• NLP discovers the steps of the processes we do in our head

  • Any external event that we experience runs through our internal processing and we create an Internal Representation (I/R) about that event

  • The I/R of this outside event creates a certain physiology inside us which also creates a state

  • A ‘state’ is an internal emotional state of ours

  • These state can be a ‘happy state’, ‘sad state’, ‘guilty state’, ‘excited state’, ‘motivated state’ etc.

  • This I/R has pictures, sounds, feelings and our internal dialog. For example, when you feel challenged you will have an internal representation of pictures, sounds, feelings and self-talk, which ultimately creates a physiology and a state and you will produce a certain behaviour.  

  • Your ‘challenged state’ has the combination of an I/R , a physiology and a state

  • Each event that you are experiencing has sensory input channels


Every single event comes through these sensory input channels:





What we see, and how people look at us


Sounds we hear, the sound of words we hear, and the way that people say those words to us


Our internal feelings and external feelings which include the touch of someone or something (pressure and texture)


Smells we smell


Tastes which we taste

When we experience an event through our sensory channels above, we filter it, in order to process it. As we process this event we delete, distort and generalize.


Deletion occurs when we selectively pay attention to certain aspects of our experience. We reduce the amount of information coming in for processing based on our preferences and on our past experiences. Without deletion, we would be faced with much too much information to handle with our conscious mind.


Distortion occurs when something is mistaken for that which is not. Distortion happens when we make shifts in our experience of sensory data by making misrepresentations of our reality. Claiming to know what another person feels is a form of distortion. “I know what you think.” is a form of distortion. We cannot possible know what another person thinks, and we can have an educated guess based on past experiences. Still, unless you are a super capable psychic, you will never know what exactly another person thinks (Pictures, Sounds, Feelings etc).


Generalization is when we draw a conclusions based on one or more experiences. Generalization is one of the ways that we learn. We take the information and we create a broad conclusion about the meaning of this information. In order to agree and learn on any new subject we need generalization.


Our conscious mind can only handle 7 (plus or minus 2) items of information at any given moment.


Try this:


  • Can you name more than 7 brands of cigarettes?

  • How about wash detergents?

  • How about toothpaste's?

  • If you have no interest in cigarettes you might name 2 or maybe 4 brands.

  • If you are interested in cigarettes you will be able to name more than 7 brands.


The reason for this is to protect us from information overload.

By need and by protection we delete information all the time. You might have heard that psychologists say that if we were simultaneously aware of all of the sensory information that was coming in, we would go crazy. We need to filter the information coming in through our sensory channels.


You might noticed once or maybe twice in your life time how differently we respond to situations. It is because we have different internal filters to delete, distort and generalize our incoming information.

There are 5 filters through which we delete, distort and generalize which the information comes through our five senses.


The filters are:

Meta Programs, Belief Systems, Values, Past Decisions, and Memories.


Our Meta-Programs are unconscious filters without any content. When you know your Meta-programs you can clarify your own states and therefore you are able to predict your behavior. You can learn how to detect other people’s Meta-Programs which can actually help you clearly and closely predict people’s states, and therefore predict their actions. Meta Programs are not good or bad, they are just a unique way someone filters information.


Our next filters are values. They are how we decide whether our actions are good or bad, right or wrong. They also determine how we feel about our actions. Our unconscious mind arranges our values in a hierarchy from the most important and most abstract on the top and the lesser important ones below. Since we all have our own ‘model of the world’, our values reflect that.


We experience conflicts daily with the people we interact with because our ‘model of the world’ and their ‘model of the world’ hence their values - what is important to them - is different. Same applies when we have our self-talk; if our ‘model of the world’ conflicts with our values, then there’s going to be a conflict.

Why would you want to know your values in every context of your live?


  • You will be able to get rid of conflicts with yourself and with others

  • You would learn how to set boundaries, and because you would know how to make decisions effectively

You would be able to align values with your partner, within your company, with your family members. Since values are context related, specific beliefs and attitudes are attached to them. Based on the values hierarchy; therefore, beliefs and attitudes become more important on the top of your list and less important on the bottom of your list. Values are less related to our states than beliefs.


Our next powerful filters are beliefs. Our beliefs are presuppositions about our world and they works with us or against us.

When we are aware of our beliefs we know what we are able to or not able to do in the world. Therefore, it is important to find out what our disabling beliefs are because they are the ones not allowing us to be, do and have what we want.


Our next filters are our memories. There are psychologists who believe that as we get older, our reactions in the present (in the now) are reactions to gestalts.


What are Gestalts?


  • Gestalts are collections of memories which are organized around a certain subject of our past memories. Therefor our behavior now has very little do with our present.


Our next filters are our decisions that we made in our past. Before we form a belief we have to have a decision about that belief.


Most of these decision we completely forgot, and there is no memory of forming them.