Understanding your Internal Map
Through our 5 senses, we receive information from the world, code and store it internally in our own unique way. These internal codes affect the way we react to others and the way we think and feel. Understanding yourself becomes easier when you become aware of how you code and store the information you gather around you.
As life happens around us, our nervous system receives a large amount of data every second, 2 million bits of information, to be exact. This information is interpreted via our 5 senses, what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell.
Now, we are not aware of all 2 million things happening around us every second because we would literally go crazy. So, to help manage important data, our mind will filter the information into 7 manageable bits. It does this by deleting, distorting and generalizing the information received.
The image shows how we process incoming data. The processes help us better understand how we interpret the world around us.
Information deleted from incoming data helps prevent being bombarded with data that is irrelevant at that moment. For example, as you read this article, you may not be aware of your heart beating or the movement of your chest while breathing until it is brought into your awareness. Unhappy people may be deleting joy from their awareness because it isn’t relevant to their current situation. These deletions can be uncovered using a linguistic tool called the meta-model in NLP.
Distortions are when we exaggerate our experiences to make them better or worse than they really are. When people experience fear or phobia, they are actually distorting the images in their mind. For example, they may believe that speaking in public might give them a panic attack, or flying in an aeroplane will cause them to have a heart attack. The Fast Phobia cure in NLP can help rapidly remove phobias and fears.
Generalizations help us do the same things repeatedly without having to relearn how we do them, like driving a car or riding a bike. They also help us relate things we are learning to what we already know. Having a bad experience with something may leave us with a negative belief that limits our world. An example may be, having a terrible experience within marriage that leaves you believing all marriages are bad. The NLP belief change intervention will replace the disempowering belief with a more resourceful one.
The 7 bits of information we have filtered are used to recreate the outside experience in our mind. This is referred to as an internal representation, more commonly known in NLP as the Map. This means that whatever we represent to ourselves in our minds is never true to what is really happening in the event; that’s because bits have been deleted, distorted and generalized. We all do this, and that’s why we all experience life in different ways.
Whatever our internal representation, it will always affect how we feel; in NLP, this is called a state. And our state affects our physiology (what we do with our bodies). People who are upbeat, positive, and happy have an upright posture than depressed people who slouch.
Our state, physiology and our internal maps are all interlinked and affect each other. This is why people attract more of the same in their lives, unhappy people more unhappiness and happy people more happiness. We will always attract more of what we focus on.
The way we feel, the way we hold ourselves, and our Internal Representation (map) affect our behaviour that will affect our outcomes. Irrelevant of good or bad results, we will always get results. NLP equips us to consistently achieve excellent results whenever we want as often as we want.