10 Facts about yourself – You should know

Internal representations

Internal representations are maps of the world that we have created in our minds based on our experiences.

We all have different ways of receiving and processing information.

In NLP, we call the world we express internally and externally the VAKOG (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory).

These are called modalities.

People have different ways of describing their world.

Knowing how people internalise the information they receive will better prepare you to build rapport and become a more efficient communicator.

We each have our preferred way of receiving and representing the information that we gather.

These representations then become our mental maps for preferred modes of communication and thinking.

The process of internal representations

1. Your nervous system receives about 2 million bits of sensory data every second about your present experiences.

We are wired to attract more of what we concentrate on in our lives.

The information is then interpreted and coded through your senses.
Visually (sight), Auditory (hearing), Kinaesthetic (feeling and touch), Olfactory (smelling), and Gustatory (taste).

2. We aren’t aware of the 2 million things happening every second (we’d go insane!)

So, the information is filtered into about seven bits by our mind.

This filtration process is done by deleting, distorting and generalising the information into manageable chunks.


3. Deletions are essential because they keep us from being overwhelmed with information that isn’t currently relevant.

For example, you were probably unaware of your breathing as you read this until I brought it to your attention.
If a person is sad, they may be deleting happiness from their awareness.

NLP employs a linguistic tool known as the meta-model to highlight the deletions a person is making.

Making mountains out of molehills

4. Distortions: When we distort something, we make it better or worse than it is.

This distortion is the filter an angler may use when he claims the 2 KG fish he caught was approximately 5 KG.

When a person has a phobia, images in their minds become distorted. For example, the tiny spider becomes a dangerous man-eating spider.

The NLP Fast Phobia Cure can quickly remove phobias that have been with you for a long time.

5. Generalisations allow us to connect what we’re learning to what we already know.

It also saves us from relearning something, such as riding a bike, every time we do it.

However, generalisations can also be restrictive.

When a negative experience leaves us with negative beliefs, it narrows our world.

For example, suppose a person has had a bad experience with a dentist.

In that case, they may believe that all dentists are terrifying and should be avoided.

The NLP belief change intervention will substitute a more positive belief for the disempowering one.

6. We recreate the external event in our minds using the 7 bits of information filtered through our senses.

This new filtered reality is commonly referred to as an internal representation or map.

So what we represent to ourselves about the experience is never an accurate representation of the event.

The map is not the territory

The representation is not accurate because we have deleted, distorted and generalised bits of information.

Because we all delete, distort, and generalise differently, we all have different interpretations of the same experiences.

Internal representations affect how we feel.

7. The experience we create in our Internal Representation will directly impact how we feel.

This induced feeling or emotion is referred to as a State in NLP.

8. Because our state influences our Physiology (what we do with our bodies).

We find that optimistic people have a much more upright posture, whereas pessimistic or depressed people slouch downwards.

9. State, Physiology, and Internal Representations are interconnected and influence one another.

This interrelationship is why affluent people attract more good fortune in their lives, while unhappy people attract more difficulties and hardship.

We are wired to attract more of what we concentrate on in our lives.

10. Our State, Physiology, and Internal Representations contribute to the behaviour we exhibit, influencing our outcomes.

We always get results, whether they are good or bad; Specific NLP techniques ensure that they are excellent!

Find out your preferred Representational system by downloading the form below.

About Mark Csabai

Mark Laszlo Csabai is a Certified Life Coach and NLP Practitioner at Mind in Motion based in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where he is currently exploring topics related to self-development and mindset strategies. In his free time, you can find him painting, learning guitar, listening to music or eating crumpets with peanut butter.