Your mind is working all the time, even while you sleep. Of the many and varied thought process’s that flow through your mind-stream every day, they can only be made up of the same basic building blocks; Images, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. All of your memories, thought habit patterns and conceptions about the future are made of these 5 elements.
One of the most important discoveries in recent years into how our consciousness functions and how we can use that knowledge for practical purposes came from the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It had been observed before but it wasn’t until Bandler and Grinder came along that the systematic analysis of how we code our internal representations was observed and made explicit. This became known as the Model of Sub-Modalities.
All of this is easier than it sounds. Take for example the pleasant memory of a holiday experience. If you were to think about that now, you may begin to remember being on the beach on a hot summer day, blue sky, seagulls and the sound of the lapping waves. Now if you were to pay closer attention to the imagery you were making in your minds eye (internal representations), you could notice how big the image is, how close the image is, whether it is still or moving and so on. There are a number of these visual qualities you can observe. Here is a partial list:
- Colour or B/W
- Near or Far
- Bright or Dim
- Size of Picture
- Associated or Disassociated
- Framed or Panoramic
- Moving or Still
- Movie Speed
- 3D or 2D
- Viewing Angle
- No. of Pictures
Now what’s really important about becoming aware of this ‘sub-modality coding’ is that you are in fact becoming aware of your deep sub-conscious process’s. And you can use this knowledge to do some really cool things! Like making boring, mundane tasks fun!
Think about this: How do you know the difference between a good memory and a bad memory? Your mind somehow has to code these memories differently. It does this by using different sub-modalities. One of the quickest ways to become aware of these coding’s is to compare two memories together; a contrastive analysis.
To give an example, I’ll use a bad memory experience of waiting at an uncovered train platform in the rain with a considerable delay. The good memory is being on holiday on a warm beach. Now by paying attention to the two images we can notice the difference in their qualities or sub-modalities. As you can see below I’ve just listed four sub-modalities to make it easier:
These ‘codings’ are the difference that makes the difference. It’s these characteristics that create the feelings you have. So when you know how, you can change them to change your habitual responses. (The specific How-To’s are coming up in part two of this article…)