it. This is why you will benefit by closely examining your self-image’s accumulated and current beliefs.
How many times have we heard someone say “I’m not good at <insert item here>” or “I’ll never be <insert item here>“. Once someone has convinced themselves that they won’t be good at something or can’t learn something, that is what they become. They’re mind will seek out reasons to make them fail. As my good friend’s dad told him one day – “Do you know why there are professional baseball players? Because they believe they are.” In other words, the first way to accomplish something is to believe that you can do it. However, it has to be achievable. Being 5’10” and slow is not going to get me a job as a player in the NBA, no matter how hard I believe it. However, it could get me a job in the NBA as a coach, analyst, or trainer, if that’s the career that I wanted.
Everything happens first in the imagination….If your imagination is undirected, left to wander around on its own, it will, more often than not, manufacture images that promote anxiety and fear. This is what sabotages so many people in sales, as well as in other fields. You must control your imagination! You must demand that it work for you, not against you, and direct it to support you, not undermine you….Everyday, make deliberate use of your imagination to achieve your potential.
If our beliefs determine our self-image, how do we change them? We do it by using our imagination. It is so important that we use our imagination to build positive images of the future we desire. When we let our imagination create visions of trouble and failure, then the result is the promotion of “anxiety and fear” that leads to indecision and failure.
You must develop the ability to motivate yourself, to be your own counselor, coach, booster and disciplinarian.
The only person who can control your thoughts, your self-image, your imagination, is you. Therefore, it is imperative that each of us develop our own methods of motivating ourselves, coaching ourselves, and holding ourselves accountable. Sure, we can leverage outside resources, including life coaches, but it is ultimately up to us as individuals to control our decisions and make our own choices.
We manufacture just about all the resistance we encounter.
If we believe that so-and-so has it in for me, then we look for the ways that the person tries to get us to confirm our suspicion. If we believe that so-and-so is a bad person, then no matter how much good that person may do, we focus on the bad things they do, even if it is only a few items. If we believe that we will not handle success, well, you get the picture. Our thoughts and self-talk create the situations we want and work to confirm our suspicions. If we want things to change, we have to start by changing our own beliefs and attitudes. This concept can be difficult for people to accept because it involves taking responsibility for one’s actions.
Realize that happiness and peace of mind are not “things” you find somewhere outside of yourself or that can be provided to you (or taken away from you) by others. Happiness and peace of mind are not “destinations” you get to “someday.” Happiness and peace of mind are products of a healthy, goal-directed, proud self-image.
Too often we view happiness as a thing to be achieved. Happiness is a state of mind that can, and will, come and go. As put in the passage, happiness and peace of mind are in our control based on how we choose to react to our environment. But in order to reach that state of mind, we need to have a “healthy, goal-directed, proud self-image.”
Psycho-Cybernetics means the deliberate steering of all the powers of the human mind, in sync and in harmony, to a productive, rewarding goal.
This passage is the best description of what Psychic-Cybernetics is, and why it such an important concept to understand and master in order to achieve success.
If you are in sales, Zero-Resistance Selling needs to be at the top of your reading list. If you’re not in sales, Zero-Resistance Selling needs to be on your reading list, after you’ve read Maltz’s original Psycho-Cyberntics book. It will reinforce the key concepts from the book and show how they can be applied to your career, and life in general. And whether you like it or not, in the words of another friend of mine, “This Stuff Works.” Or as he likes to say – TSW!