In order to understand filters, we need to dive into a little NLP. If you are not totally familiar with Neuro Linguistic Programming, here’s a little explanation.

Neuro is simply the nervous system. (In NLP we do not separate the brain and the nervous system. The mind and body are one.)

Linguistics is the study of language and how we as humans form language.

Programming is a term borrowed from the world of computers and means simply a sequence of instructional steps.

Everyone’s brain is different. From the day you were born you customised your brain heavily and as such your brain has its own language, its own customs and laws, just like an island state.

Every day it meets with all the island countries and tries to figure out how it’s going to communicate effectively and how it’s going to get what it wants from the other islands.

Some brains are more adaptable, flexible and creative than others and are in a position to control the others. The law of requisite variety states that the most flexible elements in any system control that system. In other words, if we were to look at communication as a system, then the person with the most flexibility controls the communication.

We want to develop your brain so that it is more flexible, more creative and more adaptable so that you control whatever system you are in.

So how does the mind work?

Let’s look in more detail at how the mind works. Your brain receives – from the nervous system – around 2 million pieces of information every second of every day.

Obviously if we were consciously aware of all these two million pieces of information, we would go mad! So how does the brain filter the information that comes in and makes us consciously aware of only a small percentage of it?

For example, I know that as you read this, you are not consciously aware of the feelings in your right foot, but you are now!

Your nervous system receives information from your five senses:

Visual information from your eyes
Auditory information from your ears
Kinaesthetic information from your body
Olfactory information from your nose
Gustatory information from your tongue

It takes this external information, filters it and creates an internal representation.
This internal representation is created out of one or more of the following six categories:

Words (self talk)

If you take a moment now, and become aware of your own internal representations you will find that it is made up of one or more of the above.

You create in your mind a representation (or map) of reality. However the map is not reality itself, and as we all have different filters, all of our maps are different.

Therefore reality is different for all of us.

(It’s been said that if it were possible to try out someone else’s reality there would have been no need to create recreational drugs!)

Now you’ve had a intro to NLP, it’s time to take a look at the filters – read our blog on the topic, or for more information about Understanding Reality Filters, read the publication on our Empowerment Professionals bookshelf.