“To be blind is to miss out on so much beauty but most of us waste this valuable gift by only choosing to see negativity.”
We all perceive the world through our senses, primarily the Visual – Auditory – Kinesthetic senses. In NLP we add in Olfactory (smell) and Gustatory (taste) and call these VAKOG. These are our internal representations of which we have one which is more active than the others in terms of how we feel about the world and the language we use. Some people’s primary representation changes according to the situation or their mood. We also refer to a sixth sense we call auditory digital which is self-talk.
Our experience of an event depends on our internal representations, or I/Rs for short. Through our filtering system, we delete, distort and generalize information received based on our attitudes, beliefs, values and experiences. No two people will give exactly the same account of an experience eg a traffic accident.
Alfred Korzybski noted, “The map is not the territory” meaning the map only represents the territory. A map of your country is not your country, only a graphic representation. The mental perception of a memory of an event is only our personal perception, not the event itself.
What we say or hear in our mind, or feel, will affect the behaviour we produce and our physiology. This in turn affects our emotional state. If someone is thinking unhappy thoughts, seeing someone in their mind whom they miss, their shoulders will droop, their mouth muscles will turn down and their whole physiology will become that of a depressed person. The more they hold that stance, the worse they will feel. But put a wide grin on your face, stupid as it may feel, pull your shoulders up and back and it is virtually impossible to feel depressed, regardless of the circumstances. Just a change in physiology has affected the emotional state for the better.
So, to control and direct our behaviours, we must control and direct our emotional state. To control our state, we must consciously direct our internal representations and physiologies.
When I attended a seminar which included the firewalk ie walking on burning coals, my prior belief was that I would not do the firewalk, indeed I could not. No way. Yet at 2am on the first night, I was standing barefoot on a tarmac carpark mentally preparing myself to reach the other side of the challenge to my limiting belief. It was 15 years ago and I do not remember what I did or said to myself but I do remember that I did it and so did another 2,000 people. When we release a limiting belief which does not serve us, we release other chains which have been holding us back. The firewalk is not an end it itself as it provides a new model for belief, allowing new areas to open in our life.
"A domino effect of potentiality."
The internal representations which produce a state that tells us that we cannot achieve are totally different to the new ones we can take on to empower us to produce positive results.
Sometimes we do not know what state we need to produce, what beliefs and attitudes to adopt and here we can model successful people. What do they say? What messages are they taking on board? How they do feel? We identify what is making them successful and then make those traits a part of us.
The kind of behavior people produce is the result of the state they are in. How they specifically respond out of that state is based on their models of the world.
Most people turn on the TV to change their state. Watch a comedy, lose themselves in a drama or incomprehensible to me, choose to watch a dreary programme about people doing negative things, making them feel even worse than before. Or they turn to alcohol, drugs or more positively, exercise. All of these affect our state temporarily.
We can learn techniques which lock in positive states and recall them whenever we need a boost, without resorting to external stimuli or artificial substances. This is the power of NLP.
For more information, I recommend chapter 3 of Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins entitled "The Power of the State":
Experience the Firewalk at Tony Robbins's seminar:
©Antonia Harrison 2009 from Personal Development in the 21st Century and The Secret and Law of Attraction . Antonia Harrison is the English Hypnotherapist & NLP Coach in Belgium and Personal Development speaker leading workshops for groups and companies.